Ok, so we’re going to start moving pretty quickly through history at this point. The Kingdom of Israel is no longer a unified Kingdom, it has shattered into two pieces because of the foolishness of Solomon’s son Rehoboam. 1 Kings 12 makes it very clear that Solomon’s abilities in leadership and wisdom were either not passed onto his son, or not harnessed by his son.
Actually, let’s stop there for a quick second. Rehoboam had every chance to be successful as King. He had the pedigree, he had the education and he certainly had the example of his father. But he chooses to make foolish decisions anyway. We can sometimes have the best opportunity to make good use of our lives and resources, but then choose not to harness that opportunity. It is quite sad really.
So the Kingdom is divided, Rehoboam leads Judah, Jeroboam leads Israel. Thus begins a very long list of kings from the two Kingdoms. One thing to keep track of: Judah has a mixture of Kings who follow after God and Kings who follow after idols. Israel has only bad, idolatrous Kings who do not follow after God one little bit.
The reading from 1 Kings 15 gives us the account of one of those high-points in Judah’s history. King Asa is responsible for making huge religious and social reforms after the poor reign of his predecessor Abijam.
One of the encouraging things I find in reading these up and down accounts through Kings and Chronicles is that it shows us the ability God has to use just one person who is willing to be obedient to make a difference. Even though men like Asa were kings, it was their obedience to God that made them powerful influences for positive change. We can follow their example, but we have to be willing to stand up for what we know God commands us is right. Asa removed his own grandmother from being queen mother because she had an image of a false god. His own grandmother!
You and I can be agents for positive social and religious change today, but it requires boldness and courage to do so. Elements that we see in the Kings of Judah.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Kings 15:25-16:34; 2 Chronicles 17