Like a Mirror
Reading 2 Kings 17:6-15
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
7 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 8 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. 9 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.
This is a repeated theme all throughout the Old Testament--God saves His people, His people are happy for a time, then God is silent for a short time, then they think God isn't there, or isn't answering, then they begin to make gods for themselves and follow those gods (or other gods), then God becomes angry, then they get punished, then they cry out to God, then God hears them and forgives them and rescues them, then they start the cycle again.....
When I think about this, I can't help but think about myself in many ways. How often have I sinned against God, but He shows mercy to me. How many times have God rescued me, but I then later turn my back to Him to follow thing that I see to be more important than Him. Things that are more gratifying than Him. How quickly do I turn away from Him....?
You can see from verse 13 that God was speaking to the people and warning them
"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.'”
God didn't just leave them, but He saw what they were doing and warned them. But like children, we adults warn but they still do what they want and then get hurt.
The scary thing about all of this is this part of verse 15
"They went after false idols and became false..."
They became what they followed...they were reflecting what they followed...
When it comes to the type of friends we have, or the things we follow--pretty much anyone or anything we spend the most time with, we become a little like that person or thing. Our minds change, our hearts change as well. I believe that this is one of the primary reasons why God says to follow Him--the ONE TRUE GOD. How can we be true without following truth? Jesus says "I am the truth the way and the life..." In order for us to be true, we must follow truth. If we follow truth, we become true, but if we follow false, we become false. When we follow our lustful idols, our minds become focused in pleasing that idol, which leads to death. But when we follow the Spirit of God, our minds become focused on pleasing God, which leads to life.
Heavenly Father, You see my heart. You see my mornings and you see my nights. You know all the idols that are in my life, but I can only identify a few. I confess that You are not my all in all. I confess that there are plenty of times that I have placed my own lusts before You. There are plenty of times that I have decided that I knew better than You and as a result, I became false. My mind wanders to things that are not of You. LORD, please forgive me. I repent and I need You to give me strength to keep this repentant heart. Let this be a new beginning. Let this be a new beginning that is pleasing to You. Let it be a sweet incense to your nose and a sweet sound in your ears. Thank You LORD for allowing me to come into Your presence though I don't deserve it. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen