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Oded rescues captured women and children

Prophet Oded rescues captured women and children.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian
King Ahaz (735-715 AD) became King of Judah at the age of 20. He turned his back on God to worship Baal and other false gods instead. Others in the nation followed his wicked example. – Slide 1
Many years before, the Jewish people had been divided into two nations. King Ahaz ruled the Jews in the south, while King Pekah ruled the Jews in the northern Kingdom of Israel. Both King Ahaz and King Pekah are described in the Bible as ‘evil’ rulers who disobeyed God. – Slide 2
King Pekah joined forces with King Rezin of Aram (Syria) to invade Judah and do battle with King Ahaz. King Ahaz, who had been so disobedient, did not have God to protect him. – Slide 3
In one day of fighting, the armies of Israel and Aram killed 120,000 of Judah’s troops. – Slide 4
Zichri, a great warrior from the tribe of Ephraim, is mentioned as killing Maaseiah, the son of King Ahaz, along with the King’s administrator, Azrikam and the King’s second in command, Elkanah. – Slide 5
King Ahaz survived the battle, but a large number of people were captured and deported back to Damascus in the land of Aram. – Slide 6
However, the armies from Israel also captured 200,000 Judean women and children and tremendous amounts of booty. – Slide 7
It did not matter that the women and children prisoners were fellow Jews. The army of Israel planned to take them back to Samaria in Israel to sell them as slaves. They also intended to steal their animals and treasures. – Slide 8
The women and children were marched on the trip north along with the stolen booty. – Slide 9
Among them were those who were old and weak. Many were hungry and without adequate clothing or footwear. – Slide 10
On the trip north the captives had to pass through the land belonging to the tribe of Ephraim. – Slide 11
Although this tribe has sent soldiers to fight, when the tribal leaders saw the women and children taken as prisoners, they knew this could not be the right thing to do. – Slide 12
In the town of Samaria there was a prophet of God called Oded. God had a message for him to deliver to the triumphant troops. He bravely went out to meet the returning army. – Slide 13
‘Look’ he exclaimed. ‘The Lord God was angry with Judah and let you capture them, but you have butchered them without mercy, and all heaven is disturbed. – Slide 14
‘Are you going to make slaves of these people from Judah and Jerusalem? What about your own sins against the Lord your God? Return these fellow Jews to their homes, for the Lord is angry with you.’ – Slide 15
Some of the top leaders of Ephraim spoke out and supported Oded. These men were Azariah, Berechiah, Jehizkiah, and Amasa. – Slide 16
‘You must not bring the captives here!’ they declared. ‘If you do, the Lord will be angry, and this sin will be added to our many others. We are in enough trouble with God as it is.’ – Slide 17
Amazingly, the army officers turned over the captives and booty to the tribe leaders to decide what to do. The four men immediately distributed captured stores of food and drink to the women and children – Slide 18
They gave clothing and shoes to the prisoners who needed it. – Slide 19
Then they put the elderly and sick on donkeys and led the prisoners back to Judah with an armed escort. – Slide 20
They took the women and children back to Jericho and released them to be reunited with their families. The armed escorts then returned to Israel. – Slide 21
And so, because the prophet Oded bravely gave God’s message, and the leaders of Ephraim supported him, over 200,000 women and children were rescued from slavery and set free. – Slide 22
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