Thursday, July 26, 2007

Adventures In History: 2 Kings 17 (part 4) - The End

This is the final part to my 2 Kings 17 story. Here are the other parts:

When we last left Israel and America, the people were worshiping idols and making God angry. There were some preachers out there warning them to repent, but most refused. They liked their idols too much.

As for Israel...

And they left all the commandments of Jehovah their God, and made molten images, two calves, for themselves. And they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire. And they used divination and incantations, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke Him to anger.

~ 2 Kings 17:16-17

The Israelites made a couple golden calves and worshiped them. They served a foreign God, Baal. They made their sons and daughters pass through the fire. What does that mean anyway?

Baal was a false god that supposedly granted benefits, but he had a dark side to him. He required human sacrifices. In times of trouble or plague, human victims, usually the first born child, was burnt alive, known euphemistically as "passing through the fire." Another god that required burnt human sacrifices was Molech, who was often portrayed as a bull.

The Israelites started getting involved in witchcraft and sorcery, which God had declared to be an abomination (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). They started to worship the stars, called the "host of heaven". Asherah that they worshipped took the form of tree trunks. So they were worshiping cows, trees, and stars. They forgot their creator, and instead worshiped the creation. (If you are interested in more information on Baal, Asherah, host of heaven, etc., please see the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, an excellent resource for learning more.

These Israelites sound really out there, don't you think? Of course us enlightened Americans are nothing like that, right?

We last left the Americans in the late 1960s. Teenagers were rebelling against authority, taking drugs, and worshiping rock stars. Here I must note that Revelation 9:21 says that the people of the tribulation did not repent of their sorceries... which in the Greek is the word "pharmakeia", which can also be translated into drugs. 1 Samuel 15:23 states "for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." As far as God is concerned, these people might as well have been practicing witchcraft.

One of the rock star idols of the time, The Rolling Stones, performed a concert at Altamont speedway near San Francisco, where the Hell's Angels, who were hired as security guards, murdered one of the concert goers during their song "Sympathy For The Devil."

In 1973, the Supreme Court made the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Since then, around 48.5 million babies have been killed. A small percentage may have been performed to save the life of the mother. Many, however, were killed because they were inconvenient. Some were killed because the mother thought that she was wiser than God, and could not give the child a good life (and would not consider adoption). Some were killed because the child was believed to be born deformed, or sick, or with other defects, and the parents, in their infinite wisdom, decided that they knew better than God and that the child did not deserve to live. Some, I'm sure, were killed for other reasons... in almost every case, the people deciding to undergo the abortion decided that they knew better than God, who created the life. In other words, the children were sacrificed to the gods of convenience, or wisdom, or some other false god. We're not so different from the Israelites after all, are we?

The environmental movement started gaining momentum around this time. The first Earth Day was in April 1970. While being good stewards of the Earth is wise... and since God created the Earth we should be responsible with it... but many have gone overboard in it's protection. In 2006, Sea World had to stop running their fireworks displays because a small amount of contaminants would end up in Mission Bay, and they needed to get a discharge permit as a result. Another belief that seems to be catching on is that the Earth is overpopulated and people need to start having fewer children (never mind that God considers children to be a blessing... oh, and the 1 child policy works so well in China). Another idea catching on is that people are no more important than animals (doesn't the Bible say that we are worth many sparrows?). Nevertheless, you can destroy an unborn baby, but don't you dare destroy a bald eagle's egg (unless you want a hefty fine and a jail sentence).

Then you have groups like PETA, who believe that we shouldn't eat animals or wear leather. They claim their own form of morality but they are willing to tempt people to lust (with all their naked campaigns like the running of the nudes), and occasionally even commit blasphemy with anti-God campaigns like their ad with a picture of a pig and the slogan "He Died For Your Sins."

In a way, we are doing exactly what the Israelites did. They worshiped the creation rather than the creator, and so are many of us. We don't burn our children, but we are willing to rip off our preborn children's tiny limbs with a vacuum or burn them in saline solution.

The final chapter of the American story has not been written yet. However, the Israeli's story in 2 Kings 17 does have an ending:

So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria until this day.

~ 2 Kings 17:23b

Israel, who had seen miracles such as the parting of the Red Sea and the fall of the walls of Jericho, were carried away captive into Assyria. What will happen to us?

No comments: