S (Scripture): 2 Kings 17:4b Hoshea (king of Israel) stopped paying tribute to the Assyrian king as he had in previous years, so the Assyrian king arrested him and put him in prison. 5 Then the Assyrian king invaded the whole country. He marched against Samaria and attacked it for three years. 6 In Hoshea’s ninth year, the Assyrian king captured Samaria. He sent Israel into exile to Assyria, resettling them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River, and in the cities of the Medes.
O (Observation): At this point in the history of the Hebrew people, we see a divided people of God: The northern kingdom (Israel) and the southern kingdom (Judah). Each kingdom had its own king.
Politics became the god of the people. They made decisions not based on what God spoke through the prophets, but rather what they felt was the best way to secure their own wants and needs. Sometimes, the needs were about protection from enemies (like Israel’s king paying the Assyrian king for protection). When this favor ends, so does the friendship. And Assyria conquered Israel, exiling (most of) the people of Israel through Assyria. (No better way of getting rid of a people than by making them become your people.)
A (Application): So, the more we rely on ourselves, the worse our predicament becomes. Yet, this is the battle we face. This is the temptation we succumb to time and time again.
To whom do we turn in difficult times? Ourselves? Our money to buy things to make us happy? Our work to help us feel like we are accomplishing something? Our chore list to make sure we get that done?
What makes us feel whole? None of the things I listed. We might get temporary satisfaction…but they don’t last.
Relying on God has been an “On again / off again” thing, if I’m honest. I do things from time to time just to show I can do them, like I’m proving my worth to God and others.
Yet, this is not what God requires of me. God simply calls on me to believe that Jesus came to show us that we have everything we need: gifting from the Spirit, a relationship with God, and disciples to journey alongside.
May you see your blessings this day.
P (Prayer): Lord, guide us this day, as always. Amen.