After a slower narrative start, the author of Kings hits the fast forward button on these guys: “This one followed the LORD, this one angered Him…”
While a mostly righteous king (Asa) reigns in Judah, Israel experiences a dizzying few decades of turn around.
It can feel like we’re missing out on some serious history, here, but the point of Kings is to highlight those who did, and did not, keep the LORD as Lord. Another detail included is this:
“In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.” (16:34)
I’m sure many cities were built and rebuilt at this time, but most noteworthy is the one which fulfills a prophecy almost 500 years old!
What do you think will be the most noteworthy aspect of your life? If I was alive at this time, I would not be mentioned, as my ancestors weren’t either!
What was going on with the average Israelite during these decades? I’m sure some still worshiped YHWH as best they could (He always keeps a remember for Himself), and others were confused, indifferent, or stoked about Asherah worship. Only God sees all of us, but it’s interesting to note how responsible He holds leaders.
This should push us to do a few things.
- Pray for our leaders
- Approach leadership positions cautiously and humbly
- Keep the LORD as Lord!
There will be more chapters like this, which cover a lot of time, but tomorrow we will slow down for a closer look at the life of Elijah, and the reign of Ahab.