Pekah dethrones Pekahiah and rules Israel for twenty years. Israel shrank dramatically under his rule because of war with Assyria.
Pekah and fifty men from Gilead take the throne from Pekahiah after two years of service. We never found out why or what happened but now another commander is king. One would think that a military commander would prove very useful when your kingdom is being attacked. But that is not the case in Pekah’s time.
Assyria is picking Israel apart. I’m curious to know if Israel thought to call on the Lord for help in battle. He proved Himself time and time again to stand with those who followed Him. But Israel wasn’t following Him. They had set up gods of their own and gave those false gods credit for God’s work!
Pekah didn’t call the people back to the Lord. He continued in the sin of worshiping the golden calves Jeroboam made for the people. WHY?! Had they learned nothing yet? Not one of Israel’s kings stepped away from the golden calves. Jehu did serve the Lord but even he also worshiped the golden calves.
Israel received several prophets warning them to tear down their idols but they closed their ears to them all. Even Elijah and Elisha couldn’t persuade the kings to do what was right with regard to the golden calves.
God’s patience is wearing thin. He relented on His punishment because the people cried out to Him. He removed the hand of Syria from their necks. And they STILL didn’t turn from the idols. Now He is using Assyria to discipline His people in Israel.
We don’t know how long into Pekah’s reign Assyria began attacking and chipping away at Israel. We don’t get to see how many years it took or any information on the battles themselves. What we do know is that they took a LOT of territory from Israel.
I’m not sure if all the places listed are part of the land of Naphtali or if they are in addition to the land of Naphtali. I was able to locate all but Gilead within the borders of Naphtali. The territory of Naphtali’s eastern border was the Jordan with Assyria on the opposite bank. It makes perfect sense that this is where they would strike.
Assyria didn’t just take the territory of Naphtali, they carried off the people too. The people of Israel were being taken bit by bit into captivity, yet they still didn’t turn away from their false gods. We may learn of the conditions of that captivity, but I’m not certain about that. We will have to wait and see.
Is it possible that the conspiracy against Pekah was the result of his disheartened people? We aren’t told much of our next king, Hoshea, beyond his father’s name. We don’t know if he was a soldier in Pekah’s army. He was probably a man of some influence, seeing as he was able to make himself king and head a conspiracy. This probably made him a man of wealth too. Was he ‘fed up’ with Israel losing to Assyria? Is that why he sought the throne? He wouldn’t fare any better because he wouldn’t depart from the sin of Jeroboam either, but that is a story for another day.
God is crying out to His people to come back to Him. But they are stubbornly refusing. Generation after generation ignores their history with Him. They give credit to others for His miracles or discount them all together.
This sounds like today’s current events. God is reaching out to ALL people and calling them to Himself. MANY will answer His invitation but many more won’t. When it comes to the miracles of God, science is trying to prove them impossible. The very acts of creation are debated at every level of society. I DON’T CARE what man comes up with to try and disprove God’s miracles. I STAND WITH HIM and His telling of the stories of old.
Father God, thank You for all that You have done in history, including my own personal history, to prove Who You are. YOU are GOD. There is NO OTHER. Everything else is a creation of man, NOT his Creator. Help me to live that out in my life in every way and let it speak where my words can’t go.