Panic and Chaos
2 Kings 17:1-6
1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and he reigned nine years.
2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him.
3 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria. And Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute.
4 But the king of Assyria found treachery in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison.
5 Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three years he besieged it.
6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
The end has arrived for Israel. They are about to suffer the fulfillment of God’s wrath upon their idolatrous ways. Hoshea is the last king to reign before Israel is swept away into captivity and slavery. Hoshea can see what is coming and in order to avoid it, he cries out to his enemies, begging for help. Not only does he seek help from the Assyrians who will soon imprison him, he looks to other pagan leaders as well. Anyone who looks stronger than he is a possible source of help. It proves to be his final downfall. From this point forward, the 10 Northern Tribes, known as the nation of Israel are no more. God uses Assyria to carry out his judgment.
What we witness in these few verses is the chaos that ensues when we attempt to solve our problems by ourselves. We will never possess the resources of God and when problems loom we tend to run around trying everything possible to get us out of the scrape we are dealing with at the time. That chaos simply produces more chaos. Hoshea went from paying tribute to Assyria to paying tribute to Egypt. Neither of these countries was going to be able to save Israel, but Hoshea was willing to try anything. The one thing he didn’t try was submission to the Lord God and the end of idol worship. The only thing that could have saved the nation was the only thing he didn’t try.
We can easily fall into the same trap. As a people with an over abundance of resources we are quick to begin spending them to solve our own problems. The better part of wisdom is to turn to God at the very beginning and watch as He uses His endless resources to help us and take care of us. The greatest example of this is displayed in our utter helplessness to save ourselves from the consequences of our sin. We are doomed to destruction if we try to use our own resources to save ourselves. It cannot be done. Instead, God poured out His own Son to save us when we were unable to save ourselves. There is no need for panic or chaos. Instead we are free to rely solely on the work of our Savoir; there is nothing we need do. When the realization of our salvation sets in, panic and chaos must flee.