I’ve been reading through the Old Testament lately. Okay, sorry. I’ve been trying to read through the Old Testament lately. I’ve had a couple long dry spells. Not because it’s the OT, don’t get me wrong. The dry spells have more to do with my own undisciplined nature when it comes to daily reading. Anyway, I skipped the law books and started with the more historical books, in almost-chronological-order. (Anyone else with me when I say I think I’ve probably read Genesis and Exodus more than any other book….based on the well-intentioned New Year’s resolution?)
Okay, we’re back from my rat hole. I have now completed Kings and Chronicles. Albiet I skimmed the long lists of names and focused on the historical parts. What struck me were the personalities of the Kings that we got a glimpse of…some more than others. Some kings ruled for decades and we can read a lot about them. Others ruled for a couple months. Just about all of them ended with the verse “for the rest of their story, see the [book about the kings of Israel and Judah]. Incidentally, anyone ever heard or seen this text the Bible refers to? /shrug
I don’t necessarily like to focus on negative things, but really, we can learn from others’ mistakes. The others in this case being some of the kings. And what I find is that, their personality quirks aren’t so different than mine. And I’m referring to those “human nature” parts of us that tend to cause us to stray. Here’s one that stuck out to me: King Asa (2 Chron. 14). He was a good king and enjoyed a time of prosperity, but this drew him into a sense of complacency. RED FLAG! When his country was attacked, instead of turning to God, he turned to a neighbor for help. The prophet told him “God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him.” Anyone else find themselves in a peaceful time, become complacent and think you can handle it?
There’s King Jehoshaphat. (2 Chron. 17) Again, a good king who helped clear out idols from the country. One day, he was asked to help fight against an enemy. He went through the motions of seeking God RED FLAG! but had pretty much made up his mind what he was going to do anyway.
King Uzziah (2 Chron. 26) was “well trained by his pastor and teacher.” His victories and wealth made him arrogant. RED FLAG! He pretty much decided he didn’t need anyone else to do the temple rituals for him so he stormed in and did them himself. He left with a skin disease and lived the rest of his life in isolation. King Jotham (2 Chron. 27) was a good king but turned the other cheek when it came to his people living lives of corruption. We have biblically established guidelines that require us to humbly, but firmly, rebuke our brothers and sisters in Christ if they are living in sin. But do we?
I could go on. Maybe this would make an interesting full study to do. Wonder if there’s anything like that out there. I guess the point is, even though we aren’t bound by the OT law, there is still much we can learn from it. I look forward to continuing into the minor prophets as they warn Israel of their coming destruction and how God restored them when they returned to Him.