Key Passage: 2 Kings 17:13-14 “The Lord warned Israel and Judah… ‘Turn from your evil ways and keep My commands.’…But they would not listen.”
Big Picture Question: Why did God scatter His people? God’s people sinned against Him
Christ Connection: When the people of Israel did not do what God said, God punished them. We disobey God too, but Jesus took our punishment for us. People who trust in Jesus can be with God forever.
Today’s Bible story in The Gospel Project® for Kids focuses once again on the Northern Kingdom of Israel. God’s people in the Northern Kingdom had a long history of disobeying God. God sent His prophets to the people of Israel. The prophets told the people of Israel to repent and worship God again. Many times, the prophets told the people what would happen in the future if they continued to sin.
Sometimes God’s people listened to the prophets, repented of their sins, and followed God. But many people did not. God had been very patient with the Israelites. He had helped them in times of trouble and had delayed their punishment because He is gracious and compassionate. (2 Kings 13:23) But many years passed, and God knew His people would not love Him with all their hearts.
God had had enough of His people’s sinning. They wouldn’t listen to Him, so He allowed their enemies to send them into exile. The king of Assyria attacked Israel and laid siege to Samaria. Assyria captured Samaria and forced the people to leave the city. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was destroyed and the people were scattered, just as God had said it would be. (1 Kings 14:15)
When the Israelites disobeyed God, God judged their sin and punished them by removing them from His presence. Jesus took the punishment for our sin upon Himself. He unites and restores those who trust in Him. Jesus brings us into God’s presence and keeps us there.
Family Activity: Work a puzzle together as a family. Prior to working the puzzle, scatter several of the pieces around your home. Challenge kids to find the pieces and add them to the puzzle. Explain that because God loved His people, He allowed them to be scattered. Remind kids of God’s promise to one day reunite His people with Him forever.