Idolatrous Samaritans        

2 Kings 17:25-34


     After settling in the land of Israel, the Samaritans professed faith in the Lord God, but continued to serve their own gods. They learned "the manner" of the Lord,but not the fear of the Lord.Their religion was an insult to God, for they refused to acknowledge that he alone is God.Though practised in the name of God,it was idolatry of the worst kind, for its whole purpose was their own pleasure and satisfaction, not the glory of God. II Kings 17 compels a question: Is our religion idolatry? Are we Samaritans, who worship God only in pretence, or "Israelites indeed," who worship God in sincerity and truth? Let each one judge himself. But these things are certain - Our religion is idolatry...

     1. If we worship God only one day in seven. True believers worship God continually. Their lives are lived for him (Col. 3:1-3).

     2. If we sacrifice to God that which costs us nothing.We worship God only when we give him that which we need, only when we give him the best, the firsfruits of what we have been given by him (II Sam. 24:24).

     3. If we are more interested in temporal, material things than we are in the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33). "God in Christ is professedly the object of our worship:but the gods whom we really worship,and by choice, are the pleasures, and riches, and honors of this vain world. On them our heart is fixed. To them our time is devoted. And, if we but obtain them to the extent of our desires, we bless ourselves as having gained the objects most worthy of our pursuit" (Charles Simeon).

     4. If we are more concerned for our own name and recognition than we are for the honor and glory of God (Psa.115:1; Jer.45:5). All who walk in the fear of God, in all things seek the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31).

     5. If we are more anxious to be happy than we are to be useful (Acts 20:24). Believers do not live for their own pleasure, but seek to be useful to one another and in the interests of Christ.

     6. If we profess to follow Christ but in reality refuse to do so (Matt. 15:8-9). It is the believer's meat and drink to do his Father's will.

     7. If our religion is man centered rather than Christ centered. In true religion, the will of God, the glory of Christ,and the gospel of God's grace and glory in Christ are central and dominate (I Cor. 1:17-31).


Don Fortner