If you grew up with siblings, you can probably remember seeing one of them get in trouble and punished. Did their example keep you from doing wrong? Maybe that was all that was needed to help you obey their parents! In the same way, ancient Israel’s punishments for disobedience and idolatry were to serve as a warning to nations around them. These surrounding nations would be in awe of the punishment placed on Israel and think twice before they spoke in a lowly way of the Lord. If the people of Israel were to turn their backs on the Lord and worship other gods, the downfall of both them and the temple would be so great that it would serve as an example to other nations who saw. The clear message about sin and unfaithfulness would be seen and understood by those who saw such a great downfall of God’s people.
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