Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional thoughtfully penned by leaders in DUMC arising from their daily devotions. The devotional’s title, “Our Best Thought” is taken from the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” as a reference to God: “Thou my best thought, by day or by night.” Publishes on Sundays.
The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes.
2 Kings 17:5-6 NIV
Hoshea was the last king of the north as God's judgement finally came upon Israel some 200 years after the nation was divided. This was however not caused singularly by Hoshea although he was definitely also a contributor. In fact it was said of him that he did evil in the eyes of the Lord but he was not as bad as his predecessors (v2). That however was immaterial as he became the straw that broke the camel's back.
The fall was the culmination of the cumulative transgressions of Hoshea and the 18 kings before him. It was the consequence of the corporate failure of the entire nation - that resulted in the invasion of the entire land by the king of Assyria (v5). And the people were deported and resettled in distanced places (v6), away from the land that gave them their identity.
Surely this scenario could have been averted had they heeded the prophetic words given them.
“The Lord will exile you and your king to a nation unknown to you and your ancestors. There in exile you will worship gods of wood and stone! You will become an object of horror, ridicule, and mockery among all the nations to which the Lord sends you.”
Yet the Israelites had chosen to disregard the warning and sinned against their God, who had brought them out of Egypt, by worshipping other gods and following the practices of the pagan nations (v. 7-8).
The resulting judgement upon them reveals God's faithfulness to His promises i.e. His promises of blessings for loyalty and of punishment and exile for their disobedience.
God indeed is faithful to His promises and He is the God who has delivered us from the bondage of sin just as how He had delivered the Israelites from the bondage of slavery. And there are three responses that we need to have as a result.
First, we need to be thankful to God and we can express that by loving Him and serving others, particularly the underserved.
Christopher J. H. Wright: "Vertical thanksgiving for God’s goodness must be matched by horizontal action for the needy.”
Second, we need to be fully devoted to Him, practicalising that through our radical obedience. This is an obedience that is rooted in the radical love of God and sustained by His unfailing promises. It is an obedience that points people to Christ and exists for His glory.
Third, we need to be totally submissive to His sanctification work in our life. That would mean recognising and confessing our sins daily for our God, who is faithful, just and forgiving, will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Thank You Lord, for Your grace and mercy that has enabled me to become a child and servant of God. As You continue to do Your sanctification work in my life, may You also work through me as Your vessel - to the glory of Your name. Amen.
Pr Kelvin Yong is Pastor of the Missions Department.
Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional that follows DUMC's Bible Reading Plan. Posts on Sundays.