Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
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Friday, June 24, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for June 25, 1 Kings 15, 2 Chron 17

Today's readings are 1 Kings 16, 2 Chron 17. Tomorrow's are 1 Kings 17-19. 

In 1 Kings 16, Baasha comes to a bad end for bringing ungodly and sinful behavior to God's people. Those who become leaders will be accountable for how they lead. God makes it clear, through His prophet Jehu, that He is the one who put Baasha in place and He will be the one to exact a consequence for Baasha's rebellion against God.

Baasha's son takes over and come to a bad end at the hands of Zimri who wipes out the entire house of Baasha just as God prophesied. 

Zimri is no better. He dies almost immediately when Omri attacks the capital. 

Notice the breathtaking slide Israel is taking. First they fight with Judah. Now they are fighting and killing each other, all over who will be the leader/king. 

Israel now divides, half following Omri and the other half following Tibni. Omri's most significant achievement is to establish Samaria as a city. Still, Omri is not a good man, another in a growing line of evil kings of Israel. 

Ahab takes over from Omri and seems to be the worst of the entire lot, so far. Ahab leads Israel in total apostasy, worshiping Baal and setting up altars to false gods and idols. 


 Meanwhile, in 2 Chron 17 we see Jehoshaphat reigning in Judah and fortifying it against Israel. This is what they have been reduced to - wasting time and resources defending themselves against people who are supposed to be their brothers. 

There is a stark contrast between Israel and Judah at this point. Jehoshaphat leads Judah in godliness while Israel continues to move away from God. Judah is blessed. Israel's struggles begin to multiply. 

Has Judah learned their lesson? Will Israel learn theirs? The story is just beginning to get interesting.

Know this, Israel's slide did not happen overnight. It started when they were unjustly treated by Rehoboam. This is a key point. Their indignation over being treated "unfairly" caused bitterness to grow, resulting in the division God warned them not to allow to happen. Israel's slide began in self-righteous anger and a demand for their rights. While there is nothing wrong with speaking up for our rights, that should never threaten the unity of God's people. Furthermore, it should never become a cause for anger or bitterness. Look where it has gotten Israel so far. Watch where it takes them.   

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