C.A.C Sunday School Manual For March 21 and 28, 2021, Lesson Five : Topic – MOVES NATIONS AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH WORLDWIDE
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
(KINGDOM OF GOD FAMILY)
THEME: GOD IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF MAN (II)
UNIT TWO: Gentile Administration In The Exilic And Post-exilic Periods
Date: March 21 & 28, 2021
TOPIC: MOVES NATIONS AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE
For Israel is stubborn like a stubborn calf; now the Lord will let them forage like a lamb in open country
When the people of God sin, God arranges both internal and external aggressions to deal with them. This is exactly what He did with the Northern Kingdom, first, and then, the Southern when they respectively sinned recalctrantly. Don’t try to abuse God’s grace.
Israel was no doubt a beloved people and nation amongst the nations of the world. And so, God, being their Father and Husband, did all He could to keep them within the fenced city, away from the terrible beasts around them. Hosea 4:6a says, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. But Israel would be destroyed not because they lacked knowledge, but for rejecting the knowledge, truth, instructions, and all measures to save them. Israel is recalcitrant as a refractory heifer that would not be curtailed from idolatry, adultery, murder, disregard for the Word of truth, etc.
Israel and Judah did not know that God was fencing them against disaster, when He asked them to obey and truly serve Him. Like a straying dog who would not hear the voice of the hunter, they were left to wander and be scattered in the open field of the Assyrians and Babylonians, respectively. God will leave them as grasses to be eaten up by their enemies, since they refused to obey Him. Assyrians and Babylonians became God’s instruments to deal decisively with His erring and naughty children. Remember, if you lose your senses and misbehave to God, He will leave the enemy to teach you sense! May we not continue to suffer like criminals, in Jesus’ name. Amen (1 Pet. 4:15).
Devotional Bible Readings For Week One
Mon. 15: God Appoints Rulers For Nations (Dan. 2:21; Rom. 13:1)
Tue. 16: God Divides The Earth Among All (Gen. 11:8; Deut. 8:32)
Wed. 17: God Owns The Gentiles Also (Isa. 11:10; Rom. 3:29).
Thur. 18: God-Created Man Becomes Sinners (Rom. 2:9,10; 1 Pet. 4:17)
Sat. 19: God Gives To All Their Dues (Rom. 2:9,10; 1 Pet. 4:17)
Sat. 20: God’s Decision: Final On Any Nation (Job. 12:21-25)
1. God’s people who are covered by His unseen umbrella should not seek the canopy of men around, otherwise, He can allow them to discover His indispensability.
2. Those who fail to listen and come to the waiting Arm of the loving God would later find themselves in the enclave and at the mercy of the brutal arch-enemy of our souls.
3. It is better imagine than experienced. Better to learn from the bitter judgments that visited the erring Israelites and Jews. It is better to learn from others’ experiences. He who waits to learn from his own experience might not live well to make use of the bitter lessons.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURES: 2 Kings 16:17; 17:6; 1 Chronicles 5:26
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To show that the indispensable God will use any means, including the “enemy”, to deal with the disobedient, wherever they are.
OBJECTIVES: At the conclusion of this two weeks lesson, readers should be:
i. able to prove from God’s Word that He uses even the enemies against His own people, when they misbehave with impunity.
ii. able to defend the fact that God’s love for us does not make Him shut His eyes to our sins;
iii. able to show that God is not wicked at all in deliberately sending His people to exiles; and
iv. more committed to not abusing God’s grace in any way, so as avoid the stiff penalties that attend such complacency.
TEXTUAL SOURCES: 2 KINGS 15:17-31; 17:6,18; 21:1-17; 24:1-20
Thank God for opening our eyes again to revelation through His Word. In the last lesson, we saw the supremacy of God over all nations, even the Gentiles. The Philistines and Syrians were ungodly, yet God used them to deal with His disobedient people. We also saw how God pulled down the man-made gods. May He help us to always stand with, and in Him! Amen.
Here we come to lesson five, MOVES NATIONS AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE, and the first lesson in unit II. We will be discussing how the God of Israel used Assyrians to punish His own people — the Northern Israel. For the sin of Jeroboam, which is idolatry and oppression. God raised enemy nations to scatter and take them away. God particularly stirred up the spirit of foreign kings and helped them to Judge Israel, taking them from Samaria to Assyria to the extent that they never returned, till this day.
The Southern Israel, Judah, did not learn from the disaster that took their brethren in the north away. Therefore, they too were enmeshed in the sin of Manasseh who took after the abominations of the surrounding nations — idolatry, murder and all immoralities that desecrated God’s holy Temple and people. So, God also empowered the Babylonians to punish, oppress and carry them away from Jerusalem to Babylon.
