Just One

2 Kings 17:27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.

Just one priest was returned to Samaria to teach the inhabitants of the land about the God of Israel. This is the beginning of the conversion of non-Jews from pagan to God worshippers. The end result was a class of worshipers the Jews would call Samaritans.

All these Samaritans had was the first five books, the Pentateuch. They did not have the books relating to the history of Israel, Kings and Chronicle or the Psalms. Any books of wisdom or prophesy were absent from their libraries.

The inhabitants of the displaced lands where pagans from many nations forced to live there by the Assyrian Kings. In less than one hundred years the people gave up pagan worship and worshiped Yahweh alone.

What a stark contrast this was from the twelve tribes of Israel who were saved out of Egypt by God and then time and time again turned their back on Yahweh and worshipped pagan gods. This practice led to the dividing of Israel into two kingdom both of which tried to buy their way out of trouble rather than returning to God.

2 Kings 18:16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

While this worked to save Judah from the Assyrian Kings, Judah fell to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. These actions bring to mind the harsh warning issued by the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 65:5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

The pagans worshiped Yahweh more faithfully than the divided kingdoms.

Self Service

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua is asking for a commitment of service. These gods of the forefathers and the Amorites, what were they? Idols of some sort perhaps. I know enough about pagan and idol worship to understand that those gods ask nothing to be done in service to themselves. Men have created gods to serve out of self-interest.

Head on down to the god buffet and serve yourself. Take what you like and leave the rest for others. Laugh and mock at other people’s selections. It is all about what makes you feel good in self-service.

Perhaps you don’t want to serve at all. Joshua referred to that in his opening remarks. You can pass up the god buffet all together. Where are you headed next? The issue of self-service is still the agenda, so where is your focus? You pass up the god complex for life without God or gods, so what do you serve?

The issues of serving anything other than the Lord God comes with a complex set of demands upon which you may or may not be aware of the requirements. Are you a user or are you being used? I won’t get into the specifics of each individual category but the essence of life without God is self-service, self-interest and being either a user or being used.

If you don’t believe in God then you probably don’t believe in Satan either. That is the way Satan wants it. There is a God and there is the angel Satan who hates you. His main focus is to keep you ignorant of his presence and distract you from finding God.

Hidden enemies are the worst. You don’t know their agenda until it is too late. What time is it?