Sunday, March 12, 2017

March 12, Isaiah 7:1-9 Men doing dumb things

Much of the Old Testament is a recording of history, and most of history is men doing dumb things, both biblical and secular. Here we have a conspiracy against the nation of Judah and some direct violations of God's commandments. A little more history and an explanation of names is needed for us gentiles to understand who the players are. The nation of Israel was split in two right after Solomon died, a north and south kingdom. The north was still called Israel but also called Ephraim, the latter being a bit more specific. The south was always called Judah. The north is also sometimes called Samaria and the Samaritans were also children of Jacob (or Israel) so much of what was happening here was a family feud. Note that animosity between the two extended for at least another 680 years when Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. We don't have a lock on family stupidity today. The reason for the battle isn't clear, but we can be fairly certain it had to do with power and greed. Ephraim made an alliance with Syria, military alliances were forbidden in Deuteronomy. Ahaz himself was not a good king but he too worshiped idols. Yet God still had a promise with Judah, and for His reasons will deliver them. The north kingdom however will fall and it did exactly when prophecies, conquered by Esarhaddon. The lessons from this which we have still not learned is obedience to God. Someone will write today's history and centuries from now, should God tarry, someone else will read it and wonder why we were so dumb.

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