From 2 Kings 17 we see that the ancestors to the Samaritans who were moved into the land of Israel by Assyria after the fall of Israel in the 8th century B.C. did not fear the LORD. And so God punished them sending lions into the land to kill some. The people sought help from the king of Assyria who responded by sending a priest of Israel to teach the people how they should fear the LORD. But the people continued in their idolatry.
I read this and wondered who this priest was. Was he an Ezra or Elijah firebrand reformer? Or was he one of the compromised priest who led the people of Israel into ruin in the first place? If only one priest can be chosen, as the king of Assyria commanded, wouldn’t you want one with the zeal and courage of a real reformer who tears down altars and pagan idols? Certainly you would. But this didn’t happen.
I wonder about today if because of the spiritual decline of America if the President ordered it be remedied, would he send a faithful Gospel preacher who preaches book, chapter and verse? Or would he send a Jeremiah Wright? Or would he send a Joel Osteen to bring the nation back to God? What kind of minister of God would allow the idols to continue? A true man of God wouldn’t undertake the job without provision from the king to clean house and establish a land where Yahweh alone was God and where worship was no longer the feel good experience religious folks have grown dependent on; but was always is in truth and spirit. A true man of God would settle for nothing less than a return to the Scriptures.
Preachers today ought to be like the faithful prophets of old who preached true and demanded repentance.
Said in love, Dan Mayfield
Cities of Israel Filled with Strangers, 2 Kings 17
24 The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and from Cuthah and from Avva and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons of Israel. So they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 At the beginning of their living there, they did not fear the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them which killed some of them. 26 So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have carried away into exile in the cities of Samaria do not know the custom of the god of the land; so he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them because they do not know the custom of the god of the land.”
27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Take there one of the priests whom you carried away into exile and let him go and live there; and let him teach them the custom of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away into exile from Samaria came and lived at Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the houses of the high places which the people of Samaria had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived. 30 The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 They also feared the LORD and appointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who acted for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They feared the LORD and served their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been carried away into exile.
34 To this day they do according to the earlier customs: they do not fear the LORD, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances or the law,