Loyal Week 5 Day 2
Today is a short one.
[11b] When I restore the fortunes of my people, (ESV)
 when I would heal Israel,
the iniquity of Ephraim is revealed,
and the evil deeds of Samaria,
for they deal falsely;
the thief breaks in,
and the bandits raid outside.
 But they do not consider
that I remember all their evil.
Now their deeds surround them;
they are before my face. (ESV)
Why would the iniquity of Ephraim be revealed when GOD restores and heals Israel? Maybe everything had been turned upside-down. What was right was considered wrong and what was wrong was considered right. Maybe this upside-down thinking had become such the norm, sin the norm, that it was almost impossible to see truth.
Restoring brings out truth. Restoring a house, making it new again, requires tearing some of it away. In this process, what is underneath is revealed. Ripping the sheetrock away to find rotting studs, rusty pipes, or even no beam where support was required, is like the iniquity of Ephraim and the evil deeds of Samaria being revealed.
What are the evil deeds of Samaria? The beginnings of Samaria includes Omri, King of Israel and his son, Ahab. Lets look back.
1 Kings 16:23–26
 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for twelve years; six years he reigned in Tirzah.  He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and he fortified the hill and called the name of the city that he built Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill.
 Omri did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did more evil than all who were before him.  For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in the sins that he made Israel to sin, provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols. (ESV)
1 Kings 16:29b–33
[29b] Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years.  And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him.  And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him.  He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria.  And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. (ESV)
Samaria, the capital of Ephraim, began its roots in idol worship. The foundation of Ephraim was boldly turning from truth by immediately setting up false gods, remember the golden calves, to take the place of true worship to the true GOD. What false gods is your nation worshiping? Pray for your leaders that they will lead to do what is pleasing in the sight of the LORD.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.
“Dictionary by Merriam-Webster: America's Most-Trusted Online Dictionary.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/.
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Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Together with Dictionaries of the Hebrew and Greek Words of Th. Hendrickson Publishers, 1990.