Reading Through the Bible, Monday, April 4. 1 Kings 15-17

Diplomacy always involves compromise.  Nothing wrong with that — in and of itself.  It depends on what is being compromised.  If it is allegiance to God and His way, that kind of diplomacy will only result in failure.

Jereboam’s kingdom had been given to him by God with the promise He would also grant him a dynasty as “enduring as David’s.”  But Jeroboam, like so many before him, having been blessed by God, believed securing the blessings was up to his own devices.  If Israel returned to Jerusalem three times a year to worship, Jeroboam believed, his empire would fall apart.  So he created national gods and national shrines, an action so repugnant to God that the Lord killed Jeroboam’s son and ended his family line.  The northern kingdom, known as Israel, would never have an enduring line of kings.

The south didn’t fare a lot better.  Though the Lord was determined to preserve David’s house, the glory disappeared.  The temple, built so magnificently by Solomon was sacked by the Egyptians, never to regain its former glory.  The book of Kings continues from this point as a “synchronistic” history, swapping back and forth between the two nations as their fortunes unfold.  The kings in the south are all measured against David.

Who is your exemplar, the model against which your life is judged?  Who do you work to emulate?  Or . . . are you out to do your own thing, chart your own course, make your own way?  Be careful.  Your answer will determine whether you follow the kingdom of the north, or that of the south.