2 Kings 17:25 (NIV) 25 When they first lived there, they did not worship the LORD; so he sent lions among them and they killed some of the people.
On verses 24-26: Shalmaneser king of Assyria has deported the Israelites from Samaria (Israel’s capital city) and replaces them with people from foreign lands. These foreigners do not worship the Lord in Samaria and are attacked, and in some cases killed, by lions. This is the third case in 1 Kings and 2 Kings where someone is killed by a lion.
What can we learn in this case? When we do not worship the Lord but instead focus on other things, we become vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy, who is described as a lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
2 Kings 17:33 (NIV) 33 They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.
On verses 27-33: In hope of ending the lion attacks, the king of Assyria orders that an Israelite priest be sent back to Samaria to teach the people how to worship the Lord (v27-28). After receiving this teaching, the foreigners living in Samaria worship the Lord but they also continue to worship the gods from their own national groups and set up shrines in the names of those gods (v29-33).
What can we learn from this? When you try to put God first while also putting other things first, all you get is frustration, stress and a complicated mess. We were made to “worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” (Matthew 4:10) Are you trying to worship and serve two things at once? As Jesus says, you can’t serve two masters. Otherwise you will hate the one and be devoted to the other. Keep it simple and seek to please God alone.
Lord, no matter where I am, may I be committed to worshiping You alone. In my life may You have no rival or competitor. May You alone take the throne. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!