2 Kings 17-18 B

“So these nations feared the Lord and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children’s children—as their fathers did, so they do to this day.” (17:41)

“But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem’?” (18:22)

I think it’s safe to say, Israel’s neighbors are pretty confused about the LORD right about now. Is He just another god to add to a growing polytheistic collection? Is He the one they’ve been worshipping on the hills through child sacrifices and sex acts? This chaotic understanding was most likely an extension of Israel’s climaxed rebellion, and Judah’s occasional worship whiplash.

With Samaria successfully conquered, Assyria probably felt Jerusalem would be the same easy target. They were, after all, two branches of the same tree.

So while the Northern Kingdom of Israel defamed the LORD who brought them out of Egypt; Hezekiah was poised to reintroduce the power of YHWH to the ancient near east (he just didn’t know that yet).

What confusion do we cause in the lives of those around us that don’t know the LORD? Is He buried under our other interests? How do they think we worship Him? Maybe we should ask! Ask them or the LORD, or both. It could be an interesting exercise. I might try it out!

-Bethany

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