1 Kings 15:25-16:34, 2 Chronicles 17
Today’s reading in 1 Kings shows us how bad the kings of the Northern Tribe, Israel, were. There were from time to time “good” kings in Judah. Our reading in 2 Chronicles today mentions one of these good king, Jehoshaphat. In fact Jehoshaphat stands in stark contrast to the string of godless Israelite kings. We keep reading how one was worse than the previous ending today’s reading with Ahab who was worse than all the rest. You may not remember Ahab but I’m sure you’ve heard of his wife, Jezebel.
What stood out most to me in our reading of these evil kings is how they kept killing their predecessor and then every one of their predecessor’s children. This was a rather common occurrence and continued right up to the 20th Century when the Bolsheviks killed the Royal Family of Russia. This was done to eliminate anyone who could challenge the new ruler’s claim to the throne. If a child of the previous king survived they could rally enough people to them to overthrow the new king. The Bolsheviks killed all of the Czar’s children so no one could use them as a focal point of resistance to the new regime.
I am amazed at how quickly Israel turned from God. Solomon turned away toward the end of his life and these tribes that now make up Israel went south and kept going. When David took the throne following the death of Saul and most of his sons, he took the remaining son into his court and took care of him all his life. How different are these post-Solomon kings. David’s way was God’s way; the way of these other kings was the way of man. Where does the way of man lead? It leads to death my friends.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”