As we continue the final submission for the Parallel Nations series, we will take a closer look at how Israel ended up in Idolatry. In I King 3:3, Solomon worshiped the Lord according to how his father, King David taught him, but he also offered sacrifices and burnt offerings to the high places, meaning he practiced idolatry. In I King 9:6-9, The Lord gave a warning to King Solomon of what would happen if King Solomon and the people of Israel worshiped other gods, which is to practice idolatry. I Kings 11:1-11, gives’ a detailed account of what Solomon did to cause the Lord to be angry with him and the nation of Israel. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Over his 40 year reign as King, Solomon gradually turned his heart away from God in favor of worshiping the idols introduced by his many foreign wives. As Solomon grew older, he built alters for his foreign wives and sacrificed to other gods in the custom of his foreign wives respective religions.
Because of King Solomon’s betrayal to God, God made a promise that he would take the kingdom away from the house of David, all except one tribe for David’s name sake in the time of Solomon’s son. As God said, Solomon’s son, Jeroboam became king, but only the house of Judah followed him. Solomon’s other son Rehoboam became king over the rest of Israel. Both Jeroboam and Rehoboam also worshiped idols and did evil in God’s eyes. God further cursed Israel because of this and took His protection away from Israel. As a result, Israel had war and unrest from its neighbors during the days of the kings that followed. However, their idolatry continued and even became worse. Israel was eventually captured by Assyria (later to become part of Babylonia) and taken as slaves. However, the house of Judah was the Lord’s remnant in remembrance of David. But eventually, the house of Judah also did evil and worshiped other gods. At one point, they were sacrificing their children to false gods. This made God very angry. Finally, Babylon conquered the house of Judah and later took its people into exile (2 Kings 24).
After about 70 years in captivity, the Lord laid it on the Persian King Cyrus heart to let the people of Jerusalem go back to rebuild their city and their temple[i]. A few years later, under the reign of King Artaxerxes, (the same King who was married to Esther) released Ezra the prophet who returned to Jerusalem with additional Israelites (Ezra 7).
During the time the first Israelites went back to Jerusalem, some had mingled with the neighboring countries and took foreign wives. Ezra knowing how God’s people got themselves into captivity was very concerned about the people of Israel falling back into idolatry. Because of the idol worshipping of Solomon and his wives, the gateway was opened for demonic influence which will always pull in the opposite direction of God.
Fortunately, it was the will of the people to follow God’s law. They knew it was necessary to close the gateways to demonic influence if they were to stay in favor with God. So the people made the hard decision to divorce their foreign wives. As the story goes, all of the people were sitting in the rain as it was the rainy season. The people recognized that the separation process was going to take longer than a day. For even in matters of sin, it is not always so quick and easy to remove oneself from its influence. The process of divorce and sending the foreign wives back to their perspective countries took about 3 months (Ezra 10).
Our process of divorce today is not necessarily literal, but symbolic in that we have to divorce ourselves from those things in our lives that open gateways to demonic influences. We must separate ourselves from the world system in such a way as to close those gateways. The most obvious are drugs and pornography. Less obvious but just as potent, is music, television, and our relationships. But it can be anything that comes between us and the Lord.
The number one relationship in our lives is to be with the Godhead, (The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Even spouses and children come after. Understand we are a people meant to be in relationship with one another. But the relationships also must be submitted under God.
Even as Christians, we have many idols and as a result, the gateway to the demonic opened wide enough to give strength to the anti-Christ. As in the Matrix (see Parallel Nations III), the computers used humans as power and it made them stronger. When we engage in idolatry, it makes the anti-Christ stronger.
As a result, the anti-Christ spirit is very strong in the United States even among Christians. But if we’re shackled by idolatry, it is likely that the spirit will not be recognized. A former smoker is more aware of the smell smoke after he has kicked the habit. Like-wise, closing the gateways in our lives will increase the ability to discern the demonic influences.
As a nation, we are following the same path as Babylon. As Christian’s, we are following the same path as the people of Israel. Judgment on the United States has already begun. But the Lord protected a remnant of His people who remained faithful to Him. He will also protect His Church. This does not mean that we will not feel the turmoil going on around us. But we can rest in the fact that God is with us and He will not forsake His people. We must be ready and put ourselves in the right position with Him and learn to not only hear His voice, but to follow what He is telling us to do in these precious last days of the United States being a dominate empire.
[i] At this point, Babylon had been defeated by Persia.