06/28/22 Syncretistic Worship

READING: Isaiah 28:1-29, 2 Kings 17:5, 2 Kings 18:9-12, 2 Kings 17:6-41, Isaiah 1:1-20 

The writer of 2 Kings describes the situation when Assyria captured Israel and took their people into exile. The king brought people from multiple other nations to settle in the cities of Samaria, and those new inhabitants did not fear the Lord. The Lord judged them by sending lions against them, and some of the settlers were killed. They believed the “god of the land” was against them, so the king of Assyria required the Hebrews to send back one of the deported priests to explain the requirements of the “god of the land.”  

It’s not entirely clear if the priest told them truly how to follow the Lord—after all, God’s people themselves had corrupted worship and had not been following Him—but it is clear that the people didn’t forsake their other gods and turn to the true God. In fact, listen to the words that describe their attempt to deal with multiple “gods” at once:

  • “They feared the Lord, but they also made from their ranks priests for the high places, who were working for them at the shrines of the high places.” (2 Kgs 17:32)
  • “They feared the Lord, but they also worshiped their own gods according to the practice of the nations from which they had been deported.” (2 Kgs 17:33)
  • “However, these nations would not listen but continued observing their former practices. They feared the Lord but also served their idols. Still today, their children and grandchildren continue doing as their ancestors did.” (2 Kgs 17:40-41)

What the people apparently tried to do was “worship” God and their false gods, while also ignoring the laws, statutes, and commandments of the Lord. That kind of syncretistic worship just doesn’t work with the true God. We either worship God exclusively, or we do not really worship Him at all. 

PERSONAL REFLECTION:  Are there any false gods in your life today? 

DAILY PRAYER: “Father, help me to worship You alone.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: Isaiah 1:21-5:30

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