Wrestling with Truth January 8, 2012

Our topic for January 8, 2012 was SIN UNDERSTOOD AS IMPROPER WORSHIP based on the 2 KINGS 17 account of the demise of the northern tribes (Israel).

  • This scriptural account represents the end of the northern kingdom
  • Hoshea is the last king
  • It is an obituary which is more of a dirge rather than a eulogy
  • God’s people became divided after the death of Solomon
  • Northern tribes (Israel) separated themselves from the blessings of God
  • The royal line of David continued in the south (Judah)
  • Political intrigue and sin abounded in the north in the 200 years from around 900 BC to around 700 BC throughout the reign of 19 kings
  • God allowed enemies to overrun the north
  • People were deported and the whole area became a wasteland
  • 2 Kings 17 tells us why God brought the northern kingdom down

Israel participated in a woeful mixture of religion which developed a syncretistic faith that was not one thing or another.  God’s long-suffering patience came to an end because of these failures on the part of Israel delineated in this chapter:

  • [Hoshea] did evil in the eyes of the Lord
  • Israelites sinned against the Lord their God
  • they worshiped other gods
  • they followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them
  • the Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their god that were not right
  • they built themselves high places in all their towns
  • they set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree
  • at every high place they burned incense
  • they did wicked things that provoked the Lord to anger
  • they worshiped idols
  • but they would not listen
  • they rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them
  • they followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless
  • they imitated the nations around them
  • they forsook all the commands of the Lord their God
  • they bowed down to all the starry hosts
  • they worshiped Baal
  • they sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire
  • they practiced divination and sorcery and
  • sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger
  • the Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them
  • nevertheless, each national group made its own gods
  • they worshiped the Lord, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places
  • they worshiped the Lord, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought
  • to this day they persist in their former practices
  • they neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances

Which of these apply to us and our nation today?

Overall the people of Israel (northern kingdom) did not listen or obey; they pretended to worship the LORD while they were serving their idols.

“So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.”  They were deported to Assyria.

God even sends lions into the land to get their attention (2 Kings 17: 25-26).

God, however, has called us to be faithful to his law and to be transformed by his grace and truth rather than being conformed to the world around us (see Romans 12: 1-2).

TLT

This entry was posted in Ideas to think about, Wrestling with Truth and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Wrestling with Truth January 8, 2012

  1. Carol Proctor says:

    Thank you, Dr. Thomas. This is a good reminder. I appreciate your message! 🙂

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