How do we use the position that God has given us?
It is tragic to notice how Jeroboam was so occupied with building his own kingdom and name, that neither the young prophet’s visit as well as the prophetic word and miraculous signs done by him, nor his son’s illness, or even the prophetic word given by prophet Ahijah the Shilonite to his wife who went to visit the prophet in order to find out whether her son would recover or not, could change Jeroboam, so as to turn him away from his adulatory, 1 Kings 14:6-18! His heart was so hardened and his spiritual vision so blurred, that even the strong words of judgment from prophet Ahijah brought no change of heart, whosoever!
We see a similar pattern taking shape with most of the kings of Judah and Israel too, vs 21-24; 1 Kings 15,16! As a result, God’s judgment came upon them, in small ways to begin with. For instance, during King Rehoboam’s fifth year, King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took away the treasures of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace. He took everything, including all the golden shields that Solomon had made, 1 Kings 14:25,26.
What was Rehoboam’s response? Instead of repenting of his idolatry and evil deeds, he made bronze shields to replace them and assigned them to the officers of the royal guard, vs 27. How often do we also postpone repentance, when God speaks to us in small ways, and find some other alternatives instead? It is also sad to see that Israel and Judah were continually at war with each other during these times, 1 Kings 15:6! The same discord can be seen in homes and Churches when God’s people refuse to humble their pride and repent so that God may be glorified therein. Kings Asa’s reign was far better than most of the other kings, however, it is sad to see the way he ended his story in the latter years of his life, vs 16-20. Eventually, in the thirty-eighth year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Omri’s son Ahab became king over Israel, *1 Kings 16:29.
He married Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians and then began worshipping and bowing down to Baal too, in addition to already following in the sinful footsteps of king Jeroboam*, vs 31! What could perhaps be the reason for such spiritual blindness and such a great lack of repentance on part of these kings that even led to them fighting against their very own brothers and using the help of heathen kings to do so as well? A closer look will reveal that their interests had shifted from glorifying God to wanting to glorify themselves! Selfish ambition had robbed them of understanding the primary intention and vision with which God had put them in a position so as to lead his people! With king David this was not so, 2 Samuel 5:12.
While he walked in the fear of God, God was glorified through him, and so, God promised him an eternal dynasty too. How is it with us? How do we use the position that God has given us? Do we used it to assert our authority for personal gain or do we use it to lead people to walk in the fear of God? Only as we repent of all selfish ambition and bitter jealousy will we be able to have the wisdom that comes from above, James 3:15-17, and serve God’s purpose effectively in our generation.
May we determine to do so to the glory of God. Amen.