In 1940 AD, Israel broke into two distinct kingdoms; Judah (which is the southern) and Israel (which is the northern). Rehoboam and Jeroboam ruled them respectively. (1st Kings 12) Different kings reined these kingdoms in which majority transgressed against God’s commandments. As a result, their subjects followed suit and the Lord God was unhappy. This paper examines the two kingdoms and prophesies of both Isaiah and Jeremiah in four distinct levels; in the first level, the different kinds of sins that were committed by Judah and Israel during that time have been examined. (http://www. springerlink.
com/content/hxp529725312m473/ ; http://blogsabbathschool. blogspot. com/2008/07/god-promises-to-restore-israel-after. html) The second level indicates the God’s anger because of the sinful nature of the two kingdoms. In the third level, the messages conveyed by prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah are discussed. Finally, level four analyses God’s future plans for the nations. The conclusion part discusses the relevance of these prophesies to the people living in the world today. (David, Howard, Michael, Grisanti, pp. 60) In his effort to control the southern kingdom, Jeroboam made two golden calves and placed one at Bethel and the other at Dan.
The people were then supposed to worship then instead of going to Jerusalem where they used to go. This was aimed at preventing the people of Judah from turning to God because he thought that by so doing, Rehoboam would take advantage and even kill him. “And this became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. ” (1st kings 12: 30) He also appointed priests whose genealogy was not that of Levi. In the 15th day of the eighth month, Jeroboam organized a feast that was intended to sacrifice to the god at Bethel.
(http://blogsabbathschool. blogspot. com/2008/07/god-promises-to-restore-israel-after. html) King Ahab and his wife Jezebel also served and worshipped Baal. He build up a house and alter for Baal at Samaria. “And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him” (1st Kings 12:33) During this time, ritual worship was widespread and people were treating their colleagues with cruelty. Injustice was also rampant. This was evident by Manasseh’s acts to shed blood for innocent people.
(1st kings 21:16) People were so immoral that Josiah destroyed all the houses that were used by sodomites. ( 1st kings 23:13). Among them were also workers with familiar spirits, wizards and other sorts of abominations. (1st kings 23:24) they rejected Gods statutes together with his covenant that the Lord made with them through their fathers. (Adams, 2006, pp. 10) They instead opted to follow vanity. In their acts of idolatry, they made their children to “pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the lord, to provoke his anger.
(2nd kings 17:17) God had warned them not to fear, worship or sacrifice to other gods and this was a covenant they did not keep. God informed them that all “the statutes, ordinances, and the law, and the commandments which he wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever more … ” they however transgressed. Because of God’s anger, both the people of Judah and Israel did not escape the wrath of God. The Lord promised to “bring such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever hearth of it, both his ears shall tingle”. (2nd kings 21:12). He promised to wipe Jerusalem like a dish.
(2nd kings 21:13) the remnants would be delivered as pray for their enemies in order to be spoiled (2nd kings 21:14) the lord declared that “I will bring evil upon this place and upon the inhabitants there of….. therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place , and shall not be quenched. ” This was fulfilled when god sent bands of Chaldees, Syrians, Moabites and Ammon children to destroy Judah (2nd kings 24:2-3). Many people were killed while the rest were enslaved (Rachel First, 2008). There was also famine and drought especially during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.
All the prophets joined voices and called upon people to turn from their evil ways. They reminded the people on the importance of keeping gods commandments, his statutes, according to which the lord god “commanded your fathers, and which I send to you by my servants the prophets” ( 2nd kings 17:13). The message that god was not interested in their ritual worship was clear. The prophets condemned strongly those who were involved in idolatory, fertility rites and unlawful sexual practices. They also passed the message that the lord was not only the god of Israelites but also for the world as a whole.
The told people that god is mighty lord who cannot be defeated. They were also reminded about their special relationship with god, to be the God’s chosen people. Isaiah preached about ‘the holy one of Israel’ who is believed to be Jesus Christ. According to the prophesy of Isaiah, Judah and the world as a whole awaits doom for those who are sinful. This has been emphasized all through chapter one up to thirty-nine of of his prophetic book. In the last twenty-seven chapters, Isaiah’s message of hope is well articulated. He prophesied about restoration where a divine king will rule.
This king will bring to an end all injustices and cruelties. He would be the messiah. Isaiah prophesies that Jews will one day be delivered from Babylonians. Jeremiah also prophesied about restoration of his people. “’For behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel and Judah. ‘ The LORD says, ‘I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they shall possess it. ‘ “Jeremiah 30:3 god promises not to destroy completely his people but he warns them that they will never go unpunished. He promises to restore Jacobs’s tents of fortune.
The good news of restoration are confirmed by Jeremiah who passed god’s message that “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a fortune” (Jeremiah 29:11) The messages of Isaiah a d Jeremiah are quite significant in the modern word. All sorts of sins are being committed every day. It is therefore the high time for the people to confess and turn back to god. Jesus made an ever lasting covenant that will give every human being equal opportunity to enjoy this special relationship with god irregardless of whether one is a gentile or not.
The lord god is the god of the world. He is ensures that justice prevails. He is kind and forgiving. (http://blogsabbathschool. blogspot. com/2008/07/god-promises-to-restore-israel-after. html) He …. ”plans to prosper you…. ” (Jeremiah 29:11) Every person will however be held responsible for his/her deeds. References David M. Howard, Michael A. Grisanti 2003 Giving the Sense: Understanding and Using Old Testament Historical Texts; Published by Kregel Publications, 482 pages Jewish History Friday April 05, 2002 Springer Netherlands http://www. springerlink. com/content/hxp529725312m473/ on 6th December, 2008
Rachel First June, 2008 Captivity, conversion, and communal identity: sexual angst and religious crisis in Frankfurt, Volume 22 PDF (295. 2 KB) Retrieved from http://www. springerlink. com/content/hxp529725312m473/ on 6th December 2008 Holy bible, 1st Kings; 2 Kings; Isaiah; Jeremiah, Cambridge university press, England Blog Sabbath school, Retrieved from http://blogsabbathschool. blogspot. com/2008/07/god-promises-to-restore-israel-after. html on 6th December, 2008 Jim W. Adams, 2006; The Performative Nature and Function of Isaiah 40-55, Continuum International Publishing Group