Results of The Captivity

A father’s two daughters were begging him for permission to see the latest R-rated movie. It has just a little bad language and just a few scenes that are bad,” they reasoned. The father baked some brownies for his daughters. They dug in and commented on how much they … More

Added

After a lengthy review of Israel’s sin the writer covers Israel’s deportation (v. 24). The policy of Assyria toward conquered lands was to deport many of the most influential inhabitants. Then many leading Assyrians were imported to take their place. Because these new people did not worship the Lord, He sent lions among them (v. 25).

The Assyrians interpreted this as an act of punishment from the God of Israel (v . 26). Since they did not know how to deal with this they reported the situation to the king of Assyria. The king responded by contacting an Israelite priest (v. 27). He was to teach the people about God and how to worship Him (v. 28). No doubt he was contaminated with calf worship because the writer states that these people worshiped the Lord and also their god. This review of history shows how the Samaritan people came into being (vv. 29-33). They were racially a mixture of Israelites and various other near Eastern peoples. These new settlers in Israel worshiped God without giving up their heathen customs (vv. 34-41). True worshipers need to please Him and not add Him to their collection.

Application

Many people today claim to believe in God but at the same time refuse to give up attitudes and actions that God denounces in His Word. God cannot be added to the values we already have. He must come first (Matt. 6:33) and His Word must shape our actions and attitudes.

II Kings 17:24-41 (English Standard Version)

And the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the people of Israel. And they took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. And at the beginning of their dwelling there, they did not fear the LORD. Therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them. So the king of Assyria was told, "The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land." Then the king of Assyria commanded, "Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there, and let him go and dwell there and teach them the law of the god of the land." So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel and taught them how they should fear the LORD. But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the shrines of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived. The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. They also feared the LORD and appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. So they feared the LORD but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away. To this day they do according to the former manner. They do not fear the LORD, and they do not follow the statutes or the rules or the law or the commandment that the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel. The LORD made a covenant with them and commanded them, "You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, but you shall fear the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm. You shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. And the statutes and the rules and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to do. You shall not fear other gods, and you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not fear other gods, but you shall fear the LORD your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies." However, they would not listen, but they did according to their former manner. So these nations feared the LORD and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children's children--as their fathers did, so they do to this day.

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