The focus of this lesson is not to itemise what the people did, but the position of the supreme God over all nations and situations. God cannot compromise His standard of holiness because we are His beloved people and nations. All nations belong to Him and He administers all, as He wills. May we never be adamant to His leading, anymore. Amen.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
This lesson is divided into two sections, I and II. Each of the sections is further divided into A and B, respectively.
DIVISION I: HELPS ASSYRIAN TO CAPTURE SAMARIA:
This section which splits into two categories deals with how God assessed the kings of Israel and found them to have followed Jeroboam in his idolatrous, disobedient, murderous and evil ways. Having raised up prophets for their return from idolatrous practices and their consequent rejection of His law, He raised up and empowered heathen kings, Pul and Tiglath Pileser of Assyria against Israel, to drag her into exile in Assyria. God’s righteousness cannot condone sin whether and however it is found. There is no discrimination when it comes to the matter of God’s righteousness.
DIVISION II: HELPS BABYLON TO CAPTURE JUDAH
In this division, we would see the disobedient Southern Kingdom, Judah, who did not learn from the first horse that fell into the pit. Judah and her kings committed the sin of Manasseh who was fierce and cruel in the worship of strange gods. He served idols with impunity. Since they took after the abominations of the ungodly nations, God also did not hesitate to raise and empower raiders to carry them away to Babylon. If they kicked against their loving Father, they would face hell among cruel allies — Babylon.
I. HELPS ASSYRIA TO CAPTURE SAMARIA
A. FOR THE SIN OF JEROBOAM
B. JUDAH EVENTUALLY PLUNDERED
II. HELPS BABYLON TO CAPTURE JUDAH
A. FOR THE SIN OF MANASSEH
B. JUDAH EVENTUALLY PLUNDERED.
I. HELPS ASSYRIA TO CAPTURE SAMARIA (2 Kings 15:17-31; 17:6,18)
Assyria was a nation in northern Mesopotamia in the Old Testament times that become a large empire during the period of the Israelites kings. Their expansion into the region of Palestine had great negative influence on Israel. God’s hand is clearly seen in this expansion and the eventual victory over and exile of Israel. Believers need to be careful of their attitudes to God’s Word lest He allows their ungodly neighbours to deal ruthlessly with them.
A. FOR THE SIN OF JEROBOAM (15:17-31)
And he did evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not depart all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin (v. 18).
i. vv. 17-18: God, the King of all nations, is the true judge of all, kings and subjects alike (Psa. 50:5ff; 75:7; Eccl. 3:17; Ezk. 34:17; 34:20). He brought Menahem to Israel’s throne. He alone could give the real assessment of his reign. In His righteousness, He compared King Menahem to the terribly corrupt King Jeroboam. Under Menahem’s watch, the moral and religious life of Israel were disgraceful (cf. Kgs. 12:28:33).
ii. vv. 19,20: God raised Pul king of Assyria against the land as punishment for following the godliness path of Jeroboam. Instead ox Manahem to seek refuge in God, he chose to heavily ‘bribe’ the Assyrian lord not to carry him away. He who refuses to dwell in the secret place of the Most High may not escape the evil wind from the camp of the enemies (cf. Psa. 91:1).
iii. Israel remained a stooge of the enemy nations because God was no more on their side. Instead of seeking God’s help, he went about seeking man’s favour, using God’s resources wrongly. Where does your help come from (Psa. 121:1)?
iv. vv. 20ff: Israel continued to plunge farther away from God. Their kings, Pekaniah (vv. 23-26), Pekah (vv. 27-31), and Hoshea (17:1,2), all toed the godless path of Jeroboam. God doesn’t take such rebellion lightly. His righteousness cannot condone such. (cf. Jer. 23:1ff)? Sometimes are as their leaders and all may have to suffer the same fate when God’s love becomes unappreciated.
B. SAMARIA EVENTUALLY PLUNDERED (15:29-30; 17:6,18)
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes (17:6).
i. 15:29: Since they had chosen to rebel against the Master of the universe with impunity (cf. 17:7-17), the righteous God began to sell them off into the hands of the gentiles gradually. Those who neglect their God face many troubles; not because the enemies are strong, but God strengthen them to punish the erring people of His.
ii. The Assyrians were merciless and ravenous people, whose army was ruthless and effective, as God enabled them at that time.
iii. v. 30: God allowed insurrections and coup d’etat in the camp of His erring people. They killed one another for position and fame. God would not stop them; they had to be punished. Stop provoking Him (cf. Isa. 1:4-6).
iv. 17:6,18: The last straw that broke the camel’s back was during the reign of Hoshea, when Tiglath Pileser, king of Assyria took Samaria and carried it away to Assyria. Great men became poor and powerless (Hos. 10:3,7,15), since they jettisoned the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom (cf. Job. 28:28; Prov. 9:10). God allowed it.
v. The river that will sweep a whole city may start from pulling the little fence by the city wall. From heavy taxation to oppression, God’s children were finally carried away into exile
Yet, God’s hand was fully in it. The 10 Northern tribes, forcibly resettled in Assyria became known as the ten lost tribes (1 Chro. 5:26). May we not be lost!
