This study, taught by pastor Barry Forder at our Sunday morning service on Sunday 6th September 2015 is part of our series of studies through the book of Second Kings – the 12th book in the Bible.
In this verse by verse study of chapter 17, we see the collapse of the Northern kingdom of Israel at the hand of Assyria. In just under 400 years the nation had gone from a Theocracy (where God was their king) to apostasy, and now being subject to God’s wrath. God had sent prophets to warn them that unless they were to repent and turn back to God with their whole heart, He would judge them for their idolatry and for becoming like the nations around them. The had instead chosen to worship the golden calf’s that Jeroboam (the 1st king of the Northern kingdom) had established, and every other pagan deity they were introduced to by the inhabitants of the land and surrounding nations. These calf’s were not intended to be a different god, but were intended to represent Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But God had already warned that we cannot make anything that would truly represent Him.
There are many lessons for us in this chapter. We must not misrepresent God, either by making Him appear to others as a gentle-loving-kind God who doesn’t mind their sin; or by making Him seem a ruthless judge who will just condemn people to hell. Neither of these extremes are a true representation of God. God is a God of justice, but He is also a God of mercy. In His mercy He sent His only begotten Son, so that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish under His wrath, but have the free gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ.
We see too the danger of wanting to be like the world around us. It may just start as an innocent fascination, but as we are told in Proverbs: there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death!
May you be blessed and challenged as you listen to this study.
You can listen to the audio on this web page, or save it for later listening. The PowerPoint slides in PDF format are also available for download.