I Kings 14-15
There seems like there is no hope for Israel and Judah.
It’s been about 450 years since Joshua led these people into the Promised Land. They have been taught to remember the covenant and all of the miracles which God had performed on their behalf. He had delivered them from Pharoah with many signs and wonders, and had led them into this land. They had an unprecedented history with their Creator.
Of course, they didn’t have the Bible as we know it, but they did have the Law of Moses and all of the traditions handed down by the priests. The kings had been taught about the God of Israel and the importance of remaining faithful.
Yet what a mess! The kings are going after every heathen god imaginable, and observing their practices. All of this is an abomination.
In 14: 25-27 there seems to be a prophetic statement when the king of Egypt comes and steals all of the treasures out of the house of the Lord. These treasures were all of the gold implements put there by Solomon. There were shields, cups, vases, and many more works of pure gold. Rehoboam replaces the shields with bronze.
It seems that this is symbolic for the true worship of God being replaced with artificial. No longer real, but phony – a substitute for the real.
Unfortunately, there will never be another good king in Israel, which consists of the majority of the great covenant-people of God.
However, God keeps his covenant with the one remaining tribe. He still will lead Judah, because He had promised David that He would watch over his throne.
Then, too, the Lord needs to have a people who will be faithful so that they can eventually bring the Savior on the scene for us.
It’s hit or miss on Judah’s kings, but there is a hit on Asa. He removes the cult prostitutes, and he even removes his mother from being the queen mother, because she is worshipping Asherah.
As we are moving through this history of Israel, it’s a good idea to relate the incidents to modern times. A secular culture is always trying to penetrate the church and its teachings, and hearts are always being swayed.
We can learn some lessons, if we pay attention.
The hardest moment of Jesus’ life is about to come. For the first time in all of eternity, He is to be separated for His Father.
As He prays in the garden, sweat drops of blood fall to the ground. The stress is tremendous.
Several years ago, the Lord awoke me in the middle of the night and had me go into my den. He began to teach me from these passages, as He took me to every account of this Gethsemane experience, and He showed me what was happening.
While in the garden, Jesus knew that He was going to pull off the most extreme measure in the history of the world. He was going to be separated from His Father, as He died and paid the price for our sins. He was going into hell for three days, and then, after paying the full price to the devil, the Holy Spirit would come into Him and lift Him up from the dead for the greatest feat known to man.
The only assurance that this feat would work was Jesus’ faith in God’s plan.
You and I might be striving to enter the rest of faith as we undertake our challenges, but we’ve never faced anything like this. Think about what Jesus was going through.
He is a forerunner for us. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not by any means saying that what we do is as significant as what He did. I am just saying that there is a pattern here.
There are times when we know that God’s best is not being performed yet in our lives. As we pray and meditate on the Word, there are times when we know that our faith needs to improve. We just aren’t really believing what we have read yet. We are saying, “Lord, help my unbelief.”
As we follow the leading of Jesus and continue to pray, we will come through to a bright moment when we will know deep down within ourselves that we have what we are believing for. We won’t see it with our eyes, but we will know that we will be seeing it.
Our faith has become a reality.