Alex Enabnit – Programming Coordinator
After a long break, we’re finally back in The Story! If you’ve been reading along with us, we picked back up in Chapter 17, “The Kingdom’s Fall.”
When we left off, Israel (the Northern Kingdom) got sacked by the Assyrians. Jerusalem (in Judah, the Southern Kingdom) would have been next if it hadn’t been for Hezekiah’s prayer and God’s supernatural intervention. However, after Hezekiah died, everything started going downhill for Judah, eventually getting captured by Babylon 136 years later.
Throughout that 136 years, Judah had a string of kings that sometimes followed God but most of them were wicked, rejecting a living God for idols. They kept repeating their mistakes so eventually God allowed them to learn the hard way that there are consequences for their actions. The chapter ends with Judah being carted away into a foreign land and kept there for the better part of a century.
This is not unlike us today. You see, God offers to free us from the guilt of our sins, not an escape from their consequences. While He gives us forgiveness from our sins and freedom from death immediately, the consequences of our actions linger. As Cal put it in the message,
“What do you call an incarcerated man who accepts Jesus? A born again incarcerated man.”
The good news is, God has no desire to pay you back; he longs to bring you back. Although we sometimes have a lot of consequences to deal with as a result of our sin, we don’t have to deal with them alone – God will be with us no matter how far deep we’ve dug ourselves.
Verses from the message:
Psalm 1:1-3; Genesis 1:1; Romans 15:4; Genesis 12:2-3; 2 Kings 21:1-6; 2 Kings 21:10-15; Proverbs 6:27-28; Jeremiah 2:1-9; 2 Kings 25:1-12; 2 Kings 25:21; Jeremiah 2:12-13
Big Idea: God offers to free us from the guilt of our sins, not an escape from their consequences.
Only King Forever – Elevation Worship
Mighty to Save – Hillsong
Oceans – Hillsong
Your Great Name – Krissy Nordhoff