BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “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.” 2 Kings 17:41 ESV
It began with King Solomon when his foreign wives caused him to compromise his devotion to the Lord and he built shines to their gods. When the kingdom of Israel was divided Jeroboam out of his insecurity established idolatry in the form of two calves as the national religion. This lead to a downward spiral of God’s people becoming a polytheistic nation.
The first commandment of, “thou shalt have no other gods before me” was the most violated of all commands. Then we see treating this command with contempt, allowed for the desecration of all the other commands. The Lord sent his prophets to warn the people, but their messages were ignored. Not only were their messages ignored, but they were treated with scorn and were persecuted.
The Lord brought enemy nations against His people so that they would seek Him, but they failed in making any true change. Their repentance was short-lived and temporary. In the final analysis the Lord allowed the Assyrians to take Israel captive and they were uprooted from the promised land.
In the review of Israel’s history we see how they failed to fear the Lord. We read how when they were corrected, they did not listen. They maintained a cursory recognition of the Lord, but as the prophet declared, “these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Isaiah 29:13)
In their attempt to deceive the Lord, they only deceived themselves. The compromise in one generation, defined the character of the next and finally a generation found themselves so far removed from their foundation, it lead to their demise. What happened to other nations eventually happened to God’s people.
When we review the history of Israel, it is easy to look at our own nation and the moral, spiritual and fundamental “drift” that can be observed over the generations. It is one thing to adapt to changing times and the natural evolution of progress, it is another to drift from principles that established the foundation of a nation which has allowed it to be sustained over the past centuries of tests, challenges and trials.
When we consider the history of Israel, it challenges us on a personal level. I recall the words of an older man who said something like this, “My godly mother would not be pleased with the way I am living my life.” Spiritual commitment and dedication can not be taken for granted. The compromises, the “drift” in one generation, can determine the character and identity of the next. That prolonged decline in character can determine a destiny.
That is why Joshua boldly declared to God’s people as they entered the promised land, “Choose this day, whom you will serve…” What we need to remember is that choice is “daily.” It is not the decision I made yesterday that is important, it is the decision that I make today, that will ultimately determine my destiny.
Prayer for today…. Lord help us to be mindful of the areas of compromise in our life and our families. Help us to make the corrections that are needed to keep you at the center of our life. May our destiny be one that is lives according to Your best for our life and not the consequences of wandering from the foundation of truth and the fountain of life that is in You.