Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:
“They feared the Lord and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence. Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the Lord.” -2 Kings xvii. 33, 34.
He says, “They feared not the Lord.” No. They insulted the Lord. They did not fear Him. The men who worshipped God and worshipped Baal too, were impiously daring. The Lord’s claim is that He only is God, and He would have us know that the Gods of the heathen are no gods. Our God made the heavens, but as for these they are the work of men’s hands. One of the Roman emperors was willing to put up a statue of Christ in the Pantheon amongst all the rest of the gods, and there were some that thought that that showed a kindly spirit. But what an insult to set up Christ by the side of lustful Jupiter, and infamous Venus, and all the rest of these horrible gods, which were only fit for a reformatory, the very best of them. And for the Samaritans to mention the name of Jehovah side by side with those cruel, bestial gods which they worshipped was not to do Him honour, but was to insult His sacred majesty. Even so, to try and keep religion, and yet to keep your sins, is not to fear God, but to insult Him…. These people did not fear God for they did not really obey Him. Obey Him? Why, had they obeyed Him they would have broken their gods to pieces at once. But no, they only wanted to know “the manner” of the God. They were willing to fall in with that, but as to really asking what His mind and will were, and being willing to do it—that was foreign to them. Therefore they feared not God.
C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the Bible, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1962), p. 889.