The events which followed the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel are recorded in the seventeenth chapter of Second Kings. The Assyrians moved many of the Jews, who were part of Israel, and sent them throughout the Assyrian world. Then, they brought men from other nations and settled them in Israel. This was an attempt, largely successful, to destroy the ethnicity of the Jews.
There was a problem when all of this happened. The Gentiles who came into the Promised Land brought their own gods and worshiped them. The anger of the Lord was stirred against this use of His land. “Therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them” (v. 25). So, the king of Assyria understood the reason for the problem and said the lions “…are killing them because they do not know the rituals of the God of the land” (v. 26). His solution was to find a Jewish priest and send him to Bethel to teach them how to fear God (v. 28).
What was the result of all of this? “They feared the Lord, yet served their own gods—according to the rituals of the nations…they did not obey, but they followed their formal rituals…so the nations feared the Lord, yet served their carved images” (vs. 33, 40, 41).
What happened in that land is happening in our own land. Those people of the fallen northern kingdom did not like what they had been taught about the God in whose land they now dwelt. They simply redefined the God of Israel and ignored what He had said. Perhaps their fear of the lions was greater than their fear of the Lion of Israel. It is obvious they accepted some of the “rituals” of Judaism but brought in a new god they defined. The actual truth about that situation is found in verse thirty-four. “They do not fear the Lord, nor do they follow…the commandment which the Lord commanded.” Isn’t this is what is happening in our land?
We have redefined God and, while ritualistically following Him in some ways, we are serving our newly defined God! Think of all that is happening with the elevation of our own ideas. God’s view of marriage has been laid aside, and the “new God” accepts our own definitions of marriage. God’s view of worship being centered on all humbly praising Him has been replaced with worship that is man-centered and is designed to make us feel spiritual. The applause is given to Christian entertainers instead of reverence directed toward heaven. Look at all of Christendom and see if we are not doing as those in Israel.
It is high time for our nation, and us individually, to truly fear God and keep His commandments.