I have been reading through the Bible books of Kings and Chronicles. I must admit, at times the reading became quite laborious.
In these books are hundreds of names I can’t pronounce, and genealogies I can’t follow. I was reading it by faith, trusting that somewhere in all these names was something that God wanted to show me. Then, just like everything God does or touches, He reveals an obvious truth.
I learned that one of His reasons for listing the history of the multiple failures of the Jewish Kings was to show us what happens to those who stop following the Lord. I also saw that when the leaders followed the Lord, the country prospered and even their enemies feared them.
God told David if he and all the ancestral Kings would follow the Lord and obey his statues, then God would prosper and bless His people. “If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.” (1 Kings 2:4 NASB)
Of all the leaders listed in the long history of Israel, most of them did not follow the Lord. The result was financial ruin, bondage to foreign Kings and servitude. We see a universal spiritual principle at work here. ”When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn”. (Proverbs 29:2 KJV)
There is also another principle at work. It is a basic principle of leadership which states, “Everything rises and falls on leadership. As the leaders go, so goes the people.” We see this principle at work throughout the Scripture and in present history.
Every time I read through these books of the Bible I come to the same conclusion – what is wrong with these people? Can’t they see the pattern? Didn’t the priest and prophets teach and warn them that they were repeating the same sin patterns as their forefathers? Talking about dumb like a sheep?
However, it didn’t take long to see a similar pattern in our own country. We are also dumb like sheep. The Scriptures reveal that we are no different than the Israelite’s. We follow that same circle of apostasy. (We are prosperous then we enter into Backsliding, Idolatry, Permissiveness, Catastrophe, Bondage, and Repentance.) It is as the unbelieving philosopher Hegel proclaimed, “The experience and history teach us that people and governments never have learned anything from history.”
The Bottom Line
The story of the Kings in the Bible shows the cruel, bloody and brutal reality of turning away from the Lord and going our own way. I am reminded of how subtle and gradual “turning away from God” occurs. It’s never sudden, but done in small gradual compromises, until one day we wake up and our worldview has become secular and our belief system is tainted by the world system. We wonder where did our passion for God go? Or, why am I so cold toward the things of God?
If there was ever a time for God’s people to do a Spiritual inventory, it’s today. If we are not intentional about our daily quest to “abide in Christ”, then we are destined to repeat the sins of the past.
“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.(Acts 17:27)