每日诗歌: 祢真偉大 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccsp5STF9uk)
1 King 16 [Read]
1 King 17 [Read]
1 King 18 [Read]
John 1:29-51 [Read]
After the death of Solomon, the nation of Israel split into the North (Israel) and the South (Judah). Even though the formal break came after Solomon, the division started from David’s time (2Sam 2:10). When the King followed God, God blessed him by keeping the Kingdom together. When Solomon sinned, God gave him over and the Kingdom formally split.
When reading today’s OT passages, we should take note of the following. First, the Northern Kingdom of Israel had a bad start. God gave 10 tribes to Jeroboam because of idolatry committed by Solomon (11:33-35), but Jeroboam made it worse by forging the two golden calves (12:29). He also chose his own priests and dates for sacrifices (12:31-33) to lure Israel away from God for the security of his throne (12:27). That was “the sin” which was repeatedly mentioned in today’s OT reading (15:26, 16:13, 19, 26). Hence, the Kings of Israel were all evil in God’s eyes and many of them were killed by their subordinate (15:27, 16:9, 18). It’s a pattern to show the consequence of rebellion against God.
Second, the Kingdom of Judah in contrast had bad kings like Rehoboam (14:22) and Abijah (15:3), yet it also had good kings like Asa (15:11). Instead of constantly changing the lineage of the Kings like their northern neighbor, the throne of Judah continued to stay in the family of David. This was because the promise God made to David of always giving him a lamp in Jerusalem (15:4). Even after Babylon ended the Kingdom of Judah, the lineage continued to the birth of Jesus (Mt 1:1). It was a gracious evidence of God’s unchanging will.
Finally, there is a trend of worsening sins committed by the Northern Kings, and such trend reached its climax in King Ahab (16:30-33). This was also the time the prophet Elijah appeared in the history of Israel. That marked the transition into another era, where God would reveal his will directly through his chosen servants, the Prophets.
As we continued our journey into the OT, it is important to catch such movements in God’s eternal plan. Our God is a purposeful God, and things happened for a divine purpose in both the world and our individual lives. There is an order in the seemingly chaotic world, and our Lord is the one who sustains such order to move things towards the final consummation. Let us be thankful for that.
Keep on reading,