Full Devotion Is Required

In 2 Kings, we see God’s people in Samaria taken away to be captives to Assyria.  And in their place, the king of Assyria sends people from other lands to go in and occupy the Samarian land.  When things don’t go well for these people, the king sends an Israelite priest to teach the people there how to worship the Lord God, an an attempt to appease “the god of the land”.  But what happens when a people’s devotion is divided?

“Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places.   The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima;  the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.  They worshiped the LORD, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places.  They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.”   — 2 Kings 17:29-33

The most important phrase here is “They worshiped the Lord, but they also served their own gods…”.  They believed that some service to the Lord might be enough.  But is that what the true God really wants?  Is he satisfied with a partial effort?  For a summary of an unacceptable practice, see the final verses of this chapter:

“They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols.”  — 2 Kings 17:40-41a

Anything less than full devotion to worship is unacceptable to God.


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