33 While they continued to fear the Lord, they served their own gods, following the custom of the nations whom they had carried away from there.- 2 Kings 17:33 ISV 2 Kings 17:29-40 ISV Again and again, God allowed other kings to invade and conquer portions of Israel. He did this because they refused to obey His laws and they refused to keep His commandments. Finally, God allowed the king of Assyria to remove all of Israel to other countries. After doing this, the king of Assyria brought in foreigners to settle the land of Israel. God did not like this, so God sent lions in to destroy the foreigners. The king was informed that this was happening because the new settlers did not know how to worship God correctly. He brought in an Israelite priest to instruct them in proper worship. They learned and practiced the proper worship procedures, but they also continued to worship the idols of each of their respective homelands. God will not stand for impurities in any worship service or offering to Him. Either He is our God or He is not, there is no middle ground. Our God is a jealous God and He will not allow any other god(s) to be a part of our love affair with Him. Our God deserves worship from hearts that are pure and undefiled. When we celebrate Jesus, our celebrations must be in obedience to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. We must lift up holy hands in His honor. There can be no spots in our love feasts. Everything must honor Him and Him alone.Jude:10-13 NKJV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
After Israel was divided, the northern and the southern kingdoms were often at war with each other. On this occasion, Abijah, king of Judah had amassed 400,000 select troups and Jeroboam, king of Israel, had gathered 800,000 select warriors. From the human viewpoint, it was fairly easy to see who would win the war, but God had other plans. Judah had the original powerful weapon of mass destruction on their side. They trusted in God. They still worshipped God as they were supposed to but Israel had polluted their worship service with false prophets and false priests. God only accepts purity, He will not accept being one of many gods, when He is the only true and living God. Even though Judah had enemy troops behind them and in front of them and they were outnumbered two to one, they showed no fear, but trusted God to do what He promised to do. This obedience and trust in God resulted in God winning the battle for them. “God defeated Jeroboam and all of Israel”. All Judah had to do was the “mopping up” and retrieve the bounty. If we refuse to accept God’s gift of salvation and love, then we will have to face His wrath. No one can stand against the wrath of God. The only time satan thought He had defeated God, he soon learned that was his worst defeat. Do not be deceived by appearances and false claims, there is only ONE GOD! He is the Victor and only through Him will we obtain the victory!
6 Encourage young men to use good judgment. 7 Always set an example by doing good things. When you teach, be an example of moral purity and dignity. 8 Speak an accurate message that cannot be condemned. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed because they cannot say anything bad about us.9 Tell slaves who are believers to place themselves under their masters’ authority in everything they do. Tell them to please their masters, not to argue with them 10 or steal from them. Instead, tell slaves to show their masters how good and completely loyal they can be. Then they will show the beauty of the teachings about God our Savior in everything they do.–Titus 2:6-10 (GW)
We should always take the time to encourage others. Our society is learning that most habits are “caught, not taught”. Because of that, we need to be sure our lifestyle reflects that of Jesus. We must “walk the talk”. This is true for all of us, but a higher demand is put on teachers. We must attempt to live lives that will not give others a reason to disparage the gospel. In this passage, we can substitute employers for masters and employees for slaves. Though, employees are not slaves, the employer has purchased and the employee has sold a portion of his time to the employer. Therefore, to not give all we can give on the job is stealing from our employers. As Christians, we should be the best employees in the workplace, not complaining or murmuring, but working hard to please our employers in every way, as long as it does not require us to be immoral or do anything illegal. This pleases God and draws others to Him.