Copying the Wrong Cat

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 17:15-20

TO CHEW ON: "But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, 'Do not do as they do.' " 2 Kings 17:14,15

Israel was in big trouble. It was about thirty years and five kings after Jeroboam II. Shalmaneser king of Assyria had discovered that Israel’s present king Hoshea had secretly made a pact with Egypt. When Hoshea stopped paying the tax that Shalmaneser demanded, he arrested King Hoshea and took him to an Assyrian prison.

Then his army went through the countryside, rounding up the people. When they came to Samaria, the gates were locked. But Shalmaneser had all the time in the world. His army camped outside the city and waited for the people inside to surrender.

The Samaritans hung on for three years. But finally, desperate for food and water, they surrendered. In no time Shalmaneser had rounded up all those people too. He marched all his captives to Assyria. And that was the end of Israel.

Israel had had many chances to return to God. Many prophets had preached, warned and begged her kings and people to destroy their idols and worship God again. Again and again they chose to ignore those warnings. Finally God had had enough. The reason for Israel’s fall is spelled out in today’s reading.

What was the main thing to blame? (2 Kings 17:15):
1. bad crops and famine.
2. a weak army.
3. imitating the idol-worshiping nations around them.
4. a plague of sickness.

We aren’t that different today. Like the Israelites we love to imitate those we admire. It’s not imitation that’s bad, but whom we choose as our models. Let’s be careful to choose models of whom God would approve.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to choose my models wisely. Amen.

MORE: Pick Someone to Copy

You have been introduced to many Bible characters: Job, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Joseph, Esau, Moses, Joshua, Rachel, Ruth and others. If you were to choose one of them to imitate, who would it be? Why?

ANSWERS

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