Many disasters in Israel’s history came not at the hands of her enemies, but as a result of her own disobedience (Deut. 31:29).(1)
c. a. 1000 B.C. Acknowledging their sin in demanding a king, the people of Israel begged Samuel, "pray for your servants to the Lord your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king (1 Samuel 12:19).(2)
A reading of 2 Kings chapter 17:6-23 tells us about disobedient Israel.
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs of the kings of Israel which they had introduced (2 Kings 17:6-8).
The sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right against the Lord their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the Lord had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the Lord. They served idols, concerning which the Lord had said to them, "You shall not do this thing" (2 Kings 17:9-12).
Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets." However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the Lord had commanded them not to do like them. They forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him (2 Kings 17:13-17).
So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah. Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs which Israel had introduced. The Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight. When He had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the Lord and made them commit a great sin. The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them until the Lord removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day (2 Kings 17:18-23).
The highest expression of unbelief by Israel is found in John 19:15; "We have no king but Caesar." The Jews said "no" to Jesus and "yes" to Rome. Voluntarily and very deliberately, they rejected the rulership of God and chose the rulership of Rome instead. That's Israel's connection to Rome! (Sometimes Rome is viewed as the rest of the world - all other nations except Israel).(3)
One of the most tragic words we find throughout the Bible are the two words: "believed not." Moses, the servant of God, rehearses Israel's history in the ears of the people and concludes, "ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice" (Deuteronomy 9:23). And the Psalmist utters this judgment: "Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word" (Psalm 106:24).(3)
Israel refused to accept what the prophets’ foretold about Jesus. New Testament verses like John 5:39 and Luke 24:25-27 offer evidence of this.
The Babylonian captivity of 70 years was a direct result of Israels neglect of the sabbatical year (2 Chr. 36:20-21). One year of captivity for each sabbatical year that was not observed. This means that for a period of 490 years Israel did not observe a sabbatical seventh year Sabbath.
Daniel realized Israel's captivity for the sabbatical year neglect was about to end and While he was praying about it God revealed to him the prophecy known as Daniel's 70 Weeks. This prophecy spans over a 483 year period and tells us about the Messiah being cut off from His people. There are still seven years left to be fulfilled in this prophecy to bring it to a close. We are currently in a "time out" in between week 69 and week 70. The final week is known as the Time of Jacobs Trouble and also known as the Tribulation Period. For more on this prophecy please read Introduction To Daniel 9:24-27 Prophecy.
Throughout the Old Testament God referred to the Jewish people as "my people" (e.g., Ex. 3:7, 10:6:7; Lev. 26:12; 1 Sam. 2:29; 2 Sam. 3:18; 1 Kings 6:13; 2 Kings 20:5; 1 Chron. 11:2; 2 Chron. 1:11; Ps. 50:7; Isa. 1:3; Jer. 2:11; Ezek. 11:20; Hos. 4:6; Joel 3:2; Amos 7:15; Obad. 1:13; Micah 6:3; Zeph. 2:8; Zech. 8:7-8), despite their frequent rebellion against Him.(5)
1). The Christian Jew Foundation 9/10/2003 Messianic Perspectives.
2). The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on 1&2 Thessalonians p.255.
3). Midnight Call Magazine Sept.2008 p.12.
4). The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on the book of Acts (Chapter 3) p. 123
5). The MacArthur New Testament Commentary - John 1-11 p.33.