Solomon, the king who had it all, doesn't follow God completely, and it seems to be contagious and costly for Israel, even after he's gone. In 1 Kings 13-14, Israel is divided. Solomon's son, Rehoboam, rules the tribe of Judah, and Jeroboam rules the other eleven tribes of Israel. It makes for lots of fighting, mislead worship in high places, worshiping idols, and ruling by self-interest. Several prophets try to talk God's sense into His people, but they continue to rely on their own common sense instead. It's a recipe for disaster.
I don't know about you, but I read sections like this in the Bible, and I get frustrated. I find myself fighting to find some good news. That's the stuff I want to hear. Don't these people (the Israelites) know what they are doing to themselves? Somehow, I don't think they do. I think it's the same for us. If only it were that simple.
Jesus is the one who brings the good news. Without Him, we are all hopeless cases who can't see the forest for the trees. I am reminded of His horrific death this week as we approach Easter. I don't like reading the gory details, but, it's the reality I have to know to appreciate where I am today. The perfectly innocent Son of God died for me.
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said,“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
God loves you and me so much, and He knows us so well, that He sent His son to save us from ourselves. Because of Jesus we are forgiven, and we live in the everlasting hope that comes from our Savior.
Because of Jesus, it's never too late to turn to God and take part in turning our lives around. Our real help comes from Him. If that's the only thing we do, or even the last thing we do, we will be much better for it.
A prayer for today-
Thank You for the good news Jesus' death and resurrection brings to my life. Thank You that because Jesus died for me and lives, I am filled with the hope of new life.
Forgive my self-guided ways. Help me to turn to Jesus and surrender to His way for me. When I get lost, Lord, open my heart to Your direction. When I am on Your path, give me the sense to know it.
And as I go into the world, help me to bring Your hope to those who need it the most. I pray that I will be a reflection of Your light into the darkness.
In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit I pray,
Peace of Christ,