2 Kings 17:13-17 (NLT)
13 Again and again the Lord had sent his prophets and seers to warn both Israel and Judah: “Turn from all your evil ways. Obey my commands and decrees—the entire law that I commanded your ancestors to obey, and that I gave you through my servants the prophets.” 14 But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to believe in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.
16 They rejected all the commands of the Lord their God and made two calves from metal. They set up an Asherah pole and worshiped Baal and all the forces of heaven. 17 They even sacrificed their own sons and daughters in the fire. They consulted fortune-tellers and practiced sorcery and sold themselves to evil, arousing the Lord’s anger.
The King of Assyria besieged the city of Samaria. The city fell and the people were forced to live among the other Assyrians. The bible says the disaster fell upon the people because they began to follow the pagan practices of other nations. They had performed sacrifices and worshiped other idols in secrecy. Now they were living among those who had shown them such things. They began to sacrifice sons and daughters by fire. They consulted fortune-tellers, practiced sorcery, and gave themselves completely over to evil. God once again was trying to turn the people back to Him. He sent prophets to warn the people of Israel and Judah. He asked them to turn away from their sin; but they continued in their evil ways forgetting the commandments of the Lord.
For the Lord had made a covenant with the descendants of Jacob and commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow before them or serve them or offer sacrifices to them. But worship only the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt with great strength and a powerful arm. Bow down to him alone, and offer sacrifices only to him. Do not forget the covenant I made with you, and do not worship other gods. You must worship only the Lord your God. He is the one who will rescue you from all your enemies.” But the people would not listen and continued to follow their former practices. So while these new residents worshiped the Lord, they also worshiped their idols. And to this day their descendants do the same.” The Bible recounts how the people continued in sin. Their descendants followed their parent’s ways and became like those who lived before them. Our country, The United States, was founded on the principles of being able to worship God freely, but it seems those rights are being taken away from some to let others have their own way. If we are not careful one day it may be recorded our descendants also followed the practices of those around us, because we gave into those practices ourselves. A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.