Thursday, June 26, 2008

Good King Bad King

June 26: 1 Kings 15:25-16:34 & 2 Chronicles 17

Kings of Israel

25 Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.

33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel at Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.
1 Kings 15:25-26 & 33-34

8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned two years.

10 Zimri came in and struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place.

12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, 13 for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned and which they made Israel to sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols.

15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah.

23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for twelve years; six years he reigned in Tirzah.

25 Omri did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did more evil than all who were before him. 26 For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in the sins that he made Israel to sin, provoking the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols.

29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him.
1 Kings 16:8, 10, 12-13, 15, 12, 25-26 & 29-30

King of Judah

Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place and strengthened himself against Israel. 2 He placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim that Asa his father had captured. 3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, 4 but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel. 5 Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. 6 His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord. And furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.
2 Chronicles 17:1-6

Bad King

Six kings reigned in Israel from the time of Asa's reign to the beginning of Jehoshaphat's reign in Judah. They reigned for as little time as 7 days to 24 years; everyone of the kings of Israel was evil in the sight of the Lord, each one being more evil than the ones before them.

Did they not know about the Lord? Were they not warned that God would judge them for the evil they were doing among the people of Israel?

1 And the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, 2 “Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, 3 behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
1 Kings 16:1-3

After the kingdoms split, Israel never had a good king! Rarely did sons of kings reign after their fathers because God would rise up a conspirators against the kings, because of their sins, who would murder everyone in the king's family including relatives, servants, and friends. It was not a good time for the split nation of Israel.

Good King

In contrast, Jehoshaphat became the fourth King of Judah after the tribes split; like the three before him, Jehoshaphat served the Lord. Look how God blessed his reign.

3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, 4 but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel. 5 Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. 6 His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord. And furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.

10 And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat.
2 Chronicles 17:3-6 & 10

What an individual does has a great effect on those around him, but for a ruler of a kingdom the entire kingdom suffers or enjoys the blessings of God according to the heart of the king.

Here we are in the 21st century. How can the lives of these seven kings be of any importance to us?

Has God changed? Christianity is a religion of the heart; from the heart of the king who trusted in the Lord came blessings sent from God. Do our actions save us? No, nothing we can do or say could save us from the corruption of sin in our hearts; only the blood of Christ can pay for our sins. But, as we trust the God of our salvation with our whole hearts, He becomes Lord and King over us; our actions change because we love Him. That sets up a chain reaction, so that all those around us are blessed as well.

Does that mean that nothing bad will ever happen to true believers? No, God allows many troubles to come upon us to test us and to show those around us that our faith does not rest upon the blessings God sends, but rather on Christ alone. He also allows us to experience His grace by giving us peace as we "walk through the valley of the shadow of death."

Good King Bad King! Which one are you?

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

No comments: