When King Solomon ruled over God’s people he made some big mistakes and taught the people to sin against God by worshipping idols. Because of their sin, the people of God split into two separate kingdoms with different kings. They did not get along with each other. Sin always causes arguments and division. Peace cannot exist with sin.
The Northern kingdom (called Israel) was ruled by an evil king named Ahab and an evil queen named Jezebel. Ahab and Jezebel did not love God. They were selfish and mean and they taught the people to worship idols. God was upset with their sin and he sent the prophet Elijah to proclaim a drought over the land. It did not rain for many years and the people could not grow food. They became hungry and poor and their life was very difficult. Sin brings problems into our life and destroys us.
God doesn’t want anyone to suffer in sin. He sends his prophets to warn people to turn from sin so that they would not have to suffer. God sent Jonah to the gentile city of Nineveh and they repented! The people of Nineveh were not even part of God’s chosen people but they listened to Jonah’s warning and God had mercy on them.
But God’s own people did not listen to him even though he sent them many prophets. For example, God sent Elijah, Elisha, Amos, and Hosea but the people did not listen to any of them. God warned them over and over but they did not repent.
Because of their sin, God allowed the Northern kingdom of Israel to be defeated by their enemies.
Read – 2 Kings 17:5-20
Ezekiel 33:11 (NIV)
11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’