Ever played a team sport?
Or even been in a gym
when captains were picking teams
and you stand there, waiting...
hoping, you're not the last one?
Well, as I read through
this chronological Bible
I find myself in the books of
1 Kings and 2 Chronicles,
but sadly, not all
the leaders of Israel
can play nicely together.
So they decide to pick teams.
Rehoboam, the son of Solomon,
inherits the kingdom
of all of Israel from his father.
But he doesn't play so nice,
and the people are over taxed,
over worked, and not so happy.
So Jeroboam, Solomon's former servant,
whom God prophesied to be king,
comes back from Egypt
elbowing his way onto the playing field
Now there are two teams.
The norhern and the southern;
This is the choosing of the teams.
As was prophesied,
Jeroboam takes his place as ruler
over ten of the twelve tribes of Israel.
This remains Israel...
the northern kingdom.
That leaves Rehoboam as king
of the other two,
Judah and Benjamin.
This is sinlmply named Judah...
the southern kingdom.
This division is not as God would prefer it.
And neither king is leading the people
under His guidance,
under the Book of the Law.
So God sends a prophet to tell the people,
You have abandoned me,
so I am abandoning you...
2 Chronicles 12:5 NLT
This repentance in Judah is brief.
And soon they return to their pagan ways.
Upon the death of each of these kings,
the crown is typically passed on
but on occasion power usurped
Regardless, the northern kingdom of Israel
suffers evil king, after evil king.
And the people continue to worship
and build altars to pagan gods.
While the southern kingdom of Judah,
recovers after a few bad kings,
coming back to honoring God.
But only when the ruler
leads the people in that manner.
Below, I have included a chart
that I created
to help track the kings.
It does become tedious to keep up
with who is on which team.
For the northern and southern
were war with each other continually.
By far, within this listing of kings,
thus far, most honorable
seems to be Jehoshaphat.
His father Asa, was also a very good king,
tearing down altars to false gods.
And Jehoshaphat continues in his footsteps.
Then Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son,
became the next king.
He strengthened Judah
to stand against any attack from Israel.
2 Chronicles 17:1 NKJV
The Lord was with Jehoshaphat
because he established Judah under God
and he did not tolerate the worship of Baal
or foreign gods.
He sent officials around the kingdom
to teach the townspeople about God
since generations had neglected
to pass on the their faith to their children.
These elders took with them
the Book of the Law of the Lord
and traveled throughout Judah teaching.
Then the fear of the Lord
fell over all the surrounding kingdoms
so that none of them
wanted to declare war on Jehoshaphat.
2 Chronicles 17:10
Even Philistines and Arabs
brought gifts, silver tributes and animals
to honor this king.
Surely, it is good
to have a leader and ruler
who loves and leads with the Lord
as his God.
If I had been standing about,
waiting on the field to be picked,
surely I would have stood a little taller,
leaned I a little closer, smiled a little brighter
when Jehosgaphat looked in my direction.
This team of Judah would certainly be
the wining one for me.
Word of God,
train me, today...
to pay attention to the heritage
of these kings,
for their decisions
certainly affected many,
to lean in and learn most
from those who honored You
with their life, as they did not always
make the easy choices.
I most likely
will never be king.
But I realize...
that even as a parent,
I serve You in
a vital leadership role.
And these, my daily choices,
show what I worship...
my to-do list,
how I spend money,
how I treat others,
how I treat myself,
my choice of words,
who I spend time with,
my sleep habits,
my diet and exercise,
and above all...
my outward decision
to live for You.
is much like
a team You have
chosen for me.
Let me not neglect
to lead this team to victory,
raise my children
as Jehoshaphat cared
for his kingdom.
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