Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes -

Part LIV: Blessing By Making A Complete Break With Error At God's CLEAR Warning
(2 Kings 17:24-41)
  1. Introduction
    1. One of the blessings of having God as one's Shepherd is that God leads us in the paths of righteousness, the "well-worn wagon ruts" of righteousness, and that for the sake of His reputation as God, Psalm 23:3b.
    2. However, when God signals we need to correct our path by a strong warning of discipline, it is our duty to make a complete BREAK with the errant path, something we learn from 2 Kings 17:24-41 as follows:
  2. Blessing By Making A Complete Break With Error At God's CLEAR Warning, 2 Kings 17:24-41.
    1. 2 Kings 17:7-23 reports God sent Israel into Assyrian Captivity for failing to heed Him above following idols or heeding Jeroboam I's syncretism, cf. 2 Kings 17:7-9 and 17:22-23 in light of 1 Kings 12:28.
    2. After the bulk of the people of Israel were taken captive, Assyria's king placed idolatrous pagans in the land from various parts of his realm who would intermarry with the remaining Hebrews, 2 Kings 17:24.
    3. Since Israel's land still belonged to God, the Lord sent lions among these people of the land to kill some of them, a fact that revealed they were somehow displeasing the God of the land, Israel's God, 17:25-26.
    4. Thus, an appeal for help went forth to the king of Assyria, help in the form of a teacher to instruct the people of the land what the God of Israel wanted them to do so the lions would stop killing them, 17:26!
    5. The Assyrian king responded by sending a Hebrew prophet who knew the Mosaic Law so he could teach these people to heed the ways of Israel's God and thus appease His wrath, 2 Kings 17:27.
    6. Well, when such a priest arrived in Israel, he settled in Bethel, the place where Jeroboam I had set up a syncretistic golden calf idolatry that reinvented Israel's God to be a golden calf, 17:28. Whether this priest was a "watered down" priest of Jeroboam's idolatry or whether he was a godly man, we are not told.
    7. The Gentile polytheists then started to worship Israel's true God, but they did so in addition to the false gods they already worshipped, thus forming a syncretism akin to Jeroboam I's initial idolatry, 17:29-33.
    8. However, the HISTORY of LION ATTACKS in association with BETHEL of ALL PLACES where this priest of God SETTLED should have caused HIM to be ALARMED at such SYNCRETISM so as to WARN these people of the land to FORSAKE ALL GODS but ISRAEL'S GOD:
      1. When Jeroboam I had initially begun his golden calf syncretism, the Lord had sent a true prophet up to confront him at Jeroboam's false worship altar at BETHEL, cf. 1 Kings 13:1-2.
      2. Now, as a sign of the need for the godly to be INTOLERANT of the mixing of God's worship with Jeroboam I's idolatry, God had told this godly prophet from Judah not to get into contaminating fellowship with anyone in Israel, nor to return the same way he had gone there; rather, he was to say God's Word at Bethel and go directly home lest he come under God's discipline, 1 Kings 13:7-10.
      3. However, an apostate prophet of God deceptively persuaded this godly man to disbelieve God's initial command to be thus separated, so the godly prophet erred in eating with this deceptive man, 1 Kings 13:11-19. Hence, God used a LION to KILL the godly prophet in JUDGMENT for "fudging" in FAILING to SEPARATE from Jeroboam's errant people as PROOF that God OPPOSED Jeroboam's idolatry, and would judge it, cf. 1 Kings 13:20-24.
      4. Thus,200 years later, the priest who had been sent to Israel by Assyria's king was to RECALL this ANCIENT LION-SLAYING JUDGMENT by GOD that had occurred near BETHEL where he SETTLED and to conclude that, due to GOD'S RECENT LION-DEATH JUDGMENTS, he was to WARN the people of the land to worship GOD ALONE! Bib. Kno. Com., O.T., p. 570.
      5. Yet, whether it was this priest or his hearers who failed, syncretism took hold as it did in Jeroboam's era, and these "Samaritans" as they were known in Jesus' day stayed apostate, 17:34-41; Ibid., p. 572.
Lesson: By FAILING to HEED GOD'S HISTORICALLY CLEAR, STRONG WARNING against SYNCRETISM in the form of DEATH by LIONS, either the Hebrew prophet from Assyria's king or his hearers or BOTH parties drifted into deep apostasy and loss of God's rich blessing.

Application: May we HEED God's HISTORICALLY CLEAR, STRONG WARNINGS of JUDGMENT against FUDGING on His TRUTH to stand SEPARATE from evil and error and FOR the LORD!