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by Ron Rose
The quality of life in the northern kingdom had disintegrated badly. The Israelites had all but forgotten the God of their ancestors. From the beginning, the northern kingdom had not only worshiped the false gods of the Canaanites, but the people had changed the worship of God into rituals devoid of life and meaning no different than the worship of idols.
The Israelites were scattered throughout the Assyrian empire where the language, the rituals, and the social structure were all different. As strangers in a foreign land, they began to miss the God of their heritage, and they remembered his promise to restore them once again.
Reflection: One of the truisms of human nature is that we tend to discount the value of something until we lose it. Not until Gods people were scattered throughout the Assyrian empire did they truly turn their hearts back to God. Alienated from their homeland and their places of worship, they clung to the hope that God would remember them and someday gather them up and bring them home, as he had promised.Regardless of the situation, for Gods people there is always hope, and with our repentance there is always Gods promise of restoration.
Author: Ron Rose
Publication Date: January 26, 2002
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