Bad Samaritans

2 Kings 17: 15           NLT

They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.

Reading the history of Israel is both inspirational and tragic. This excerpt from the book of Kings brings sorrow. In the New Testament we find Samaria estranged from the rest of the Jews. Jews wouldn’t even speak to a Samaritan. It wasn’t always that way, though. Samaria was a jewel of Israel, nestled in a lush valley, the Bible says it was “glorious” in its beauty. How did glorious Samaria fall so far?

It is easy to look back into the old books of the Bible and see the errors God’s people committed. It is not nearly as easy to look at our environment and evaluate it, and us, fairly, objectively. Samaria’s problem, and indeed the greater part of Israel’s as well, was familiarity with the world. Then again, that sounds a bit like us. When Israel arrived at a new land, the Lord would give them a military victory, but Got warned them to rid themselves of the former residents and thus, expunge their pagan beliefs. Samaria was arrogant and made treaties with her enemies thinking that was the way to ensure success and security. God contrasted them with farmers. God said farmers know what to do and how to harvest each different crop because “The Lord Almighty is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom,” (Isaiah 28: 29). Tongue in cheek, He is saying we don’t listen to the Father and receive His wisdom. We have our own brilliant ideas.

I don’t know about you, but my “brilliant” ideas tend to backfire. Mostly, I start trying to help God and inevitably it messes things up. The Samaritans had some bright ideas too. They didn’t inquire of the Lord, didn’t listen to Him, and went about in their own wisdom. Their brilliance ended in slavery. Their treaties destroyed them. The old saying goes, “When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” Boy was that true in this case. They made friends with the world and it ruined them. They have never recovered.

It is best to listen to the Lord, but we get too busy to make inquiry of Him. There is so much noise and chaos surrounding our lives that hearing Him is practically impossible. Our Father is trying to lead us onto productive paths. Like He taught Farmers, He is trying to teach us. What is the Father saying to you? Where is He leading you? If you don’t know, the world may be too much with you too. Take a break from the world and have a day with Him. It is a reasonable thing to do.