Slippery Slope

waterslide guy The slippery slope. Remember being at the top of a waterslide and pushing off. The first curve bangs you up, you laugh as the water pushes you down toward the next curve and so it goes into you crash into the pool below, going under. Lots of fun!

I remember the pastor of the church I grew up in saying “sin is fun…for a season”. Like a waterslide, sin is fun as you splash down the tube time and time again. But at the end of the day, exhaustion and bruises take its toll.

I hope the imagery of sliding is helpful as we think about 2 Kings 17 in this week’s Sunday Morning Bible Study. The Hebrew people slid away from God. This passage lays out the historical account of the fall and demise of the ten tribes of Israel in 722 BC only to be duplicated by the two tribes of Judah in the Southern Kingdom in 586 BC.

The people began their slippery slope by rejecting the commands of God, followed by failure to listen to His bidding them to return to Him via the prophet’s messages. And as they pushed God aside, their behavior became more hideous, disgusting and even abusive as they “made their sons and daughters pass through the fire”, a reference to child sacrifice and/or burning the children as a part of worship.

God extended His mercy for centuries but finally allowed the Assyrians to totally annihilate and disperse the Ten Tribes of Israel, never to be heard from again. We often use the phrase “put someone under the jail” for some horrendous atrocity we hear about. Writing anthropomorphically, the author of our passage describes God as doing the same. He had had enough! The evil must end!

God is merciful. He despises sin. He wants justice to flourish. He is a God of second (and third) chances. We must be willing to admit our sin, and return to Him in love.

Things to Ponder:
How have you seen our culture slide over the last few decades?
Does history repeat itself? What can we learn from this example in the Bible?
Think about your walk with God. Are you pulling away (or sliding) from Him?
Whisper His Name—Jesus— and ask Him to restore your relationship and to empower you not to slide anymore!

Michael Atkinson

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