Israel did not experience God’s forgiveness because Israel as reflected in her leadership refused to confess her sin. That’s why Israel went into captivity. In 2 Chronicles 28 we read about King Ahaz. His behavior helps us understand the reason for Israel’s captivity. The writer selected three major events from his reign: the king’s idolatry (vv. 2-15), his appeal for help to Assyria (vv. 16-21), and his sacrifices to foreign gods (vv. 22-25).

Ahaz’s heart was far from God. He was more like Saul in this respect than like David. Even though he failed to obey God, like the other kings, there is no mention of his ever repenting when God chastened him. Instead he hardened his heart even more. The reason for Israel’s exile was the hardness of heart that Ahaz exemplified.

God does not want to bring judgment on anyone; individual or nation! He is patient awaiting for everyone to repent. But when people harden their hearts against him time and again, judgment eventually falls. It does in our lives as well.

But the Chronicler never gives up! To him there was always hope of tragedy and despair being turned to rejoicing through repentance. That will happen once more under Hezekiah in the next chapter.