The Warning

Deuteronomy 4:25 When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke him to anger:

26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.

27 And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you.

28 And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

The Fulfilment

II Chronicles 36:14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.

15 And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:

16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of thehouse of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes: all these he brought to Babylon.

19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away unto Babylon; where they were servants to him and his servants until the reign of the kingdom of Persia.


MEMORY VERSE: Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. –Psalm 106:39-41


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The Lord specifically warned the children of Israel what would happen to them if they turned away from Him and served idols. When they refused to obey, all the curses that He had pronounced upon them came to pass, just as He had said.




II Chronicles 36:15 “Rising up betimes”: To start or rise early. 16 “No remedy”: No healing; no cure.
17 “The king of the Chaldees”: Nebuchadnezzar.

Psalm 106:39 “A whoring”: fornication; harlotry; prostitution. The turning away to idols was looked upon by God as spiritual adultery, as a woman being unfaithful to her beloved husband. Thus were Judah and Israel called harlots by God, as in Ezekiel 23; so also is the apostate church of Rome, in Revelations 17.




There are many Scriptures that tell the sad tale of Israel’s backsliding and its consequences. We have chosen a few to clearly express the point of this lesson. God’s Word istrue. He promised, in detail, all the blessings that would have been poured out on His people if they would have kept His laws (Deuteronomy 28). Likewise, He detailed the curses that would be poured out if they turned away from Him (Deuteronomy 29). Israel experienced her golden days of blessing especially in the time of King David, when the nation served the Lord and reigned triumphant among the nations. Reading through the sad predictions of judgments, the warnings and pleadings time and time again by different prophets nearly breaks one’s heart. Then to see the tragic end to such a blessed nation! No wonder Jeremiah lamented, “Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow! How is the gold become dim! How is the most fine gold changed!” (Lamentations 1:12 and 4:1).

I am touched to see how long God was merciful and longsuffering to Israel. He predicted judgment yet gave a space for his people to repent. He promised that if they did repent, He would hear their prayer, forgive them, and bring them back. Again, His Word was true. He did bring them back after seventy years.

Records show that after the Maccabean war, Israel, as a nation, never went into idolatry again, as far as worshipping the idols of the pagan world; however, when Jesus came, He rebuked them, strict observers of the religion of Jehovah that they were, for the idols in their hearts. Again, He gave them space to repent. Those who did were given a way to escape from the final destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70 by the Romans. The ones who rejected God and the gift of His Son were destroyed and dispersed among the nations.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




  1. Judgment: What did the Lord say would happen if Israel forsook Him, and how did it happen?
  2. Exile: How long were they in captivity in Babylon?
  3. Relationship: To what did God compare their idolatry?
  4. Restoration: What was required of them for God to hear their prayer and bring them back into fellowship with Him?




There seems to be a definite pattern throughout history of God’s people—created to be His own special treasure and enjoying fellowship with Him—for them to go astray after a time, lose the fervent worship and service to Him, and be drawn away to other gods, other loves and other attachments. Then reformation and revival breaks out and true worship emerges for a while, only to die down again; over and over the cycle has repeated itself.

After the apostasy of the early morning church, when the bright sun of pure religion was eclipsed by long years of man-rule and man-worship, the dark night was broken by the rays of reformation. The invention of the printing press made the Word of God available to the common man, and people began to believe and preach the salvation message again. But the light was soon dimmed by the clouds and shadows of denominationalism, group-loyalty, man-made creeds and divisions.

Again God brought revival and reformation as people all over the world began to search for the true holiness and oneness of God’s church revealed by the “evening” sun of God’s light breaking through the clouds once more.

In the years that have followed, individuals, congregations and whole religious movements have risen and fallen, following the same pattern: Victory > lukewarmness > worldliness > apostasy. God’s true religion, however, will never again be totally eclipsed. His truth will be preached until the end. The last days, Jesus said, would be like the time of Noah when the “sons of God” would be few, and unbelief and ungodliness would wax worse and worse. God’s final judgment upon all idolatry will soon be poured out. Will you and I be among those, who, when Jesus comes, are found FAITHFUL?

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




The judgment of God is a concept that can be a little difficult to grasp. Love, mercy, and longsuffering are hallmarks of our Christian faith. Tolerance is the message of our world. Life goes by relatively calmly on a day-to-day basis. We are lulled into a belief, somewhat understandably so, that life will always continue thus.

A few years ago, a rain-wrapped, massive F5 tornado tore through the city streets of Joplin, Kansas. An “act of God” is what the insurance companies term such a storm. People were going about their normal daily activities. The sun rose that morning like every other morning, birds sang in the trees, babies were being born, children were playing, meals were being cooked and people were working at their places of employment. All of a sudden, however, life changed. Trees were uprooted and stripped bare. Homes and businesses were flattened, crushed, and mangled. Lives were lost. Complete and utter devastation were left in the wake of that storm.

A storm far greater, however, is on the horizon—the final judgment of God on sin and unrighteousness. Jesus told us that people would be going about their routine activities of daily living on that day; they would be eating, drinking, marrying, and given in marriage. A day just like today. While people don’t like to think about that final judgment day for very long, if at all, does it make it any less real? God is not slack concerning His promise.

We should ever be cognizant that the daily decisions we make are not without consequence. If worshipped, the gods of this world, whether they be blatantly sinful gods or “gray-area” gods will blind our eyes and lull us into sinful complacency which will ultimately lead to our own destruction, whether it be a price we pay here in this life, or on the final judgment day. God is yearningly, mercifully, and compassionately calling for a complete renunciation of them. Full obedience and adherence to His commandments is and will be our means of escape.

—Sis. Julie Elwell