And they burned incense in all the high places, like the nations whom Jehovah had removed from before them; and did evil things to provoke Jehovah to anger. For they served the idols, of which Jehovah had said to them, You shall not do this thing. And Jehovah testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, by all the seers, saying, Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes, according to all the Law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets. But they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like the neck of their fathers who did not believe in Jehovah their God.
Israel continued to worship their idols, and God got ANGRY. But he didn't strike them all dead with lightning, or open up the Earth to swallow them up... he waited. He tried to win their hearts and minds back. He sent prophets and preachers who stood out in the marketplaces yelling "Repent! For the end is near!" Okay, they didn't really say that the end was near, but the Israelites were warned and told to repent.
The preachers told the Israelites that they were sinners and they needed to change their wicked ways. They needed to worship the true God, the God who made them and gave them air to breathe and food to eat. But they didn't want to listen. Some of them probably laughed. After all, what do we think when we are walking down the street and we see some guy with a big sandwich board yelling "Repent! For the end is near!"
In America, teenagers by the millions were worshiping the Beatles. God wasn't the most important person in their lives, and Jesus Loves Me wasn't their favorite song. Since God was not #1 any more, the government took prayer out of schools, and there wasn't enough national outcry to get it back. The Production Code, otherwise known as the Hays code, which kept movies clean and free from immorality and blasphemy, was repealed, and there was not enough outcry to make the government reconsider.
Meanwhile, the second generation of teenagers started coming of age. While the teenagers of the 1950s made out at lover's lane and snuck alcohol out of their parents liquor cabinet, their younger siblings of the 60s waged a far greater rebellion. Many followed their idols, the Beatles, and tried drugs and transcendental meditation. They explored other gods.
In San Francisco, the cross streets of Haight and Ashbury turned into a haven for hippies, where drugs and free love reigned. 1967 became known as the "Summer of Love" but unfortunately, it wasn't really all that wonderful. Over 100,000 young people flocked to the city after school got out. Overcrowding, hunger, homelessness, and crime filled the neighborhood. Many young girls who came were taken advantage of.
Americans forgot the admonition in Romans to "let every soul be subject to the higher authorities" during many of their protests of the Vietnam war. They showed their disdain for returning soldiers by spitting on them and cursing them.
America was still a nation of churches, and many people still went to church, the preachers were still preaching, but there were many in rebellion.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of Adventures In History: 2 Kings 17... where we find out what PETA, Planned Parenthood, and a god named Molech have to do with one another. Also, the conclusion to what happens to the Israelites.