They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did. - 2 Kings 17:40-41 (NIV)
Who says the Old Testament of our bibles isn't relevant today? If I hadn't put the bible verse references after the quote above any one of us might have thought that this was being spoken about our own families, churches, or cities. I was overcome with emotion as I did my bible reading this morning through a few chapters of 2 Kings. I read about king after evil king who led the nation of Israel. And then I read again about how a longsuffering, loving but righteous God originally delivered His people...His people...out of Egypt to be set apart from the rest of the world to show off His glory. (2 Kings 17:36-39) Despite the blessings God provided them, despite the promise of protection and prosperity God made them, the people would not listen. How does this make you feel? It makes me sad for God, who gave and gave and waited and waited, all to see the people still do as they pleased. It makes me sad that things got so bad that God finally had no choice but to let the nation of Israel fall captive to the Assyrians. (2 Kings 17:23).
Read the verse at the top again in the context of our culture today. I believe that today even though we worship God, we still serve other idols. We are double-minded, dual-focused. Is it any wonder that most of us practice a weak form of Christianity not really knowing what we believe and why we believe it? In our personal lives we spend more time focusing on ourselves than on learning about who God is and what we can do to serve Him better.
It is no wonder that we are misguided in our focus as our churches - not all, but an increasing number of them - have also become models for being "double-minded". Some of them are not practicing what the bible says to preach. Does your church preach from the whole bible or just the parts of it that relate to felt needs of the people walking through the doors on Sunday morning? When was the last time you heard a sermon out of 2 Kings? out of Romans 1, touching on some of the tougher issues of life? The bible says that we are to live our lives to please God and not other people, so why are we doing "church" with an emphasis on giving the "people" what they want?
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8)
Double mindedness is a danger, isn't it? Trying to please someone else other than God will always get us into trouble. Trying to have both our way and God's way will too. The Israelites lost their nation because of their ways. What are we losing because of ours?