Readings for the day
1 Kings 16-17, Matthew 16, 2 Corinthians 2, Proverbs 30, Psalm 5
Refusing to follow ungodly leadership
“I lifted you up from the dust and appointed you ruler over my people Israel, but you followed the ways of Jeroboam and caused my people Israel to sin and to arouse my anger by their sins . . .”
“When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died, because of the sins he had committed, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD and following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. . .”
“But Omri did evil in the eyes of the LORD and sinned more than all those before him. He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols. . .”
“Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him. He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him. . .”
-1 Kings 16:2, 18-19, 25-26, 30-33
I think often time Christians like to say things like, “Well, God put this person in power, and he knows more than we do. We have to accept that maybe this is the best thing for the country. Obviously God has a plan.”
While reading 1 Kings today it amazed me how many times God raised up a King and basically said, “Listen, I am giving you control. You know why I overthrew the last king. You know my laws. You know how I want you to govern. This is not complicated. I have laid it all out for you. You have my commands, follow them!”
And time after time the leadership was corrupted, sin crept its way in, and it trickled throughout the people of Israel.
When we accept leadership that governs in a sinful way, puts laws in place that are counter to the commands of God, accepts bribes, accepts and encourages sinful behavior; it becomes easy to accept these same things in our own lives. We begin to rationalize, we allow others in our lives to rationalize, and we accept that maybe sin is not really sin.
All too often we think that God no longer wants us to live by his commands. We think that the constant political unrest in our country is caused by “the far left” or “the far right”. Is it possible that God keeps giving chances to both sides and neither side have governed in a godly way?
Is it possible that God wants our country to by governed by people of integrity? Is it possible that when a politician promises one thing and does another it angers God? Is it possible that God is tired of every president claiming to be Christian and yet leading the country as if they are not?
It doesn’t matter that you claim to be Christian or that you ask American’s to pray for victims of a tragedy if you are simultaneously accepting bribes, passing laws that are against the constitution that swore to uphold with your hand placed on a bible, and allowing laws to be passed that are counter to the commands of God.
Is it possible that we are living through another period of ungodly leadership similar to the time of 1 Kings?
I think it is important that we hold or leaders to a high standard. By not doing this, we accept their sin and choose to follow it. Both political parties in this country have been incredibly guilty of saying one thing and doing another over the past century.
I am not sure I know the solution, but I think that the first step in fixing the system is realizing the system is broken beyond repair in its current state. The longer we put our heads in the sand and pretend a problem does not exist, the worse it gets. We get farther away from God’s commands, we get farther into debt, we allow special interests to get a more firm grasp on the political structure of our society, and the system grows more corrupt.
I think we are living in another era similar to 1 Kings.
Verse of the day Psalm 5:4
For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome.