For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, which was very bitter; for there was neither bond nor free, nor was there any helper for Israel. 27 The Lord did not say that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash, (14:26-27).
I was struck with that phrase, “The Lord did not say…” I found it an interesting manner of analysis to explain the events surrounding Jeroboam II, a king so wicked.
So Jehoash slept with his fathers and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son became king in his place… 23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel became king in Samaria, and reigned forty-one years. 24 He did evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin, (14:16, 23-24).
But immediately following the commentary of this evil king, the Scriptures go on to record the military accomplishments of King Jeroboam II. “He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which He spoke through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was of Gath-hepher,” (14:25).
King Jeroboam II accomplished restoration for the nation “according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel…” In other words, his achievements were realized precisely because the Lord had spoken. But what was of greater impact to me in this account what was the Lord did not speak.
The Lord did not say that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash, (14:26-27).
And through the hand of Jeroboam, through the hand of one who did evil in the sight of the Lord, who continued on in the sins of his ancestor, Jeroboam I, the very one attributed with the beginning of the northern kingdom of Israel’s great demise, through this king God would save the kingdom of Israel.
Why? Because He Did Not Say He would blot out their name from under heaven.
Consider What He Did Not Say
In What He Did Not Say, He said much. The LORD, indeed, had already said much in His graphic warnings of what would surely happen if His children should turn to other gods.
“When you become the father of children and children’s children and have remained long in the land, and act corruptly, and make an idol in the form of anything, and do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord your God so as to provoke Him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will surely perish quickly from the land where you are going over the Jordan to possess it. You shall not live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord drives you. 28 There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell, (Deuteronomy 4:25-28).
And now, in What He Did Not Say, He provided once again a reminder of His invitation to return to Him in repentance.
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. 31 For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them,” (Deuteronomy 4:29-31).
“So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you, (Deuteronomy 30:1-3).
In the LORD’s gracious gift of victory to Jeroboam II, one can’t help but wonder why. Why did His deliverance not move the people to respond in surrender, worship and praise?
But the plain fact is, the downward spiral continued and would ultimately lead to the captivity and destruction of the northern kingdom.
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria…7 Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods 8 and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs of the kings of Israel which they had introduced, (2 Kings 17:6-8).
How do we respond to What He Did Not Say?
From the very outset, in the garden to Adam and Eve, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to Moses and Joshua, to King David and his descendants, the LORD pledged that obedience by faith according to His Word, would bring His eternal blessings.
- We must remember: He Did Not Say there are many ways to eternal life.“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it,” (Matthew 7:13-14).
So how might What He Did Not Say apply to us, who are saved by His narrow way and guaranteed an eternal inheritance?
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace… 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory, (Ephesians 1:7, 13).
- Yes, our inheritance is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. But we must remember: He Did Not Say that His grace is our license to sin.What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin, (Romans 6:1-7).
- And in our wrestling with the flesh, we must remember: He Did Not Say that we are to remain under the Law.Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace, (Romans 6:12-14).
- And as we strive to live our lives in yielded obedience to Him, we must remember: He Did Not Say we should attempt to live our life in Christ by our own strength and power, or that we would be declared righteous by observing the law. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly, (Galatians 2:20-21).
- And in our wrestling against the enemy and his schemes, we must remember: He Did Not Say that we are to fight in our own strength.Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm, (Ephesians 6:10-13).
However, we must grow in all that He Did Say, in the truth of His Promises and our Position in Him.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, (Ephesians 1:3-4).
Oh, that we would live a life of obedience and faith in full assurance of What He Will Not Say to us when we stand before Him on that day.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness,’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Let us live in such a way that instead looks forward to What He Will Say on that day, as we live in and for Him by faith.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master,’” (Matthew 25:21).