The 700s B.C. Are Back

Introduction: Remember the Asherim? Below are three representations. The first is actually from the Israel Museum. Canannite goddesses. Idols of pagan worship. Indicators of false and damning worship of false gods, ‘gods’ that are fashioned out of material, ‘gods’ made by men that then are worshiped as if they had life in and of themselves. Seems the textbook definition of folly, right? It is, of course, and it’s all back with a vengeance.

Scriptural connection: This morning, I was studying in 2 Kings 17, set in the 700s B.C. Israel was once again apostatizing from the truth. They were ruled by heathen kings and demonic leadership because they got the leaders they deserved. Here is the way Scripture puts it:

And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced. And the people of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up for themselves pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger, 12 and they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this.” 13 Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”

14 But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 15 They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. 17 And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings[a] and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only.

19 Judah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. 20 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.

21 When he had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord and made them commit great sin. 22 The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them, 23 until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day. (2 Kings 17:7-23, ESV)

Observations: Several observations are self-evident:

  1. Invasions by other nations and captivity were results of apostasy (2 Kings 17:6-8)
  2. Politics and culture are downstream of theology (2 Kings 17:7)
  3. What we worship is evidenced via our behavior (2 Kings 17:9-12)
  4. God continued to send prophets/prophetic voices to speak truth to a recalcitrant people (2 Kings 17:13)
  5. Man’s nature in rebellion against the truth is clear (2 Kings 17:14-23)
  6. The importance of the prophet/truth-teller (2 Kings 17:13, 23)

Connections to Today: I read the news online this morning. Men dressed like women protested they should be recognized and lauded on Mother’s Day yesterday.

It’s 2 Kings 17 all over again. Look what America’s become–an invaded nation due to apostasy, worshiping at idols of perversion, where the prophets are exiled, and man worship idols which baffle the mind.

And yet, God is longsuffering towards us. But just in case it’s not clear enough, will God stay His judgment indefinitely? Just ask Israel. Just ask Judah. Just ask Sodom. Just ask Lot’s wife. Just ask King Herod who supposedly spoke like a god (Acts 12:22). Just ask Nebuchadnezzar.

One Final Scriptural Encouragement: “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4, ESV). That, dear reader, is our only hope.

2 thoughts on “The 700s B.C. Are Back

  1. Seems kinda odd that we continue to sing “God bless America” at baseball games. Also, how proud we are that we live in the U.S. and not other countries. How we are so confident that we can defend and defeat other countries militarily because of our vast technological prowess. How the main focus of our churches is that they continue to be tax exempt. That America drives the pornography industry around the world. And of course how we continue to demand the right to kill babies. And the list goes on and on. Yes, God bless America – but can He?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do not see how any honest person could argue against your points, James. The only redemption I see out of this is perhaps twofold: 1) There is a Redeemer & His name is Christ the Lord & He welcomes all who come to Him in true repentance and faith and 2) there is a sifting taking place between the sheep and the goats; the sifting is overt.

    Press on, dear brother.


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