2 Kings 17:15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.
When men follow after vanity, they themselves become vain. An individual must make a conscious decision to turn from walking after the Lord to pursue vanity (Jeremiah 2:5). Those who follow after vanity are void of understanding (Proverbs 12:11) and end up in poverty (Proverbs 28:19), sometimes both spiritually and physically. David expressed his concern in this area when he said, “I have not sat with vain persons” (Psalm 26:4). He knew the danger of following vanity and declared that he refused even to sit with vain persons. In Psalm 119:37, the penman pleaded with the Lord for help in turning away his eyes from beholding vanity. God desires and wills for the saints of God to cease from following after vanity.
- (For children): Joash served God as long as Jehoiada the priest was alive. But after the priest died, Joash followed vain persons and worshipped idols (2 Chronicles 24:2, 17-19). We should be careful that our friends love the Lord and want us to do right.
- (For everyone): Do you follow after vain philosophies, teachings, or entertainment? How have these assisted you in your walk with the Lord? Have they been profitable to you?
- How have you been helped by your time in the scripture? How have you been strengthened by your time in prayer and praise? How is this different from the time spent following vanity?
- Ask the Lord to help you follow after profitable things.
- Ask the Lord to guard you from vain influences.