2 Kings 17
Evil, evil, and more evil. Where does it all lead? To the ruin of God’s creation! Did you notice this verse? "But [the Israelites] would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless." (vs 14-15)
By running after false gods, by doing what the Lord had commanded them not to do, the Israelites ruined themselves. They took what God had created as extremely valuable and rendered it worthless. How tragic! What a heart-wrenching thing this must be for God, who is the Father of us all. To see your own children doing the things that will destroy themselves. No wonder the Bible says that idolatry makes God angry.
In the very next verses, we see what all this idol worship led the Israelites to do: "They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger." (vs 16-17)
It’s almost unbelievable to me, this list of things they were willing to do:
1. Bow down to idols that they had made. (Isn’t there something wrong with that picture?)
2. Worship points of light in the sky.
3. Burn their children alive.
4. Concoct evil spells.
5. Prostitute themselves for evil pursuits.
No wonder God was angry! Now, this isn’t the anger of a "holy" God who can’t tolerate evil in His presence. This isn’t the anger of a God who just gets annoyed because we’re doing something He said not to do. This is the kind of anger you see on the television show Intervention. This is the kind of anger that makes parents lash out at children who are destroying themselves with drugs or alcohol—threatening them with every unpleasant thing they can think of in a desperate attempt to get them into rehab. This is the anger of a heartsick parent who is watching a child self-destruct.
God doesn’t make junk. He doesn’t make worthless things. So when He sees us using our God-given freedom to destroy the value within us, it makes Him angry. He has made us beautiful and unique and special, and He wants us to stay that way forever!