Nevertheless, the LORD did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to provoke him to anger. - 2 Kings 23:26This is not enough for God to forgive them. What the other kings did is too much for his anger to be abated. Why didn't he punish them then? Why is he punishing the people that are following all of his decrees for what people did in the past? Oh, that's right, because these people attribute being taken over by an enemy nation as an act of God when it is really chance. If you disagree then you have to reconcile yourself with an immature God that unfairly punishes the wrong people.
Josiah decides, after hearing the book of law, to clean up Judah. He tears down all the Asherah poles, all of the altars to Baal, and all of the alters to a few other gods that aren't the "real God". Josiah even celebrates passover for the first time since judges. This is exactly what God wants right? The people are following all of his laws and celebrating as he wants them to.
Josiah dies in a fight with the Pharaoh of Egypt. Some time later Judah is invaded and taken over by the Babylonians. The king of Judah is now a servant to the king of Babylon. God has succeeded in making sure that no one worships him.
That's the end of the rule of Israel, for now.
2 Kings: In Review
We've gone from bad to worse on the whole God existing front. These people attribute being taken over and bad things happening as God's wrath. The prophets that tell of God's word in the bible remind me of the psychics on TV these days. They can be convincing but eventually they are revealed to be frauds.
There are "horrible" kings that don't do what God wants them to do. Why doesn't God do anything? What happened to fire and brimstone? These people seem just as "bad" as the people from Sodom and Gomorrah, but they get no punishment.
You may argue that the nation does eventually get punishment. But that's like punishing a murderer with killing his great grandchildren. That's by no means justice.
If anything, the bible is building a case for Deism. God used to be here doing things. Now he's not.
How does your state rank in religion? Indiana is 16, which seems pretty bad (or good depending on who you ask) to me.
Number one in religiosity is Mississippi. And number 46 (yes, there are 46 states now) is a tie between New Hampshire and Vermont.
I really don't have anything to say I just thought it was interesting.
(via The Pew Forum)