Yesterday we looked at Jeroboam and his intentional dividing of Israel from Judah. He did so by developing and encouraging false worship.
Today, we want to read a passage from 1 Kings 17 that is exactly like reading today’s newspa.., er, Churchianity Today magazine. I’ll put a visual of the passage below and only quote select verses. I encourage you to read the whole passage and ponder the gravity and sheer rebellion, both then, and now.
First, let’s read a couple verses from the middle of the passage to remind us of what we studied yesterday. Jeroboam was intentional in dividing Israel from Judah.
21 When He had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the Lord and made them [n]commit a great sin. 22 The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them 23 until the Lord removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day.
Israel was not innocent. They followed and their hearts were exposed! But, Jeroboam led. He had counselors around him and religious leaders who aided, but he shouldered the initial responsibility.
Earlier in the passage we read,
…the Lord warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the TORAH which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.” 14 However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck [f]like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the Lord had commanded them not to do like them.
Israel was warned!! (I am not avoiding Judah, but Ezekiel 23 and several other passages clearly demonstrate that Jeroboam led Israel and Israel led Judah.) The prophets cried out to Israel begging her to teshuv, return, repent. She would have none of it. Her neck stiffened at the warnings and she, in her own will, pursued false worship and the ways of the pagan nations that surrounded her.
7 Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had [a]feared other gods 8 and walked in the [b]customs of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs of the kings of Israel which they had [c]introduced….
What customs of the pagans? Many, actually. Here are a few.
Astarte/Asherah, the pagan fertility goddess often worshiped in the spring with rituals that included eggs dyed in the blood of sacrificed babies, was one of the abominations that Israel picked us from the nations. Astarte is also called Ishtar…. Get it?
Molech was an idol that the ancient pagans sacrificed children to. They would heat a bronze or cast iron image of the deity until it was cherry red, then place their child into the lap or bosom of the abomination. Cherry red (suits) with children in the laps…. Hmmm… Saw something like that recently….
They set up Asherah poles. Tall pointing obelisks with overt phallic symbolism… Looked like this one that actually came from Egypt.
Notice the sun disk underneath? Or, is that to represent something else?
The connections into modern church buildings is stunning.
“But Pete, we don’t do THAT! We worship the God of heaven and earth! And, those holy days and emblems aren’t really connected with those gods… I mean, that’s not what it means to ME!”
(I really don’t give a rip what it means to you!! What does Yahweh see when He sees this pagan syncretism in churches? He heard the screams of every one of those children. You think He forgot?)
More from 2 Kings 17,
32 They also feared the Lord and [r]appointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who acted for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They feared the Lord and served their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been carried away into exile.
Brothers and sisters, they THOUGHT they were doing something that was okay. They even FEARED YAHWEH!! But they were stiff necked and disobedient! He said, ‘DO NOT worship Me the way the pagans do!‘
34 To this day they do according to the earlier customs: they do not fear the Lord, nor do they [s]follow their statutes or their ordinances or the TORAH, or the commandments which the Lord commanded the sons of Jacob, whom He named Israel; 35 with whom the Lord made a covenant and commanded them, saying, “You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down yourselves to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them. 36 But the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, and to Him you shall bow yourselves down, and to Him you shall sacrifice.
Yep, “to this day”, the church does as the pagans do. The church follows the Roman Catholic adoption of many pagan traditions and customs. Look it up! Do the research. Start with an encyclopedia, public library or google. Turning a blind eye is rule #1 in Stiff Necked for Dummies.
Catholicism loved the sun god and incorporated many things from Mithras worship and Asherah/Baal worship… from SUNday to red pointy hats and halos. Look it up!
What is it that Yahweh said?
37 The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods. 38 The covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. 39 But the Lord your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
Sadly, the passage ends,
40 However, they did not listen, but they did according to their earlier custom. 41 So while these nations feared the Lord, they also served their [t]idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.
Believers in the God of the Bible have GOT to wake up and face the music. Repent from the pagan syncretism we have inherited! Return to the ancient paths that God said are ‘forever.‘ (Beware, your pastor will tell you that ‘forever’ doesn’t really mean ‘forever,’ unless it is a good promise, then it really does mean forever…. etc. )
We are exactly paralleling ancient Israel. We do what is right in our own eyes and call it good.
I fear for those who think they know the Messiah. Scripture teaches it will only be a remnant that will be saved. Broad is the way to destruction…. Do you feel like you are on a narrow way, or is everybody on the road telling you it is okay?
Modern Christendom IS committing the sin of Israel. There is a remedy!
4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; 5 for her sins have [a]piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Pay her back even as she has paid, and [b]give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. 7 To the degree that she glorified herself and lived [c]sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’ 8 For this reason in one day her plagues will come, [d]pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.
GET. OUT. OF. BABYLON!!
Exactly and, unless He is a God of unjust scales, unequal wights and a respector of persons then we are just as guilty as they are. As Proverbs 28:26 says ‘a man who trusts in his own heart is a fool’. We have got to shema per Numbers 15 :37-41; I am really dwelling lately on the phrase about how we make the tzitzit so we don’t follow after our own heart and eyes and thereby play the harlot. I feel there is a spiritual, not only physical connection, to wearing the tzitzit that If we wear He will help us stay focused on His path rather than that path of the harlot we follow when we follow our own hearts simply bc we followed the easy instruction ( I think it has to be about the easist instruction) of wearing the tzitzit. If we obey in the little things, He will help us be strengthened in the bigger things. If we can’t do the easy things, why would He trust us with more?
Wow. Several great points!!
Unjust weights!! Yep. I’ve stated before that if God doesn’t judge the church, He will have to apologize to Israel, but since He doesn’t change and His Word stands forever… we best get right. And, right NOW!
On the tzitziot. So many would try to point to ‘the outward works of Torah’ assuming that somehow we are a smarter/better generation and don’t need the physical reminders of feasts, diet or tzitziot. In that assumption we are dead wrong!! Not only do we deny the commandments of Yah, but we reveal our own rebellion…. Nothing new under the sun!
My personal experience is that as I started to obey the seeming ‘little things’ that some label ‘ceremonial’ and ‘done away with,’ then the heart matters became MUCH easier. The Ruach loves dwelling in a clean obedient house! Human wisdom says, ‘Tzitzits are dumb.’ The Father says differently and experience absolutely concurs!
Thanks for that note! Shalom!
Concur Sister and Brother. Amein and Amein!!!! The Truth is so easy to understand when we open our hearts to hunger and thirst for Truth. HE just keeps opening our understanding and our Love for Him. What freedom our Mashiach has given us. Freedom to Love and Serve Him thru HIS LIVING WORD.
Was speaking with a friend s little while ago and he stated that as he pondered (and continues to ponder) the gravity of this passage, it occurred to him that in verses 24-29 or so, the mention of the king of Assyria using some priests to ‘train’ in syncretism has a seemingly strong connection to Constantine using Christendom for his own political and personal gain….
Interesting. Truly, nothing new under the sun… All told from the beginning.
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