"THE REASON WHY"
Intro. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria. Thus the writer records the death of the nation. Why would God forsake His people? Why would He allow their enemies to triumph over them?
I. THE SCRIBE THAT RECORDED THIS HISTORY IS CAREFUL TO GIVE TO US THE REASONS WHY THEY WERE FORSAKEN BY GOD AND WENT INTO CAPTIVITY.
A. Vs. 7 The children of Israel had sinned against Jehovah their God.
1. They feared or reverenced other gods.
a. The first commandment was "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."
b. They had a place for God in their lives, but it was not first.
c. The fact that you are here this morning shows that you have made a place for God in your life, but does He have the first, place above all others?
d. Is this the extent of your relationship with Him, a couple hours on Sunday morning?
2. Vs. 10 They set up images of Asherah.
a. The second commandment was Thou shalt not make any graven image to bow down to them.
b. Asherah was an idol of a female deity.
3. They did wicked things that provoked the Lord to anger. vs 11
4. They would not listen to the warnings of the messengers of God.
5. They rejected the covenant that God had made with them.
a. Note they not God broke the covenant.
b. God had given them His law and warned them:
But if you will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
And if you shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments, but you break My covenant:
6. In verse 15 we read: And they rejected His statutes, and His covenant that He made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He testified against them;
I also will do this unto you; I will set My face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you;
7. This is exactly what has happened to them. They have been slain by their enemies and taken captive.
8. They could not plead ignorance, nor could they deny that they had not been warned.
II. THEY PURSUED EMPTINESS AND BECAME EMPTY. VS. 15
A. God has put in every man a need and a thirst for God.
1. David said, "My soul thirsts for the living God."
2. This is true of all men.
3. What is tragic is the empty things by which men see to slake this thirst.
a. They feel that perhaps the thirst can be quenched through things, so they amass all kinds of things. But ultimately find them empty. Their philosophy is he who dies with the most toys wins.
b. They pursue pleasure, it ultimately leaves them empty.
c. There is one empty pursuit after another, as they seek to fill the recognized void in their lives, but there is no lasting satisfaction in empty things.
B. They went after the ways of the heathen that were round about them.
1. A few years back we did a series of videos titled "The Pagan Invasion."
2. Through this series we sought to show how that the United States has slowly become paganized.
a. The New Age movement is not new, it is ancient Hinduism in a new garb.
b. The worship of mother earth and the forces of nature is nothing more than Animism practiced by primitive cultures.
c. Worshipping and serving the creature, more than the Creator.
C. They made a grove. The Hebrew word translated grove is Asherah. She was the female goddess of reproduction.
1. Whenever you read in the Old Testament of them making a grove, it is making an idol that represented the goddess Asherah. The idols were a form of pornography and designed to arouse the sexual passions.
2. People were becoming highly stimulated sexually.
3. What happens when a society is exposed to seductive pictures? They become highly sexually aroused?
4. The Bible warns us that if we sow to our flesh, we will reap of the flesh.
5. When people make sex their god, and sex outside of marriage becomes a common expected thing suddenly you have many unwanted pregnancies.
D. Now you have a real social problem.
1. What to do with all of these unwanted babies?
2. You have men who do not want to take the responsibility of having to support a child that they fathered.
3. Rather than turning to the commandment of God and cease such activity, you have people advocating the right of a mother to end the life of her unwanted child, and politicians who make that as one of their major planks in order to be elected to office.
4. It those days, they did not have abortion clinics, nor morning after pills.
5. They had to carry the baby full term and give birth to the child.
6. But then they wanted to get rid of the child so they would build big bon fires and throw the unwanted child into the fires.
a. That is what the scripture is speaking about when it says that they cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fires.
b. It was the human sacrifice of their offspring to their god of pleasure and lust.
7. This was the final stage of their rebellion against the laws of God.
8. This is the point where God said, it's enough, and God removed His hand of protection from them and the nation went into captivity to their enemies.
E. We read, "Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and He removed them out of His sight."
III. I SEE STARTLING SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE NATION OF ISRAEL AND THE UNITED STATES.
A. God had brought the nation from the oppression and bondage of Egypt into a land where they were free to worship their God.
B. Even as God brought our pilgrim fathers from the religious bondage of the State church of England to a land where they were free to worship God after the dictates of their own hearts.
C. They established the new nation on the laws of God, it was to be a nation that recognized and honored God. As one of the founding fathers of the new nation, Joshua said to the people, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
D. Our founding fathers also saw that the strength of the nation was in proportion to its relationship with God, so they sought to incorporate into the constitution those provisions that would guarantee the freedom for a man to worship God after the dictates of his own heart.
1. There was never an intent of freedom from religion, as has been interpreted by the opinions handed down by the Supreme Court.
2. The whole idea was freedom of religion. No state church. You could worship in whatever church you pleased. No one saying that you had to abide the rules of one church.
E. Look how the decisions of the Supreme Court have slowly corrupted our nation and have brought us on the verge of destruction.
1. The decision that the constitution guaranteed a person freedom from religion, thus restricting any positive instruction of the our children in the public schools from any moral values that might be based on Biblical principals.
a. The ordered removal of the ten commandments from the classrooms.
b. No more baccalaureate services for the graduating seniors.
c. No singing of Christmas Carols, in fact Christmas vacation is now winter break and Easter vacation is now spring break for we do not want to suggest anything that might refer to Christianity, for it might offend someone who wants to be free from religion.
d. And just look what is happening on the spring breaks. Drunken sexual orgies leading to more unwanted pregnancies, and more business for the abortion mills.
e. In the Friday edition of USA Today there was an article that spoke of the need to begin a program of teaching the children of the dangers of unprotected sex, so they began to design a program for 7th graders, then they discovered that children begin their sexual practices at the age of nine today.
2. Next our Supreme Court under the guise of and their interpretation of freedom of speech they opened the doors for a flood of pornography to fill our land. Because they were unable to define obscenity, nothing is obscene. We are in an anything goes society.
3. Next the removal of laws that restricted certain types of sexual activity so that consenting adults are free to do whatever their fantasies might dictate.
F. The result is the same as the nation of Israel. You have a society where sex has become the god of the people and we have sex pushed at us from every quarter. You can hardly watch the news anymore on TV without some sexually titillating feature being presented, if not in the news section in the advertising which consumes 1/3 of the time.
1. Thus with the nation living in a state of high sexual arousal, and the laws granting us the freedom to explore as we please, we again are faced with a plethora of unwanted pregnancies.
a. Thus it was important to go back to the Supreme Court to to get a decision on the Roe vs Wade so that abortion is a chosen option for any woman who does not want to carry her unwanted child full term. This has now become the shame of the nation that has now legally murdered some 40,000,000 babies.
2. About the only difference between us and the ancient Israelites is that we burn the babies to death in the womb with the saline solution before they are born, rather than throwing them in the fires after they have been born.
G. Therefore you can be sure that the righteous God that punished Israel and gave them over to be ruled by their enemies will not spare our nation from the judgments to come.
H. I would like to say that the Supreme Court is wrongly titled for it is not the Supreme Court. They do not make the final determination of what is right and wrong, the Bible that they do not want taught to our children in our public schools teaches the true laws of God, and one day those justices who have liberalized men from the laws of God will face the true Supreme Court and will be found guilty.
I. Because it might be the law of our land it does not make it right in the sight of God. And it is His decision that you need to be concerned about. Jesus said, MAT 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.