In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 7, Jesus talks about splinters and beams in eyes. This all starts with, "Stop judging, that you may not be judged." In the first reading from 2 Kings 17, we read about the Assyrian exile.
The Assyrians had overtaken the land of Israel and Samaria. Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria, sent the children of Israel into exile. No doubt the people were wondering how this could have happened. After all, they were God's chosen people. The answer? "They did not listen, but were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who had not believed in the LORD, their God. They rejected his statutes, the covenant which he had made with their fathers, and the warnings which he had given them..."
The history of the children of Israel is filled with warnings - some heeded and many ignored. When the warnings were ignored, things generally tended to go south. Perhaps we could look at it like this: the children of Israel got what they deserved. They made their bed and they had to lay in it. As it was with them, so it is with us. What bed are you making today? One that leads to death, or one that leads to life?
Father, help us make our bed carefully today. May we abide by your commandments and always do your will, that our final resting place may be with you, and not in exile. Amen.
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