Day 109 – January 20, 2024: II Kings 16-20 and Psalm 139

We get to the end of the northern tribe called Israel. The Assyrians come and destroy the land and take the northern people, the Israelites, away with them and resettle other people in their place. It is fascinating that before this happens the people of Israel had gotten to a place where they did not hesitate to worship the gods of the land wholeheartedly, including sacrificing their own children before the gods. This is what “pass through the fire” means. So God has definitively turned his back on the north and they are never to return. But the south remains, Jerusalem remains faithful.

The faithfulness of Judah is seen in the king Hezekiah who followed the Lord in all his ways including, and this is big because none of the other kings in recent memory, all the way back to David, had done this. He tore down the high places. These were the places where the people of Judah could kinda hedge their bets by making sure that if the Lord didn’t answer they could try their hand and see if the gods of the land might answer. Hezekiah took down even those places. He was faithful to the Lord.

One of my favorite places to visit when we are in Israel is Hezekiah’s tunnel. It is an absolutely incredible feat of engineering. It is a tunnel carved in the bedrock by hand from the city of Jerusalem all the way to the source of water which allowed the people of Israel to survive the siege of Assyria. The Assyrians do not conquer Jerusalem. But there is a harbinger of bad things to come. As the Assyrians back out Hezekiah welcomes the king of Babylon as a friend. The king had sent a gift while Hezekiah was sick and so he shows him all of Jerusalem. Isaiah, the prophet who was in existence at the time, warns Hezekiah that the day will come that although they managed to survive the exodus to Assyria, they will not survive the exodus to Babylon. There are two deportations that take place. The Assyrian one removes Israel from history, the Babylonian one will almost do the same to Judah. But that is yet to take place.

Psalm 139 is my favorite one to read while I am visiting in the hospital. The omniscience of God is clear in these verses from the time that we are born to the time that He calls us to him. Powerful…

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