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The story of God’s people Israel began with a promise to make them a mighty people who would be a shining light to all nations, so long as they would uphold their side of the covenant with spiritual faithfulness and justice throughout their land. However, as early as the great Exodus, through to the conquest of Canaan and the dark days of the Judges, Israel repeatedly rebelled against God and lived according to the pattern of its pagan neighbors. In the 10th century BC, and just three rulers into the kingdom of Israel (Saul, David, Solomon), the 10 northern tribes rebelled and broke away from the coalition. The height of the kingdom was during the reign of Solomon, but upon his death, it could no longer hold together.
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