2 Kings 17:33 NKJV
 They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods-according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away.
Ancient Israel was very misguided through the leadership of King Jeroboam and worshipped false gods and idols. They walked away from the teachings of their forefathers that had the direction of the Heavenly Father in the ways they should live. For many, to save face with their Israelite heritage, they kept the outward appearance of fearing the Lord, but inwardly they were sinful and served other gods with rituals that were an abomination. They let the world’s ways, following rituals of the nations, pull them down into a life that displeased God so much that he had to remove them from His sight.
2 Kings 17:21-23 NKJV
 For He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin.  For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them,  until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.
What can we learn from this and apply it to today?
We can so easily be distracted by the “shiny objects” of the world. The world’s way teaches us to get rich, be successful, climb the corporate ladder, keep up with the Joneses, and obtain more and more stuff. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with success. But where we humans tend to go wrong is to idolize our success and carry the weight of the world like it is going to save us, when in reality, it will crush us, leading us us to the ultimate destruction of oneself.
Mark 8:36 NKJV
 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Psalm 39:5-6 CSB
 In fact, you have made my days just inches long, and my life span is as nothing to you. Yes, every human being stands as only a vapor. Selah  Yes, a person goes about like a mere shadow. Indeed, they rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them.
Focusing on Eternal Things
When we turn our hearts toward the things with eternal value, our perspective changes dramatically. We no longer put value in all of the “shiny objects” of this life, but want to build up our treasures in heaven. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Just let that statement sink in for a moment. What do we treasure most in this life? Where and what are our priorities?
Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV
 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
All of the busyness and obtaining of the stuff of this world will never be enough. Many wealthy people are the most bitter, unhappy and unfulfilled. Yet the world’s ways teach us to follow after their ways for happiness. There is something critically wrong with that formula!
God’s word directs us in what will yield true joy, happiness, peace and fulfillment, both for this life and into eternity. When we stop letting the influence of this world pull us down with false promises, and follow God’s direction, our fulfillment comes from pleasing Him and following His ways. Reading His word and letting it just soak into our hearts, minds, and souls, gives us a new outlook and a new direction. We are no longer driven and distracted by those shiny objects, but are confident that we are eternal beings that God created for His great pleasure. We can live, move and have our entire being in Him and be fulfilled just in that, knowing that He will supply all of our needs, according to His riches and glory.
Isaiah 40:8 NKJV
 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”
Acts 17:28 NKJV
 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
Philippians 4:19 NKJV
 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Psalm 84:11 NKJV
 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 9:10 NKJV
 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your saving grace that can look at my imperfections as forgiven and perfect through the great sacrifice of your Son, Jesus. I pray that you will help me to follow after your heart as I journey through this world, not getting distracted from the shiny objects that the world has to offer, but to focus on the things of eternal value. Let your word be absorbed into my entire being as my defense and light that leads me. Help me to be led daily by your Spirit and listen for your voice in all things. Thank you for daily opportunities to build up treasures in your heavenly kingdom, where I will one day meet you face-to-face and hear the words, “well done my good and faithful servant.” In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.
I love you and am praying for you today.
“We are often so caught up in our activities that we tend to worship our work, work at our play, and play at our worship.”
“It is the normal state of the human heart to try and build its identity around something besides God.”