5/30 2 Kings 17:7

7 And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods

The history of the northern ten tribes is one evil king after another. Treachery and assassination made the average reign of the northern kings a fraction of the reign of the kings of Judah. Though God sent numerous prophets to remind them of God's promise to send them into exile if they turned to other gods, they would not listen. They became like the nations that that they had expelled when they first entered the land.

The last king of the northern tribes of Israel was Hoshea. The king of Assyria conquered him and took the people into captivity just as God had warned. Only a small number remained in the land alongside those the king of Assyria sent to live there. The people of the land were then called Samaritans.

What was it that had such a powerful attraction that the people of Israel would risk everything? The gods that attracted them were gods that promised prosperity and whose worship involved sexual practices. Man's heart never changes. From drug runners to inside traders, the lust for material prosperity causes people to risk incarceration. Pornography and sexual perversion comes with its own form of captivity, enslaving the soul and taking over the behavior. Why won't we as a culture listen to God? Why is the Bible increasingly pushed aside so that we can become like other nations? It is the lust of our fallen hearts, pleasure at any cost with a complete disregard for the consequences. These stories of king after king that did evil in spite of prophet's warnings and the captivity of the nation are for us to heed today. If we will not learn and refuse to listen to God, we will experience the same fate.

Consider: Nations are changed one heart at a time. Take God's word to heart. Hear with your whole heart and obey, and you will be blessed (Luke 11:28).