Ring of Truth daily devotion online
Ring of Truth provides 366 daily ‘proofs’ that the Bible is consistent throughout from Genesis to Revelation, and relevant for our lives today!
19 March 2018
2 Kings 17:18
Contrary to supporting those who hold to the view of ‘replacement theology’ whereby Israel was rejected by God forever and ‘replaced’ by Christians and the Church, I believe the import of this verse is seen in those preceding it.
“But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the Lord their God. They rejected His decrees and the Covenant... and the warnings. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around... and they did the things the Lord had forbidden them to do. They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshipped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practised divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking Him to anger” (v 14 - 17).
God didn’t give up on them so much as they ‘gave up on Him’ and thus disqualified themselves. Time and time again throughout Scripture we see that when people forsook God, the results that followed were both horrendous and automatic. It’s a ‘Ring of Truth’! But God is not vindictive. He doesn’t want people to get hurt any more than any father does who tells his child not to put his hand in the fire because he knows that if the child does, it will get burnt.
In forsaking God the Israelites had forsaken their Protector, the One who had brought them out of Egypt; the One who had protected them in the Wilderness, and the One who had protected them from their enemies whilst they settled and lived in the Promised Land. And the One who had particularly watched over them throughout the reigns of David and Solomon.
His protection had also continued through the many reigns of the subsequent kings but their rejection had now become complete. As a direct result, we read “So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria” (v 23).
The fact that we reap the rewards of our own wilfulness, rebellion and stupidity does not, interestingly enough, mean God has ‘given up’ on us. God’s love is unconditional. He loved us when we didn’t care ‘two breaths’ about Him. We don’t and can’t earn His love or His grace. They are both freely given to us. And as Scripture also shows - time and time again - if we return to the Lord in humility and truth - He becomes our ‘Protector’ once more. That is also a ‘Ring of Truth’! (See also Nehemiah 4:15; Isaiah 14:32; Romans 11:11-12.)
If He ever gave up permanently on Israel, He might give up on us, too. The Good News is - He hasn’t and won’t. He is a Covenant-keeping God. He will never divorce us.
However, it is far better not to walk away from God and into the consequences of our own selfish independence as they can harass us for the rest of our lives.
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daily devotionals by John White