You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says Yahweh, and I will turn again your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, says Yahweh; and I will bring you again to the place from where I caused you to be carried away captive. Jeremiah 29:13 WEB
Israel was on a slow downward spiral of backsliding and began worshipping other gods like asheroth, baal, and chemosh when given the chance. While under David's rule, they had been one nation, united under God Almighty. Then Solomon was led astray by his (seven hundred) foreign wives and by the time David's grandson Rehoboam became king, the nation was split into two pieces. The ten tribes that split off were called Israel, and the two that remained loyal to David's line were called Judah.
Israel immediately set up altars to worship golden calves (1Kings 12:32) and were soon overrun and carried off into exile by Assyria (2 Kings 18:1). Judah followed God a while longer, but when king Rehoboam became strong (2 Chronicles 12:1), they forsook the Lord as well and were then carried off into exile by Babylon.
Judah and Israel was both sent into exile because they ignored the word that God had sent them repeatedly by His prophets, and they continued to worship other gods. They wanted to serve God, and the other gods as well. Countries soon invaded and carried off the wealth of the land and most of the people. After all of that, and all of the warnings, when the people humbled themselves and sought His face once again, God restored them, and as one nation.
There is always a fork in the road. In life, there are two paths, one leads to destruction and the other to eternal life. We all have to choose. Sin has consequences, and being saved does not automatically give you an escape from your actions. Paul wrote: 'Don't be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap.' (Galatians 6:7).
Sometimes we ignore the will and word of the Lord for us and intentionally go the other way knowing full well what we are doing, then consequences come as a direct result of it. I speak from personal experience. Jesus Himself said: 'Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and don't do the things which I say?' (Luke 6:46).
Still, God is a redeeming God and He will bring you back and restore what has been taken away when we change our course and return to Him. When you ask, you will be forgiven. So actively seek God, build that relationship and learn to listen when He is speaking. Include Him in your decisions and invite Him to be a part of your day. He promised us: 'You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.'Prayer: Heavenly Father please forgive me of my sins and draw my heart to You in a deeper way. Let me come to live in the fullness of Your goodness. Guide me Lord, and I will follow. Teach me, and I will learn. Send me, and I will go. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
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