2 Kings Chapter 17 records the fulfillment of GOD’s WORD to send the northern kingdom of Israel into exile, because of their continual wickedness. Over and over, our Beloved LORD GOD sent HIS prophets, to Israel calling them to repentance (2 Kin 17:13), but they refused to listen, and turn from their evil ways (2 Kin 17:14-17). Finally, GOD fulfilled HIS promise and removed Israel from the promise land, sending them into Assyrian exile (2 Kin 17:6).
As we examine 2 Kings Chapter 17, not only will we see Israel refuse to obey GOD, until HE removed them from HIS land (Deu 11:8-12), but we will be introduced to different races of people who are exiled into Samaria (2 Kin 17:24). These people became known as the very Samaritans who exist even today, living in the West Bank. These foreign people adulterated the worship of GOD, as they continued to worship their own gods, while learning to honor our GOD, in order to appease HIM (2 Kin 25-33).
Refused (2 Kin 17:7-17, 2 Kin 17:34-40)
The people in the nation of Israel were not willing to obey The LORD GOD, and their numerous sins were great against HIM. The people in Israel:
- practiced idolatry by honoring and serving other gods:
- two molten calves of gold (introduced by king Jeroboam, 1 Kin 12:26-30)
- made an Asherah, a Assyrian fertility idol
- served a Canaanite idol, Baal
- sacrificed their children to Molech (false god of Amon), by burning them alive
- worshiped all the host of heaven
- built for themselves high places in all their towns, and on every high hill and under every green tree
- burned incense on all the high places as the wicked nations before them
- did things secretly which were not right against The LORD their GOD (2 Kin 17:9, Psa 94:7, Isa 29:15, Eze 8:6-12)
- provoked The LORD, by doing evil in HIS sight (Isa 65:2-3)
Though our Beloved LORD GOD continually warned Israel and Judah through all HIS prophets, “Turn from your evil ways and keep MY commandments, MY statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through MY servants the prophets.” They refused to listen, refused to repent, and refused to obey (2 Kin 17:13-15, 2 Kin 17:34-40, Jer 7:25-26).
How does GOD instruct Christians today, concerning Israel’s refusal? Let us began by citing two truths from The BIBLE. First truth, using the new living translation, “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now” (Ecc 1:9-11). Second truth, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction; so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope” (Rom 15:4). Both the Israelites of yesterday, and Christians today are GOD’s people (Deu 14:2, 1 Pet 2:9-10). And the behavior of our brethren the Israelites, serves as a witness to those of us today. Each one of us, must examine ourselves in light of Scripture, and ask ourselves the following questions.
- Are there idols in my life, that I am I clinging to? (Php 3:19, Col 3:5)
- Is there anyone or anything, I love more than I love GOD? (Job 23:12, Mat 10:37, Php 3:7-8)
- What things do I refuse to repent of, or turn away from? (Isa 30:15, Heb 12:25)
- What things keep me from fully obeying GOD? ? (Psa 119:34, 1 Tim 1:9-10, Tit 2:12)
- What things which furnish no benefit to my soul, can I easily indulge in for hours, while having a hard time spending at least one hour with GOD? (Gal 6:7-8)
- What ways am I willfully disobeying GOD’s WORD? (Luk 9:23, 1 Cor 15:33-34, 1 Jhn 2:15-16, Jam 4:4)
- Am I knowingly not doing the right things? (Jam 4:17, 1 Kin 11:38)
- Am I knowingly doing things the wrong things? (Gal 2:18, Heb 10:26, 2 Pet 2:20)
- Is there something our Beloved LORD GOD keeps warning you about?
- Do you keep hearing the same message over, and over, and over, and over?
- Do you notice things are getting more difficult in your life?
- Do you serve JESUS to please HIM, or to appease HIM?
Removed (2 Kin 17:1-6, 2 Kin 17:18-23)
From the time Israel came out of Egypt as one nation, our patient and merciful GOD spoke to them about obedience, called them to repentance, and warned them about the consequences of their sin (Jer 7:22-26, 2 Kin 17:7-20, Jer 7:29-34). But they refused to listen (2 Kin 17:34-40), and refused to take correction (Jer 7:27-28). Consequently, our Beloved LORD GOD removed them from both HIS sight (2 Kin 17:18), and HIS land that flowed with milk and honey (Exd 3:7-9). HE chose Shalmaneser, king of Assyria to carry the nation of Israel from the promised land to exile in Assyria (2 Kin 17:3-6, 2 Kin 17:23). HE would later send Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon to remove Judah into Babylonian exile (2 Kin 17:19, 2 Kin 24:10-16).
