Prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah warned Jerusalem’s citizens that if they continued breaking their covenants with the Lord, the city and their temple would be destroyed. This prophecy proved true when Babylon initially invaded Judah around 600 B.C., destroying its villages, towns, cities, and religious life.
Jerusalem finally fell in 587 B.C., and the exiled Jews were forced out of their destroyed homeland (Read Psalm 137:1). A few people remained in and around Jerusalem—including the Samaritans, who eventually intermarried with non-Israelites (Read Jeremiah 40:7, 11–12). Later the exiles began to return to Palestine and to rebuild their homes and religious life (Read Ezra 3).
The temple in Jerusalem, finally rebuilt by 515 B.C., once again became the center of Jewish worship.
Because the Jews rejected the Samaritans’ offer to help reconstruct the temple, the Samaritans built an alternate temple in the late fourth century on Mount Gerizim, some 40 miles (64 km) north of Jerusalem.
Thus, the worship of and belief in God fragmented between the new temple at Mount Gerizim and the Jerusalem temple because they offered competing claims of priesthood authority.
.Jesus teaches a woman of Samaria—All must worship the Father in spirit and truth—Those who harvest souls gain eternal life—Many Samaritans believe—Jesus heals a nobleman’s son.
(In John 4:20) Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
But the revival did not last long. After Malachi, as the prophet Amos had prophesied, the Lord sent a “famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord”
Amos prophesies the downfall of Israel—There will be a famine of hearing the word of the Lord.
In the book of Amos 8: 11 says“ Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord”:
This pivotal change had major consequences as people attempted to understand and live the law without a prophet’s authoritative teachings and interpretations.
From the time the people of Israel knew and followed God until the apostasy, or falling away of their faith, took a mere couple of generations! WOW! After Joshua, a great and mighty servant of the Lord, died and his generation along with him the next generation did not know God. Oh, they knew of God… but did not know Him and His word. They were no longer obedient to Him and did not cling to His ways! TO BE CONTINUED…
Please keep pace with us as we continue our series in our next publication remain bless.