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Israel, A By-word Among Nations
Deut. 28:37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee. (KJV)
The very name of “Jew” is a universally recognized term for extreme degradation and wretchedness. WHY? Because of their rebellion against God - - - idolatry here.
1 Kings 9:4-9 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:  Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.  But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:  Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:  And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and to this house?  And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil. (KJV)
God warned Solomon that he and his people must not be high-minded, but fear. The conditions of God's covenant with Solomon, and the consequences of breaking them, is clearly stated here. But, the king's commercial enterprises and determined desire for worldly glory; his encouraging an influx of foreign people and his taste for foreign luxuries, rapidly corrupted his own mind and that of this subjects, so that they turned from following God, they and their children.  Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: God has kept His Word! He has uprooted the Jews from their land. He has made Israel an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations.
2 Chron. 7:17-22 And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments;  Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.  But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;  Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.  And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house?  And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them. (KJV)
If Solomon followed God, he and his descendants would prosper; if Solomon did not, he and the nation would be destroyed. In Deut. 27&28, these conditions were outlined before all the people. But sin seduces and deceives! Solomon, in time, turned away from God. As a result, his son and heir lost most of the kingdom. When we obey God, it brings us benefits and rewards (not by worldy standards - - - but by God’s standards). Turning away from God eventually brings suffering, punishment, and finally destruction. God’s conditions have not changed! They are just as clear as they were in Solomon’s day. Choose to obey God and live.
Soon after Solomon’s reign, the temple was ransacked (2 Chron.12:9). It is hard to believe that such a great and wise king could become so corrupted by idols: power, prosperity, and erotic desire. But, friend, today these same idols lure us into their hard to escape traps. When we allow any desire or lust to compete for God’s place in our life, we have taken the first step toward moral and spiritual decay. Beware!
2 Chron. 29:6-9 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord, and turned their backs.  Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel.  Wherefore the wrath of the Lord was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.  For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. (KJV)
Our fathers have trespassed - - - Ahaz and his contemporaries is especially meant. They turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord, and turned their backs (apostasy). They abandoned the worship of God. They shut up the doors of the porch, so that the sacred ritual was entirely discontinued. Wherefore the wrath of the Lord was upon Judah and Jerusalem - - - This godly king had the common sense to lay all the national calamities that had befallen the kingdom to the true cause, that being idolatry, apostasy from God. The country had been laid waste by consecutive wars of invasion, and its resources drained. Many families mourned members of their household still suffering the miseries of foreign captivity. To WHAT all was this pain and humiliation due? To the clear judgment of God upon the kingdom for its sins! Israel was always punished for her sins. This country too shall be punished for hers as well.
Psalm 79:1-5 A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.  The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.  Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.  We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.  How long, Lord? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire? (KJV)
God’s own people defiled the Temple by their sins, therefore He permitted their enemies to defile it by their boldness. Israel wanted to be reconciled to God. Those who earnestly desire God’s favor as better than life, are indeed blessed; but apostates must remember and dread His wrath as far worse than death.
Jeremiah 44:8 In that ye provoke me unto wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense unto other gods in the land of Egypt, whither ye be gone to dwell, that ye might cut yourselves off, and that ye might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? (KJV)
Jeremiah 40-45 - - - these six chapters cover events following Jerusalem’s fall to Babylon. JUDGMENT!
Ezekiel 22:4 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. (KJV)
The prophet Ezekiel, is to judge the bloody city (Eze.22:2; 24:6,9). Jerusalem is called this because of her crimes. The sins which Jerusalem stands charged with, are extremely sinful: murder, idolatry, disobedience to parents, oppression, extortion, profaning the Sabbath and holy things, seventh commandment sins of lewdness and adultery. Their negligence of God was at the bottom of all this wickedness. Sinners, then and now, provoke God because they forget Him. Jerusalem filled the measure with her sins. Those who allow themselves to be ruled by their lusts, will justly be condemned. They all shall be given what they rightfully deserve. If you demand to be your own master, expect no other happiness than what you alone can furnish. A miserable portion it will be!
Hosea 8:5-10 Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?  For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.  For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.  Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.  For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.  Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes. (KJV)
Israel promised themselves abundance, peace and victory by worshipping idols; but their promises and hopes brought them nothing. What they sowed in idol worship had no stalk, no blade, no fruit. It was totally worthless! The works of darkness are always unfruitful, and the end of all those things is death. The hopes and dreams of sinners will deceive them every time; and any gains they realize, will all be traps. In the day of judgment, ALL carnal devices will fail. They always take the wrong gate, the wrong road, for they are led by Satan, the master deceiver himself. True peace and joy can be had ONLY in God alone! And though godly men may sorrow a little in today’s world, the ungodly will be made to sorrow eternally. BEWARE!
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