2 Kings 18-21 (The Daily Walk Bible).
One of the ongoing lessons from the history of Israel is the impact that the ruler has on the nation. He can destroy idols and false shrines, or build them. While it may not change many peoples hearts, it can certainly provide some peer pressure and have an impact on ongoing practices. I think of when our kids were younger. We’d do all that we could to encourage them to do what was right in God’s sight, but in the end whether or not they followed was up to them.
Isn’t it interesting that something God used to bring salvation ends up being worshiped instead (2 Kings 18:4). That’s one of the reason many in the Protestant reformation were so against icons and images in the church. It is a human trait to worship/adore the object that represents God, rather than worshiping God himself (who is Spirit, and those who worship must worship in Spirit and in truth – John 4:24).
Along those sames lines, did you catch 2 Kings 18:32? Sennacherib’s representative said, “Then I will arrange to take you to another land like this one.” Why? To take the people away from their possessions and surroundings certainly, but there was also a religious reason as well. Many thought that the gods you worshiped were tied to the land, and by removing people from the land you separated them from their gods. But we know better, and the Israelites were taught differently as well. Think back to Solomon’s prayer when they brought the ark into the temple: “But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built” (1 Kings 8:27)! God is awesome and everywhere, and He is the only one worthy of our worship!