19 Jan

God Alone

Something caught my attention today in my daily reading of 2 Kings 17.

Notice the problem with the nation was rooted in an inability to worship correctly. They had drifted from God so much that they had become spiritually ignorant.

This is staggering!

It is clear that worship was central to the health of the nation.

So what was done? They dusted off an old exiled priest and he taught them how to worship.

Wow!

Amazing? Yes, but the worst was yet to come. Despite learning how to worship God alone they chose to continue holding onto their worthless idols while worshipping God.

Can you imagine? Talk about dumb and dumber!

But wait a minute? Who are the real fools? How is it possible that we read this story in amazement yet turn around and do the very same thing.

First, we must ask ourselves, where have all the worship leaders gone and why have we not empowered them to lead us back to the God of Abraham, Isaac and David?

Second, will we not take heed? Oh Lord revive us. Teach us yet again how to worship you and may we be found with empty hands lifted up to you, free of idols, with grateful hearts full of praise to the one and true God!

Read more about the story here.

2 Kings 17:26-41 NLT

[26] So a message was sent to the king of Assyria: “The people you have sent to live in the towns of Samaria do not know the religious customs of the God of the land. He has sent lions among them to destroy them because they have not worshiped him correctly.” [27] The king of Assyria then commanded, “Send one of the exiled priests back to Samaria. Let him live there and teach the new residents the religious customs of the God of the land.” [28] So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria returned to Bethel and taught the new residents how to worship the LORD. [29] But these various groups of foreigners also continued to worship their own gods. In town after town where they lived, they placed their idols at the pagan shrines that the people of Samaria had built. [30] Those from Babylon worshiped idols of their god Succoth-benoth. Those from Cuthah worshiped their god Nergal. And those from Hamath worshiped Ashima. [31] The Avvites worshiped their gods Nibhaz and Tartak. And the people from Sepharvaim even burned their own children as sacrifices to their gods Adrammelech and Anammelech. [32] These new residents worshiped the LORD, but they also appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests to offer sacrifices at their places of worship. [33] And though they worshiped the LORD, they continued to follow their own gods according to the religious customs of the nations from which they came. [34] And this is still going on today. They continue to follow their former practices instead of truly worshiping the LORD and obeying the decrees, regulations, instructions, and commands he gave the descendants of Jacob, whose name he changed to Israel. [35] For the LORD had made a covenant with the descendants of Jacob and commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow before them or serve them or offer sacrifices to them. [36] But worship only the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt with great strength and a powerful arm. Bow down to him alone, and offer sacrifices only to him. [37] Be careful at all times to obey the decrees, regulations, instructions, and commands that he wrote for you. You must not worship other gods. [38] Do not forget the covenant I made with you, and do not worship other gods. [39] You must worship only the LORD your God. He is the one who will rescue you from all your enemies.” [40] But the people would not listen and continued to follow their former practices. [41] So while these new residents worshiped the Lord, they also worshiped their idols. And to this day their descendants do the same.

Hearing this song with new ears in light of 2 Kings 17:26-41