2 Kings 17:26
“Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.”
In the verse above, you can see that there is a “manner” that God expects things to be done. This manner that is talked about in the verse above is the way or methods that God wants something done. God is interested in the motives of the heart, and He is interested in the destination where you end up, but He is also very interested in the manner by which you get to the destination. Several truths are revealed in this chapter about the importance of the methods or manners in which we serve God.
First, manners are important to God. If the manner in which we serve God was not important to Him, He would have never judged Israel in this chapter. These people were so negligent of God’s methods that they didn’t take the time to learn them. Your desire to please the LORD will be revealed by how much time you spend trying to learn the methods and manners in which the LORD wants you to serve Him.
Second, manners are a result of the fear of God. According to verse 28, the whole reason these people didn’t perform the “manners” of God was because they were not taught how to “fear the LORD.” Your respect and fear of what God’s power can do to you if you do something wrong is exposed by whose manners you copy in serving God.
Third, God’s manners cannot be coupled with the world’s manners. The fallacy of these people was that they tried to be like the world and serve God at the same time. You cannot copy the world’s methods of “worship” and serve God at the same time. According to James 4:4, you cannot be a friend of the world and of God at the same time. You are fooling yourself if you are copying how the world has church and expect to please God at the same time.
Fourth, manners are not to be done because they are fun or easy, but they are to be done because they are right. Verse 32 shows that they made unto themselves “of the lowest of them priests.” These people didn’t want to do anything hard; they just wanted everything to be easy and fun. If “fun” and “easy” are your parameters of serving the LORD, you will find yourself playing with the world and despising the ways of God. God never said that His ways would be easy or fun, but they are always right and bring joy and satisfaction in the end.
Fifth, manners are not to be done so that you can “draw” the world to God. Copying the world’s methods of church produces religiously-minded lost people, no conviction, and unholy believers. Holiness is never achieved by trying to look like the world. Likewise, you will never draw the world to God by trying to look like the world. The world needs to see a holy people of the LORD and not a people who are no different from them. My friend, you will never get people to want salvation by looking like the world.
Sixth, whether you copy the world’s manners or God’s affects three generations. The best chance you have to see your children and grandchildren serving the LORD is to serve the LORD according to His manners and not the world’s. Joy is always the result when you follow the LORD’s manners.