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Been reading through 1-2 Kgs/1-2 Chron as well as the prophetic passages associated with Israel's & Judah's historical narratives. It has been enlightening to review this history & their respective descents toward judgment. There are relevant parallels for today. 1/
In the Northern Kingdom (Israel) the history of these tribes led to a tragic trajectory in which the wicked kings led Israel into blatant idolatry. They erected shrines to Asherah, Baal, Molech, et al and worshipped them openly. Their apostasy was open and blatant. 2/
They also allied themselves with various world powers like Syria and Assyria in seeking political power and domestic prosperity. They did not have any consideration for what the LORD'S will was in these matters. Their trust was in earthly power. 3/
In the South Judah seemed to be the more faithful "sister." The fact that Jerusalem was in the South and the Davidic dynasty was located in Jerusalem meant the religious institution of Yahweh worship continued despite some questionable kings and their reigns. 4/
The people in Judah continued in their religious activity - attending the festivals, observing the feasts, making their sacrifices, giving their offerings and tithes. Yet, the Torah was eventually lost and forgotten even though the ceremonial activity continued. 5/
When we read the prophetic indictments of Judah it is clear that the LORD was frustrated by their religious observances without substance. They worshiped in form but continued to oppress the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the foreigners. Justice was corrupted. 6/
The outward religiosity of the South was devoid of true Torah obedience, nor did the people truly honor the LORD and his teachings beyond their ritual observances. They believed they were Superior to Israel and her blatant idolatry but the LORD saw Judah as equally corrupt. 7/
Today we see two strains of idolatry in American Xianity as well. Bear with me, this is not an exact analogy but apt. Some openly reject the very core of the faith passed down to us. They openly accept the world's philosophies & seek meaning via worldly powers. 8/
But there is also a Judah-like strain where the Bible is quoted and Xian symbols proudly displayed while there is an emptiness with regard to the LORD's actual Kingdom values. These Xians continue in outward shows of Xian faith but hypocritically reject the faith's teachings. 9/
These Xians claim a biblical faithfulness while failing to honor the LORD's moral-ethical teachings. They continue their religious festivals while denying justice to the poor, the widow, the orphans, and the foreigner.
In the end both Kingdoms ended up under judgment. 10/
The historical narrative of the OT clearly condemns the open apostasy and idolatry of the Northern Kingdom, but it does not legitimize Judah's hypocrisy and failure to obey the heart of the Torah. In the end, Judah's idolatry was different but no less wicked. /End.
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