A divided kingdom

After the death of Solomon, the nation of Israel suffered a split. Approximately 922 BC, the nation was divided into two parts; Israel to the north and Judah to the south. The capitol of Israel was Shechem (later moved to Samaria), and the capitol of Judah was Jerusalem. Rehoboam, son of Solomon was king of the southern kingdom of Judah. Jeroboam, who, in 1 Kings 12, famously ignored the advice of the older, wiser men and followed the advice of the younger men, was king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Starting in 1 Kings 12:1, we see the story of these two nations. Both had many wicked kings, and both nations spent most of their history in rebellion against God. God sent many prophets to both nations to warn them about the consequences of their actions, but to no avail. God eventually was forced to send the nation of Assyria to conquer the nation of Israel. This occurred approximately 722 BC.  This story is found in 2 Kings 15-17. The nation of Judah did not learn from this object lesson, so God sent another nation, Babylon, to Judah.  The nation was attacked 3 times. The first time was in 606 BC, when Daniel and others were taken captive. In 597 BC, Babylon again attacked Jerusalem and this time Ezekiel and others were taken captive. The third attack was in 586 BC, when the city was destroyed and the nation conquered. 2 Kings 24 and 25 tell the story of these attacks. Israel would not be an independent nation again until the 20th century. 

 

What God wants us to learn from this is that there is a price for sin and rebellion. We like to think that we can get away with sin, that there are no consequences, but God says that there are always consequences. God is longsuffering, and wants us to return to Him, but continued rebellion will lead to destruction. That is true in the life of a nation, just as it is true in the life of an individual.