In today’s Bible reading* we read of several kings who did what was evil in God’s sight: Nadab, Baasha, Omri, and Ahab. We’re told that Omri did more evil than anyone before him. Then, we’re told that Ahab was even more evil than Omri.
After the good King Asa died, Jehoshaphat became King of Judah. “Now the Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the former ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals but sought the God of his father and walked by his commands, not according to the practices of Israel. So the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. Then all Judah brought him tribute, and he had riches and honor in abundance.” 2 Chronicles 17:3–5 (CSB)
And under Jehoshaphat’s reign, the Levites, “taught throughout Judah, having the book of the Lord’s instruction with them. They went throughout the towns of Judah and taught the people.” 2 Chronicles 17:9 (CSB)
Once again, the people were brought back to their roots in God’s Word and reminded of His covenant with them. The reminder included their covenant obligations to obey God’s instructions.
Such is the history of the Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah in their on-again-off-again relationship with God. God used their kings to bring judgment against the kings and their people. Oftentimes, we’re told that a king behaved like David … or Jeroboam. Good or evil.
Weeks ago, we looked at Israel’s judges. Twice we’re told that in the times when there was no king, “everyone did what was good in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6, 21:25) The people needed someone to guide them. And they needed someone who would point them to the Covenant-Maker and Covenant-Keeper: Yahweh.
We don’t live in a theocracy like Israel and Judah did. But we can learn from their example. The key to not doing what is good in our own eyes is to stay anchored in God’s Word. Reading it. Studying it. Memorizing it. Obeying it.
Only by saturating our lives with the Bible will we stay true to our relationship with God.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
1 Kings 15:25-34
1 Kings 16
2 Chronicles 17