Jeroboam was not concerned at all about keeping Israel in the presence of God? In fact, it seemed as though he did everything he could to keep them out of God’s presence. His example will teach us what not to do if we want to stay in the presence of God.
For when the Lord tore Israel away from the kingdom of David, they chose Jeroboam son of Nebat as their king. But Jeroboam drew Israel away from following the Lord and made them commit a great sin. 2 Kings 17:21
Israel at this point in history was a divided kingdom. The southern part was called Judah while the northern tribes kept the name of Israel.
The Bible records that many of Israel’s kings did evil in the sight of the Lord. Even Judah got involved in some of the same practices that Israel did.
But even the people of Judah refused to obey the commands of the Lord their God, for they followed the evil practices that Israel had introduced. 2 Kings 17:19
The Lord allowed Judah to remain in the land. But Israel on the other hand was taken into captivity.
Because the Lord God was very angry with Israel, he swept them away from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained in the land. 2 Kings 17:18
Banished from the Presence of God
Why were the people of Israel banished from the land God had promised them? Verses 7-10 give us a list of reasons.
- This disaster came upon the people of Israel because . . .
- They worshiped other gods. v.7
- They followed the practices of the pagan nations. v.8
- Also, they followed the practices the kings of Israel had introduced. v.8
- The people of Israel secretly did many things that were not pleasing to God. v.9
- They built pagan shrines for themselves. v.9
- They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles. v.10
The chapter goes on to say they did many evil things arousing the Lord’s anger. And it wasn’t because the Lord didn’t warn them. They just refused to obey Him.
Again and again the Lord had sent his prophets and seers to warn both Israel and Judah: “Turn from all your evil ways. Obey my commands and decrees—the entire law that I commanded your ancestors to obey, and that I gave you through my servants the prophets.” 2Kings 17:13
After their captivity, our verse for today says the people chose Jeroboam as their king. His practices continued to lead them away from the presence of God.
And the people of Israel persisted in all the evil ways of Jeroboam. They did not turn from these sins until the Lord finally swept them away from his presence, just as all his prophets had warned. 2 Kings 17:22-23
Be Sure That You Stay in the Presence of God
What does it look like to be in the presence of God? Is it a mystical feeling or one that gives us goose bumps? It can be, but it’s really a way of life and not just an event.
The presence of God comes through obedience to the Lord. In 2 Kings we saw that Israel could no longer enjoy God’s presence because of their disobedience.
In Acts, Peter addressed this subject. He and the other apostles were brought before the Jewish high council who forbid them to talk about Jesus. Peter said this.
We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him. Acts 5:32
Jesus also encouraged us with the following words.
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. John 14:23
Unlike Israel of the Old Testament, God will not banish you or send you into captivity.
The only time anyone will be banished from God’s presence is if they die without knowing Jesus.
Examine Your Life
All who know Jesus as their Lord and Savior are in the presence of God. If it seems like you aren’t in His presence then you must examine your life.
Who moved? It certainly wasn’t God. Then it must have been you. He has always been in the same place waiting for you to turn back to Him.
Make sure nothing is standing between you and your relationship with God. Remember Jesus is standing at the door of your heart waiting to come in. Or maybe come back in.
Check out these related posts on the presence of God.
- Enjoy The Presence Of God
- Open The Way And Let The King Of Glory Enter.
- How To Enter Into The Presence Of The Almighty
- Being in The Presence Of God Is Your Goal
Lord, forgive me when I allow something to hinder my relationship with you. Thank you, God, for the guidance of your Holy Spirit who keeps me in your presence.
Check out these other adventures found in 2 Kings.
- Manasseh King Of Judah Strayed Far From God – 2 Kings 1-2
- Are You One Who Has Aroused God’s Anger Lately? – 2 Kings 21:6
- Being in The Presence Of God Is Your Goal – 2 Kings 24:3
- God’s Temple And Its Complete Destruction – 2 Kings 25:9
Take the time to read all of 2 Kings 17.
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