It is hard to believe that I’m getting ready to start week 7 of this series of chronological readings! Wow! By the time I write here next week, I’ll be 1/2 finished. I really should celebrate for sure!
I have made it through the Pentateuch, traveled to the Promised Land after wandering for 40 years in the desert. I have read through the history of Israel since Joshua took them across the Jordan River and almost finished the series of historical books that are listed as I and II Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. There is a lot of history of good kings, bad kings and mediocre kings. This next week I’ll be finishing the Poetic books…Psalms isn’t quite finished yet. One book should have been finished last week, but isn’t. Then I’ll be starting the Major and Minor Prophets. I hope to be caught up by tomorrow…or very soon thereafter!
The books I have been reading are loaded with adventure and intrigue. They are also full of people who know what they are supposed to do, but not doing it! How many times has GOD reminded them NOT to marry people from these other nations who worship other gods? How often does He remind them that He is the only GOD and He won’t share His glory/worship with other gods?
But they don’t seem to pay attention! Even many of the good kings didn’t bother to tear down the Asherah poles or places of Baal worship! That is why GOD was so angry with them and sent destruction. Their behavior was not unlike the unfaithful wife who goes after other men instead of being faithful to her husband. That is what Israel did with their GOD.
This is the one time jealousy and anger is most appropriate. In marriage, we are to be faithful to our spouse. It is an exclusive relationship. That was how GOD felt with the relationship He had with His people. He still does. He spelled out very clearly what His expectations were in terms of worship and atonement for sin…both sins of commission and sins of omission, for sins we intended to do and the ones we didn’t intend. But He wants our allegiance to Him to be exclusive.
Often, an indicator of the commitment of the king to GOD was when an enemy was headed toward their nation, what did the king do? Did he call out to GOD? or did he just head off in the direction of war without much thought? Taking the time to ask GOD what he should do was a good sign for a king, that he was following after GOD. Of course, another good sign was when he would obey the command of the prophet who had given him a word from GOD!
As I read through this large section of Israel and Judah’s history, I see how GOD watched over His people and protected them often. But when His people ignored Him and intermarried with nations nearby and in essence, behaved like harlots toward Him, He had to punish them. It was the only way they would come back to Him and repent.
Is our personal allegiance whole-heartedly to GOD? Do those around us know it?
What are the idols in your life that are distracting you from your relationship with GOD?
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