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. (2 Kings 17:34 ESV)
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. (2 Kings 17:41 ESV)
The “these nations” referred to in the passages above were foreign nations sent by the king of Assyria to inhabit the land of Israel after she was carried into captivity. Upon arriving in the land, they quickly realized that “they did not know the rituals of the God of the land” and things weren’t going so well for them. So they asked the king for help, and he sent a priest of God to teach them the “rituals of the God of the land.” There were a couple of things that jumped out at me as I read through these chapters.
- First thing: the world looks at our relationship with God as a ritual, just like any other religion. They do not understand it, and can’t, without the Holy Spirit’s help.
- Second thing: someone has to go and tell them about the Lord. Don’t assume they’ll figure it out on their own.
- Third thing: fear of the Lord coupled with continued idolatry is still idolatry. Notice verse 34 above: they do not fear the Lord. They think they do, because they follow the rituals, but they do not know God. They feared God, but also served their carved images. As believers, how much of the same do we do? We claim to love, fear, serve God, but do we? What else are we bowing down to?