It is very difficult reading the 17th chapter of 2 Kings without filling up with tears of sorrow at the tragedy of the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel.
It’s not as though God hadn’t warned them. He had done so on numerous occasions through various prophets. Yet their persistence in rejecting God lead to inevitable consequences. The summary of their decay and decline to the point of being taken away by the Assyrians is tremendously sad. Not only rejecting God, but actively despising all He had done for them but blatantly following idols. Completely neglecting the Lord that had brought them out of slavery on Egypt.
It is heartbreaking. Heartbreaking to see active rebellion against a compassionate Saviour.
Their exile left the land to be resettled by an assortment of peoples bringing their own idols with them. Despite the reintroduction of Yahweh worship, it was always mixed in with those other gods as though He is one among others. That only reinforced the very sin that made the people so repugnant to God. That degree of mixing and compromising continually diluted the place the one true God should have in the land He had given to the people He delivered.
Reading it is a very sad experience seeing the extent to which sin and idolatry had lead God’s people. It acts as a warning to us today that God does not want mixed worship. He doesn’t require one day worshippers who then revert to idol worship in the rest of the week. He Who has brought us out of slavery to sin requires wholehearted worship of Him alone, not adopting the practices and customs of idol worship around us. He still desires that from His people today. He still requires us to turn to Him and remain devoted to Him.
The alternative is to worship worthless idols and become ourselves worthless.
Dear God, help us.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden