Yet the Lord testified against Israel - What rendered their conduct the more inexcusable was, that the Lord had preserved among them a succession of prophets, who testified against their conduct, and preached repentance to them, and the readiness of God to forgive, provided they would return unto him, and give up their idolatries.
God raised up a succession of prophets and seers, who repeated and enforced the warnings of the Law, and breathed into the old words a new life. Among this succession were, in Israel, Ahijah the Shilonite 1 Kings 14:2, Jehu the son of Hanani 1 Kings 16:1, Elijah, Micaiah the son of Imlah 1 Kings 22:8, Elisha, Jonah the son of Amittai 2 Kings 14:25, Oded 2 Chronicles 28:9, Amos, and Hosea; in Judah, up to this time, Shemaiah 2 Chronicles 11:2; 2 Chronicles 12:5, Iddo 2 Chronicles 12:15; 2 Chronicles 13:22, Azariah the son of Oded 2 Chronicles 15:1, Hanani 2 Chronicles 16:7, Jehu his son 2 Chronicles 19:2, Jahaziel the son of Zechariah 2 Chronicles 20:14, Eliezer the son of Dodavah (2 Chronicles 20:37), Zechariah the son of Jehoiada 2 Chronicles 24:20, another Zechariah 2 Chronicles 26:5, Joel, Micah, and Isaiah, besides several whose names are not known. Some of these persons are called “prophets,” others “seers.” Occasionally, the same person has both titles (as Iddo and Jehu the son of Hanani), which seems to show that there was no very important distinction between them.
Probably the conjecture is right that “prophet” נביא nâbı̂y' in strictness designates the official members of the prophetical order only, while “seer” חזה chôzeh is applicable to all, whether members of the order or not, who receive a prophetical revelation.
Life's Most Crucial Choice—Why not listen to the advice of your parents? Before you is the path that leads to certain ruin. Will you turn while you can? Will you seek the Lord while Mercy's sweet voice is appealing to you, or will you still have your own way? The Lord pities you. The Lord invites you. Will you come? Will you return from your backslidings? May the Lord help you to choose to be wholly the Lord's.—Letter 51, 1889. TSB 63.2Read in context »
Excuses for Sin of No Value With God—But David makes no excuse. Justice points to the broken tablets of the broken law and draws her sword against the transgressor. All apologies or excuses for sin are of no value with God. The sentiment of the soul of David was, Who shall testify to lessen the guilt of the sinner when God testifies against him? God's verdict—guilty—has gone forth, and man cannot erase it. [David knows the Scripture]: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” David utters no complaint. The most eloquent psalm he ever sang was when he was climbing Mount Olivet, weeping and barefooted, yet humbled in spirit, unselfish and generous, submissive and resigned. TSB 179.3Read in context »
The words spoken against the apostate tribes were literally fulfilled; yet the destruction of the kingdom came gradually. In judgment the Lord remembered mercy, and at first, when “Pul the king of Assyria came against the land,” Menahem, then king of Israel, was not taken captive, but was permitted to remain on the throne as a vassal of the Assyrian realm. “Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand. And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria.” 2 Kings 15:19, 20. The Assyrians, having humbled the ten tribes, returned for a season to their own land. PK 287.1
Menahem, far from repenting of the evil that had wrought ruin in his kingdom, continued in “the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.” Pekahiah and Pekah, his successors, also “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.” Verses 18, 24, 28. “In the days of Pekah,” who reigned twenty years, Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, invaded Israel and carried away with him a multitude of captives from among the tribes living in Galilee and east of the Jordan. “The Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh,” with others of the inhabitants of “Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali” (1 Chronicles 5:26; 2 Kings 15:29), were scattered among the heathen in lands far removed from Palestine. PK 287.2
From this terrible blow the northern kingdom never recovered. The feeble remnant continued the forms of government, though no longer possessed of power. Only one more ruler, Hoshea, was to follow Pekah. Soon the kingdom was to be swept away forever. But in that time of sorrow and distress God still remembered mercy, and gave the people another opportunity to turn from idolatry. In the third year of Hoshea's reign, good King Hezekiah began to rule in Judah and as speedily as possible instituted important reforms in the temple service at Jerusalem. A Passover celebration was arranged for, and to this feast were invited not only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, over which Hezekiah had been anointed king, but all the northern tribes as well. A proclamation was sounded “throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover unto the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written. PK 287.3Read in context »