1. A man under God’s sentence for sins committed cannot be helped by anyone. Seeking help outside God is suicidal.
2. God superintends over all nations. Sometimes, He uses the ungodly to deal with His erring children. Be careful you are not underrating Him.
WORK TO DO
Explain why the loving God of Israel helped ungodly people to carry His own people away. Can it happen today?
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO WORK TO DO
i. God’s love is unmatched, and He still loves us in the face of discipline.
ii. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. God has armed us with His words, prophets and leaders to guide us when we seem to be straying (2 Chr. 24:19; Jn. 12:48).
iv. God’s patience is unequalled and unparalleled, which His children abuse with impunity.
v. Sometimes, as children of the loving Father, we often think we can get away with our messes. No! He will not wait for eternity.
vi. He only allows captivity as the last resort, when He has employed all avenues to make us repent and yield to Him.
vii. God uses the ungodly to deal with His children, sometimes, when they mingle with them and forget Him.
viii.If they are embarrassed and disappointed by their ungodly lovers, they would return to their true and loving God.
ix. Yes! It is happening today, though may not be as visible as in days of old. God has never tolerated corruption, and He would never do.
x. Many of the disappointments and troubles we face today may be due to our abandonment of God, forcing Him to allow those evils.
xi. If He waits for a change that doesn’t come from you, will He continue to wait that wickedness persists?
II. HELPS BABYLON TO CAPTURE JUDAH (2 Kings 21:1-17; 24:1-20).
28th, Mar. 2021
Babylon was a nation in southern Mesopotamia during OT times, which eventually became a large empire. They built a sizable empire through treaties, vassalage and conquest. They also expanded their territory to Jerusalem as God would allow them for the sin of His people.
A. FOR THE SIN OF MANASSEH (21:1-17; 24:1-7)
Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done (24:3).
i. 24:1,2: Yahweh Himself raised raiders against His own people, Judah, because of their rebellion and recalcitrance (cf. 20:17; 22:16; 23:17).
ii. v. 3: For Manasseh’s sins, Judah was no more in the good book of their God. It was as bad as God wanting to remove them from His sight. God never tolerates sin though, He loves the sinner.
iii. 21:1,2: Manasseh took after the abomination of the ungodly nations, whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel — idolatry, murder and all immoralities, despite that He was given the privilege to be one of the youngest to ascend the throne of Judah. What a fool! This invoked God’s wrath occasioned by His righteous judgment.
iv. vv. 3-9: He took idolatry to a very terribly abominable height in Judah. He and his co-idolaters did it with impunity.
v. vv. 16,17: Manasseh, like some other kings of Judah, was fierce and cruel, just as the gods he worshipped. He became unprincipled, merciless and tyrannical. His hand went against the innocents and even the prophets of Yahweh, who refused to conform to his ungodly ways (cf. 24:4). What an error! King jehoiakim followed this evil path (23:35-37).
vi. 21:10-15: These inform why God will sell them off. Both leaders and the led had kicked against the living God; they must face the music (cf. Prov. 16:5).
vi. What do you expect God to do where everyone is joined with another to do evil? Who would God send when His prophets were also involved in corruption and idolatry? All of them were corrupt, and so, reaped the reward of corruption, as they were dragged to the land of sorrow (Gal. 6:8a)
B. JUDAH EVENTUALLY PLUNDERED (24:1-3,10-20)
And he carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house, and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said (v. 13).
i. vv. 1-3: Since they won’t serve the Living God, the righteous Controller of the universe subjected them to foreign (gentile) lord, and later, to a band of raiders. God has never been in want of instrument to punish offenders. He is always in charge (Psa. 24:1)
ii. vv. 10-12: Because God orchestrated the raid of His people, no one could escape. The king lost his respect and dignity, and was later imprisoned. Fools don’t know how easy God’s yoke is, until the more heavy yoke of Satan comes on them (cf. Matt. 11: 29, 30).
iii. vv. 13-16: God enabled the Babylonians to spoil the Temple three times (v. 13; 25:13-17; Dan. 1:2,5), and carry into captivity, all Jerusalem. God sovereignly sold His erring people to the hands of His enemies (cf. Psa. 115:3).
iv. v. 13c: Everything happened as the Lord has said. God’s Word is final and unchangeable. What He says must come to pass (Matt. 5:18; 24:35; Isa. 55:10ff). He is sovereign in words and deeds.
v. vv. 17-20: So God, in His fury, finally removed Judah from their fertile land into slavery. Don’t take God for granted. Though He is merciful, He will not continue to wait when you have already sealed off your heart. No one can withstand His anger!
iv. God’s mercy informs His many pleas, warnings and rebukes. How long will He wait for us to want to alter His plans? Forever? No! When the elastic limit of His mercy is exceeded, His anger must break out on the final impenitent (Rom. 2:5,6).
