In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes. 2 Kings 17:6

The first part of the exile finally happens. After many warnings from God’s prophets, the Israelites are captured by Assyria. Israel lost her land, her identity, everything that was important to her because she abandoned God.

The reasons for the exile are stated. “They worshiped other gods … followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them … secretly did things against the LORD their God … built themselves high places … set up sacred stones and Asherah poles … at every high place they burned incense … did wicked things … worshiped idols … did not trust in the LORD their God … forsook all the commands of the LORD their God … made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves … bowed down to all the starry hosts … worshiped Baal” (verses 7-18).

This summary, as well as showing the Israelites’ rejection of God, also shows how patient God had been over many generations. There were many times in the 200 years since Solomon’s death that God could have removed his people from the land for their transgressions but God waited, longing for them to repent.

Furthermore, Israel’s exile should’ve been an example to Judah but ultimately it wasn’t and about 150 years later they too were exiled, this time to Babylon.

God’s patience is amazing. He has done everything to call us to himself. He longs for us to repent and be in relationship with him. Yet so often we aren’t willing and prefer to worship man-made things instead.