Another vantage point is from in the Promised Land itself. This will be tearing down what was rebuilt in the Promised Land after they demolished it the first time. When you look at the line of Kings it is amazing how many did not follow. We start with David who passes the whole kingdom down to his son Solomon. He is told be faithful. He was the one who built the temple for God. But then he turned away and the kingdom was divided. At this point you have Rehoboam King of Judah and Jeroboam king of Israel. So instead of writing them all down, I borrowed a chart at this website. It is just the chart I am using. http://www.vtaide.com/gleanings/Kings-of-Israel/kings.html
This way it is easy for us to see the good kings and bad kings. If you remember about Solomon his wives turned him away from God. 1 Kings 11:4 “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.” 7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods”. So all the idols and high places that had been torn down in the Promised Land had been rebuilt. Deuteronomy 29:24 “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?” 25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them.” After they took the land, everything that had been torn down in obedience was rebuilt in disobedience.
As you follow the life of the kings through 1& 2 Kings and 1&/2 Chronicles, you see a pattern. One would think by looking at the chart above, God was not powerful enough to defeat his enemies. Actually that is not the case as disobedience always leads to defeat, even today. The end of the chart shows that both kingdoms were defeated just as God said they would be if they did not obey. Without going through every King, here is what is said about a good king. 1 Kings 15:11 “Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done.” A bad king was introduced - 2 Kings 16:2 “Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” On the Jeroboam side you have 1 Kings 16:18-19 “When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died, 19 because of the sins he had committed, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord and following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.” These kings either lead the people towards God or away from God.
I don’t really want to focus on the rebuilding of high places, altars, shrines, temple prostitution, idols, Ashtoreth /Asherah poles, (very sexual) Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek (children offered on fire) the detestable god of the people of Ammo. This is what the kings’ led the people back too. As I am writing this I am actually having a hard time fathoming what I am writing. But I have to ask what idols and gods have been rebuilt in our day. What are we sacrificing our children to? This is not to the extreme obviously of a fire but many are sacrificing their kids to the world. In the end it just might be as extreme if they do not choose to live for God. Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Here is an example the god of sport. If someone (Christian) does not tithe to the church or brings their kids to church but spends all their money on the sport and worships at the temple of the chosen sport instead of going to church, this just may be a god. That is just one example and there are many others such as possessions, whatever you have set your mind to such as success. Our country is seeing a sharp increase in eastern religions in our countries except they are being disguised as exercise and ways to cope. Leviticus 20:6 “‘I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people.” The church has been infiltrated with eastern mystic like new age trinkets (magnets, etc) yoga Hinduism, Zen Buddhism etc. Psalm 106:34 They did not destroy the peoples as the Lord had commanded them, 35 but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. 36 They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. 37 They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods. 38 They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. 39 They defiled themselves by what they did by their deeds they prostituted themselves.” The modern church spends a lot of time mingling with their neighbours such as CEO driven churches with their Fortune 5oo models of church growth. The new age has infiltrated the church but few are seeing it. 1 Chronicles 5:25 “But they were unfaithful to the God of their ancestors and prostituted themselves to the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them.” This is what we are doing today by not serving Jesus Christ wholeheartedly. Like the Old Testament kings, our leaders have steered many away from the word of God. Matthew 24:24 “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” This is happening everywhere. Satan is masquerading as an angel of light in both the charismatic and cessationist churches. Matthew 24:15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand). This is happening now.
So even though Jesus came to rid the world of the enemy we have allowed the worship of this world to be built up once again. Because we have done this the power of the Holy Spirit is unavailable, God has turned his face and our enemies are defeating us. It is time to tear down the strongholds of satan once again and rebuild. The first step is to repent for not following God, as we cannot do this without repenting for following our own wicked ways. Then we humble ourselves and submit our lives to Jesus once again. If we look at the kings we see an amazing story about King Manasseh. He was one of the worst but this story should give us great hope. I have included the whole chapter because it also gives the warnings by God. King Hezekiah had already torn down. 2 Chronicles 33:1 “Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. 4 He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “My Name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5 In both courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 6 He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger. 7 He took the image he had made and put it in God’s temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. 8 I will not again make the feet of the Israelites leave the land I assigned to your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them concerning all the laws, decrees and regulations given through Moses.” 9 But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites. 10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.
11 So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God. (WOW- remember God is a gracious God when we repent)14 Afterward he rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon spring in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate and encircling the hill of Ophel; he also made it much higher. He stationed military commanders in all the fortified cities in Judah. 15 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. 16 Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 17 The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the Lord their God. 18 The other events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer and how God was moved by his entreaty, as well as all his sins and unfaithfulness, and the sites where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself—all these are written in the records of the seers. 20 Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace. And Amon his son succeeded him as king.”
This story summarizes our journey. In order for us to see the power once again we must tear down what was built before us. Now we listen to Hezekiah as he leads us back. He said, 2 Chronicles 29:5 “Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. 6 Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. 7 They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity. 10 Now I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us.”
Know that this only went on for so long until God removed them from His presence. When we die there is no safety net. You will be judged according to your wholehearted commitment. Today God has been gracious and left us a remnant. Hezekiah had prayed and Isaiah brought the answer as to what would happen to the enemy (Sennacherib) that was attacking. Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.” When we take the land we are commanded to tear down and we are given the power to do it. Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Jesus said in Matthew 28 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Don’t forget to ask what happens if you do not obey. Hebrews 4:11 “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”