(For part 2 see here.)
Covenant not Tradition
In the rest of 2 Kings 17, the Bible goes on to tell us that the people continued in the sins that had always been committed in Israel. The Author of Kings tells us that “to this day” the Samaritans as they came to be known continued these sins of Polytheism and Idolatry. He points out in verse 38 that this is also a break of the third command.
38 "The covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods.
To enter into covenant with God is to take his name, much as a wife takes he husbands name. Israel broke the third commandment by taking God’s name (entering into a relationship with Him) and doing so in vain. They were not in covenant for their benefit alone. God had called them as a nation to reach the whole world and change it. Instead they simply used the covenant for their own benefit and never were a witness to the nations. That is taking God’s name in vain.
Christ, not Christianity
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Is there anything in our lives that holds the place God should have? -Colossians 2:8
Have we rationalized worship of other gods by claiming we love God more?
Have we made an image for ourselves of God the way we think He should be?
Are we growing to know God more and better each day, or have we placed Him in a neat little box?