It didn’t happen overnight. It rarely does.
A slow and gradual shift of focus away from God began to shape the hearts and expectations of the people.
Allegiance to their Creator faded as they became increasingly enamored with the allurements of culture around them.
God did not abandon them at once. He mercifully sent messengers to warn them. But they refused to listen and mocked God’s messengers.
History clearly records their choices:
“… all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful, following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the temple of the Lord, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem. The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his…
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