From the dictionary: oxymoron = A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence, and a mournful optimist
Top twenty oxymorons:
20. Government Organization
19. Alone Together
18. Personal Computer
17. Silent Scream
16. Living Dead
15. Same Difference
14. Taped Live
13. Plastic Glasses
12. Tight Slacks
11. Peace Force
10. Pretty Ugly
9. Head Butt
8. Working Vacation
7. Tax Return
6. Virtual Reality
5. Dodge Ram
4. Work Party
3. Jumbo Shrimp
2. Healthy Tan
1. Microsoft Works
(2 Kings 17:33) They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
I. The Northern 10 Tribes
A. They were taken captive by the Assyrians.
(2 Kings 17:6) In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
B. It was because of their repeated sin against God.
(2 Kings 17:7) For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
II. The Assyrian Resettlement
A. These were people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim.
B. The statement that these people `feared not the Lord" means they were unacquainted with His worship and had no reverence for Him.
1. With the depopulation of the land the lions had come into these newly desolate lands and posed a formidable danger to the new inhabitants.
2. They perceived that their trouble arose from their ignorance of the God of the land, on which basis they appealed to the Assyrian king to send them someone who could teach them how to worship the God of the land, so they could do things which would please Him and escape from the lions.
3. The remedy prescribed was to send one of the priests of the calf worship, who had been brought out with the captives, back to the land to teach them what to do.
(2 Kings 17:28) Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
4. This was of course a good example of what Jesus would later refer to as the blind leading the blind
Mt 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
5. The repatriated priest set up at the old calf- temple of Bethel and proceeded to teach the people the worship of Jeroboam.
(2 Kings 17:16) And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
6. The newcomers learned the religion of the calves, which purportedly was the worship of the Lord, but which was actually an abomination to Him.
7. The new people did not forsake their own gods, but merely added the calves to their idols.
8. They came to be called the Samaritans, and would be a constant source of trouble to the Jews who returned from the captivity in the times of Jerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah.
9. They and their impure religion would persist to the time of Christ.
John 4:9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
III. The Samaritan's Worship
A. False Worship
1. They utilized the old high places of Israel which had been longtime an object of divine wrath in Israel's later history.
(2 Kings 17:29-33) Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
2. In this conglomerate mess the Samaritans "feared the Lord," meaning they gave Him reverence, and served their own gods as well.
3. Because of this attempted mixture of paganism and true worship the Jews rejected them, and rightly so.
4. Jesus made it clear!
(Mt 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
B. False Worship = No Worship
1. Well, they believed in God didn't they? NO!
2. Verse 34 characterizes their worship for what it really was, "they fear not the Lord," in that they did not follow His statutes and ordinances, nor keep His commandments and law as He gave them to the children of Israel.
3. False worship is the same as no worship!
IV. Application for Us
A. This is the direction we see today in religion.
B. It is often the 'blind leading the blind'.
C. Many folks think they can worship God while ignoring His Word.
D. The result…God's judgment will come.