Updated: May 12, 2020
1 Kings 9-14:25
As we approach this section of the Old Testament, once again we start to see rebellion reaching its peak. We are reminded of this as we read “and he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” each time a bad king was appointed. Injustice, unrighteousness and idolatry ruled amongst Israel. Despite this, God’s faithfulness towards his people was evident throughout. God had sent great prophets like Elijah and Elisha and but they were unsuccessful in turning Israel back from their sin.
Here we see God's faithfulness while Israel continued to be unfaithful. God commissions Jehu (9:3), whose violence soon gets out of control and his reign turns into a bloodbath. After which, two kings that “did what was right in the sight of the Lord” (12:2, 14:3) were appointed in Judah, but that was not enough for any lasting change. Jehoahaz, an evil king (13:2), sought help from the Lord, and God’s mercy is highlighted as He still listened and provided help, despite their previous unfaithfulness, but again the people did not abandon their sin.
We should look at this with in awe, God had good enough reasons to cast Israel from his presence, but rather - He was gracious to them. He had compassion. He turned to them (13:23). In His great mercy and grace, God was postponing his full judgement. Here He was providing Israel with another chance to repent and turn back to covenant faithfulness.
If they remained unrepentant, because God is a good God He must confront and judge evil. However, something else we can understand here is that while this judgement happens, there is a security that His long term plan is for restoration. God will not abandon or destroy his people, because of his promise in their covenant (13:23).
As God’s people today, we must still learn from Israel’s disobedience and turn to true worship of our God, which naturally leads to justice, righteousness and worship of Him alone. We are called by God and witn this comes great responsibility. There were periods where Israel behaved better and said no to sin, however, this never lasted long. We are not called to only to say no to sin; we are called to say yes to a lifetime of commitment to God. A life of daily dwelling in true worship of God. Through whom we have received the free gift of salvation, we are therefore instructed to be blameless (1 Thess 5:23-24) to persevere and work out our salvation (Phil 2:12-13), but we are imperfect and constantly fail, however when we fail, the Spirit helps us identify and confess our sin, and Christ, who is the ultimate saviour, takes the punishment on our behalf. What a wonderful reminder of God’s mercy and grace!