Perhaps you have watched them on TV—CSI, CSI: NY, CSI:
have been popular programs. In fact, CSI
is the most watched television program in the world. For the few who are clueless, it stands for
Crime Scene Investigation—and focuses on investigators using cutting edge
forensics to solve crimes. Miami
Today, we are going to investigate a real crime scene. This crime took place centuries before the birth of Christ, yet the evidence of the horrible act will not require advanced technology and years of training—just one tool—a Bible.
The crime scene is ancient
. If you go there today, you will find a high
hilltop, empty of residents, devoid of anything but a few ruins—a barren spot
where a once thriving city stood. It was
a place of commerce, a place where soldiers stood guard on massive walls, a place
where families were raised, a place where kings governed—all that you would
expect from an urban capital like Samaria Washington, Paris, London or . But, today there is only silence. That city is dead. Moscow
It is a crime scene.
The crimes were committed against God. The laws that were broken were His. The conquest of the city and the captivity of her citizens were due to God’s judgment on their wicked conduct.
Although the Assyrians besieged and at last conquered
and its capital, ,
they were only the sword God wielded in His hand. In another sense, however, the Israelis
committed suicide. God would have been
their friend, rather than their foe, had they yielded to His will. None could
have overcome them, for the Lord would have protected them rather than punish
them, had the people been obedient. Samaria
They were given ample warning and abundant occasion to repent, but they persisted in their death march and would not turn back and live.
“Still, the Lord warned
Israel and through every prophet and
every seer, saying, ‘Turn from your evil ways and keep My commands and statutes
according to all the law I commanded your ancestors and sent to you through My
servants the prophets.’ But they would not listen. Instead they became
obstinate like their ancestors who did not believe the Lord their God.” (2 Kings 17:13-14 HCSB) Judah
As we investigate, and excavate the remains of that once bustling metropolis, we see the death was self-inflicted—and needless. They first rejected the Lord, and then He rejected them.
“They rejected His statutes and His covenant He had made with their ancestors and the decrees He had given them. They pursued worthless idols and became worthless themselves, following the surrounding nations the Lord had commanded them not to imitate. They abandoned all the commands of the Lord their God. They made cast images for themselves, two calves, and an Asherah pole. They worshiped the whole heavenly host and served Baal. They made their sons and daughters pass through the fire and practiced divination and interpreted omens. They devoted themselves to do what was evil in the Lord's sight and provoked Him. Therefore, the Lord was very angry with
and He removed them from His presence. Only the tribe of Israel remained.
Even Judah Judah
did not keep the commands of the Lord their God but lived according to the
had introduced. So the Lord rejected all the
descendants of Israel ,
afflicted them, and handed them over to plunderers until He had banished them
from His presence.” (2 Kings 17:15-20 HCSB) Israel
We do not look at this crime scene merely to satisfy some morbid curiosity. God has placed this story in the Word of God as a warning for our nation—for all nations. The Scripture is clear, “The wicked will return to Sheol—all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17 HCSB). Sheol is the Hebrew word for the realm of the dead. Nations are born—they have a lifespan—and they die.
But, we are not quite there—not yet. There is time for repentance. Another warning is going out today. God is permitting me, His servant, to confront the nation for our sinfulness and summon us to seek the Lord, while He may be found. Far from the only voice, there are still numerous preachers and people of God, who are faithful to intercede in prayer and intervene in the lives of those running rough-shod toward hell.
Will we be obedient or obstinate? We don’t want CSI:
Samaria to become CSI: . America