Our Beloved LORD GOD is speaking to many Christians today concerning obedience, repentance, and the consequences of their sin (Eze 18:20-32, Rom 2:5-8). But they like the Israelites refuse to listen (Jer 7:27-28, 2 Kin 17:34-40); and sadly, will eventually be removed from both HIS sight, and eternal life (Mat 7:21-23, Mat 25:8-12, Mat 25:41, Luk 13:22-27).
How do you know “many” Christians today are refusing to listen? First and foremost, JESUS HIMSELF told us beforehand “many” Christians for different reasons would refuse to listen to HIM, accept HIS correction, or obey HIM. We will discuss further who these many Christians are, but we will first stop and define the word “many”. It is an English word that has been transliterated from the Greek word “polloús” (NT:4183) and it means multitude, numerous, majority. So according to the word of our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST the majority of those who:
- once followed HIM will fall away (begin to distrust and desert HIM); they will abandon their faith in JESUS and obedience to HIS WORD because of affliction, persecution, and deception (Mat 13:20-21, Mat 24:10-12, 2 Ths 2:10-11, 1 Tim 4:1).
- call HIM “Lord” (Mat 7:22), professing to know HIM and have a relationship with HIM, as evidenced by their ministry in HIS NAME (Mat 7:21). However, HE will profess that HE never knew them. And HE will remove them from HIS presence (Mat 7:23). JESUS is truly LORD, to only those who obey HIM (Luk 6:46). HE also emphasizes in 1 John 2:3-6, those who truly know HIM are those who obey HIS WORD.
- appear to still know HIM (Mat 25:1-12); they look like virgins (undefiled by the world), waiting for HIS return. But there is no oil in their lamps, The Holy SPIRIT of GOD is missing from their souls. One of the symbols of the Holy SPIRIT in the Scripture is oil, which was used for anointing. We see Aaron set apart for the service of high priest to GOD, by anointing him with oil (Exd 29:7, Lev 8:12, Psa 133:2). Our Precious JESUS was anointed with The Holy SPIRIT of our Beloved LORD GOD as HE fulfilled HIS mission here on earth (Isa 61:1, Act 10:38). And we who obey, are anointed with HIS Holy SPIRIT (Act 5:32, 1 Jhn 2:27↔Jhn 14:26). But just as HIS Holy SPIRIT left the temple in Jerusalem when it was defiled (Eze 8:1-18, Eze 9:3, Eze 10:4, Eze 10:18-19, Eze 11:22-23), HE will depart from those who refuse to obey; who refuse to repent (1 Sam 16:14, Psa 51:11-12).
- think they know JESUS because they think they had fellowship with HIM, “We ate and drank in YOUR presence, and YOU taught in our streets”; they attended Church, Bible studies, small groups, and hung out with other Christians; yet HE will say to them “I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.” (Luk 13:22-28). Our Precious JESUS tells us that true fellowship with HIM is reflected in how we conduct our hidden lives (1 John 1:5-7, Psa 51:6).
Adulterated (2 Kin 17:32-33, 2 Kin 17:41)
After Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, carried the nation of Israel into Assyrian exile (2 Kin 17:3-6); he brought men he had conquered from five other nations and settled them in the cities of Samaria. The people of these foreign nations brought their idolatry into the promised land, causing idolatry in our GOD’s land to continue; HE sent lions among them. In response, the Assyrian king sent a Levitical priest to teach the foreigners the ways of our LORD (2 Kin 17:28). Instead of learning HIS ways and serving HIM only, they served HIM, while continuing to serve their own false gods. Thus adulterating the worship of the true GOD in the promise land.
Please define “adulterating”? To adulterate, means to corrupt, contaminate, dilute with a lesser quality. This very day many of GOD’s people walk in an adulterated manner. They serve both JESUS and their modern-day idols of money (Mat 6:24), relationships (Luk 14:26-27), or desires for things of the world (1 Jhn 2:15-17). These are apostate believers who hold to a form of godliness, but do not walk obediently (2 Tim 3:5, Tit 1:16, 1 Jhn 2:4), because they do not want to hear GOD’s WORD (2 Tim 4:3-4). These once faithful Christians have become contaminated by unfaithfulness (Deu 32:5, Jer 3:21), corrupted with sin (Deu 31:29, Psa 14:3). Some might be thinking these last set of Old Testament Scriptures have nothing to do with the Christian today, but as previously mentioned we must consider Romans 15:4, and know that our Beloved LORD GOD has told us that all Scripture is inspired by GOD and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16).
The Israelites who came out of Egypt did not enter the promise land because their unbelief in GOD, led to their continual disobedience (Psa 78:22, Heb 3:18). And we will suffer that same fate (unable to enter an eternity in the presence of our GOD), if we do not remain obedient and keep our faith in our LORD JESUS until the very end (Mat 24:13, Rev 14:12). the As we close, let us consider the following diagram: