Fun Fact: First and Second Kings were originally ONE book (for convenience’s sake, someone divided it due to its length).
This book takes us primarily through the Kings of Judah, leading up to the time of exile. David calls his son, Solomon, to him, to issue final instructions and wisdom. He tells him to be strong, to act like a man by following God’s law, and to hold on to the promises of God (1 Kings 2:2-4). Like much of the Bible, the account of the kings of Judah highlights the conflict within each of us to serve ourselves or God.
And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. (I Kings 18:21)
These books also illustrate over and over that the people with whom we associate matter a great deal to our own faithfulness. Solomon had 700 wives, most of whom were for political treaties rather than love. Perhaps one might argue that he turned from God because he had so many wives turning his head this way and that BUT Ahab only had one wife, and he permitted her to incite him to other gods and do evil (1 Kings 21:25-26).
Though Solomon was the wisest man, his son did not learn discernment, choosing to follow his peers rather than those with experience. We’ve all been there too! Yet how often do we also BEG our own children to learn from our mistakes and make better choices than we did, sooner than we did?
The greatest lesson of all though is as long as we draw breath, it is not too late to repent and return to the Lord. He’s given us a clear path to redemption. While I love reading accounts of people who become Christians when they are 80, 90, or even 100 years old, and I do rejoice over them, I also feel a pang of sadness. What more influence could they have had? One adage says something like, we cannot change the past and we have no guarantee of the future. Today is a gift and that’s why we call it the present. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, NOW is the day of salvation.
We lead others by our example. They may not listen to our words, but they are watching our lives. When they notice how we are consistently different from the world around us, they will get curious and then they will be ready to listen.
Check your leadership – Walk worthy – Grow up in the Lord!