1. God will continue to punish the son for the sin of the father, as long as the son chooses to walk in the father’s evil path. The horse that fell in the pit ought to teach others some good lessons.
2. God will not hesitate to allow those who have fallen in love with the world to be carried away by it. If He is plenteous in mercy, His anger is also fierce.
1. Explain the sins of Jeroboam and Manasseh.
2. God is supreme over all nations. Prove this assertion by the God-monitored carting away of Israel and Judah.
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
ANSWERS TO QUESTION 1
THE SIN OF JEROBOAM. Who was he?
i. His name means: “He who contends for justice”. He was a privileged individual who God put on the throne over the 10 Northern tribes after Solomon.
ii. He built high places and idol templates at Dan and Bethel using golden calves to represent God’s presence (1 Kgs. 15:25,26).
iii. He introduced strange worship practices (1 Kgs. 12:25-33).
iv. He made Priests of people who were not Levites.
v. He changed the ancient landmark.
vi. He failed to yield to prophetic warnings (1 Kgs. 13:1-4:20).
THE SIN OF MANASSEH. Who was he?
i. His name means God has caused me to forget trouble.
ii. Son of Hezekiah (2 Kgs. 20:21) became king over the two Southern tribes
iii. His unfaithfulness led to Judah’s ultimate destruction and exile (2 Kgs. 21:10-16).
iv. He brought all the abomination of the heathen nations to Judah.
v. He built high places, altars of baals and groves that his father once destroyed.
vi. He led the people to worship starry hosts of heaven, and made his son to pass through fire.
vii. He committed more sins than the Amorites and shed innocent blood.
ANSWER TO QUESTION 2:
a. The Earth is the Lord’s and it’s fullness thereof (Ps. 24:1).
b. He is the Governor of nations (Ps. 22:28; Is. 46:9).
c. Israel thought she could do anything and get away with it but God is supervising her.
d. He does what He likes with anybody and anyhow (see Rm. 9:18-21).
e. As He opens He eyes, so are other nations, like Assyria and Babylon. No one passes his limit and go scot free.
f. He promised Judah He would bounce back on the nation He used to punish them. That’s what He does (Is. 46:10).
g. He allowed Israel to be taken away first to see their sister at the south would have a rethink. Since she didn’t, He also dealt with her the same way.
h. God made the once lovers of Israel and Judah to rise against them.
i. His purpose must stand. Who can stand against Him (Is. 46:10b)?
We have seen and head of parents who would call police for their children to be remanded in custody for two or three weeks, so they could learn some lessons for failing to accept discipline at home. An adage says disciplining a child does not really go fully well with the parent(s) “. Yes, he wants his son or daughter disciplined, but when the beating is getting too much, he wants to say,” I didn’t expect you’ll go so far!”
That is not the case with God, especially in the matter concerning unrepentant sinners. He willingly surrendered His stubborn children for grievous discipline in the hands of their enemies. But the enemies. But the enemies couldn’t go too far than He strengthened them. The same applies to us, today. If we fail to listen to the loving Father, we may not have Him to blame, if He employs the hands of wicked strangers to deal ruthlessly with us. For Northern Israel, they didn’t return home while His grace brought a remnant of the South back to their land. Don’t wait till you are humiliated! Return to His will today!.
Thank God for how He has chosen to bless us for the past two weeks. We now know that as much as no one is a cast away before God, so also is no one immune to face His judgment when we disobey His loving commands. With God, there is no sacred, cow; the untouchable. None is a permanent friend of God, neither is any His permanent foe. Your character will tell where He places you. May we never continue to be His enemies, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK TWO
Mon. 22: God Isn’t Happy With Worldliness (1 Sam. 8:4-22)
Tue. 23: God Gives Power As He Wills (Psa. 115:3; Dan. 4:17)
Wed. 24: God Owns And Controls Kings’ Hearts (Prov. 20:24; 21:1)
Thur. 25: God’s Kingdom Rules Over All (Psa. 11:4; 103:19)
Fri. 26: God Warns Before Punishing The Erring (Isa. 1:18-31)
Sat. 27: God Will Be Exalted By All (Psa. 46:8-11).