Have you ever looked back at your life to see how far you’ve come?
I wonder if the Israelites ever did.
God took one man, Abram. He had Isaac, the son of the magnificent and overwhelming promise. God would make of him a great nation.
Isaac had Jacob and Jacob had twelve sons.
Jacob became Israel and Israel sojourned in Egypt for 400 years. They grew into a mighty people but an enslaved people. Had God’s promise failed? No. God delivered them through signs and wonders and led them in the wilderness.
Over hundreds of years Israel grew and God provided for them a land and a king. God proved faithful to them when they were faithless.
The high point is the reign of King David. In 2 Samuel 7, God makes a glorious covenant with David promising him that he will not lack a descendant on the throne. But after Solomon things go from bad to worse. The kingdom broke apart and the people turned their backs on the God who created them and redeemed them and chose them for his own.
God is never surprised. God knows what is in man. And God is in control the whole time. His people have turned their backs on him but he will continue his faithfulness to them. He will discipline them by exiling them out of the land. He will cleanse the land of idolatry and bring them back.
This is a very low point in Israel’s story, but this is not the end of the story for Israel, the nation created from one man and borne along by God’s mercy and grace.