All of the kings in these chapters had one thing in common, which we have discussed before: God does not expect perfection, but he does expect compliance with his highest priorities. And what are God’s top priorities?
In Chapters 14 through 17, the writer observes ten times that the descendants David chose to follow the idolatrous and despicable cultural practices of the people God had driven out of the Promised Land before them, causing the entire nation to be guilty of sin collectively. Had any of the ten kings who followed this path followed the path of David, Israel would have been blessed forever.
But instead, Israel:
- Sinned against God by worshipping other false gods;
- Practiced the customs of the nations that God had driven out before Israel;
- Tried to hide things from God when they did not want to obey;
- Did wicked things known to be despicable to God;
- Ignored multiple warnings from God through his prophets;
- Despised his statutes and commandments;
- Took down images given by God for worship in his house and replaced with images of false gods;
- Sacrificed their children by fire to appease false gods;
- Practiced sorcery and other forms of evil that provoked God to anger; and
- Did whatever their leaders told them to do, never asking whether it was right in the eyes of God, and thus sinning by silence as a nation.
And 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. 
This was the national death spiral of Israel – God had seen enough.
Look again at the bullets above and ask what parallels there may be with America.
- We have begun to dismantle the Constitution and the rule of law with illegal government intimidation, fraudulent leadership, and bitter division – how different are Democrats and Republicans from Israel and Judah, spiraling down to the loss of a nation?
- We have massive cover-ups of illegal government activity hidden from the public eye until it is too late.
- We have obliterated the biblical definition of marriage and condoned other immoral and deviant practices that have sacrificed our children, not by fire, but by murder through abortion and unlimited access to the Internet.
- We have than taken down images in our public places representing our heritage, such as the Ten Commandments, and not replaced them at all for fear of offending someone.
- We have turned to new forms of evil, including violence and terrorism against each other, even in the past few days, that threaten our very existence.
- We have sat back and let all of this happen, “…not with a bang, but a whimper” (T. S. Eliot).
If this is not enough, read the story of King Ahaz (16:2-18). In order to defeat his own brothers, Ahaz turns to ancient enemies in Assyria, plundering the treasury to bribe an enemy to save his political life.
The parallel with the Iran nuclear deal today is all too real. As our President tries to bribe our enemies to save himself while rejecting our allies, what evil deals have been struck?
Ahaz was the beginning of the end of Israel in God’s eyes.
Is America in a similar death spiral? When will God have seen enough?
Will this be a time of deliverance, as God has graced us in the past? Will he raise up a leader who honors God’s priorities to save us?
Or is a judgment like Israel’s exile at hand?
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (2 Ki 17:20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.