22 Judah did evil in the eyes of the Lord. By the sins they committed they stirred up his jealous anger more than those who were before them had done. 23 They also set up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. -1 Kings 14:22-24
Much of 1 and 2 Kings focused on the “bad leaders” of Israel and Judah. Why were they bad? They “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” It was not because they stood against popular opinion, but because of sin. These sins included worship of other gods, prostitution (of both men and women), and following other sinful practices of the nations God had removed in order for Israel to live in the land.
The result? First, God warned his people to change. Second, he predicted their destruction. When they did not change, he finally allowed judgment to take place. Yet he also continued to use a godly remnant of people to do his will, as well as promising a future restoration.
How can this help us today? First, if you are living in rebellion to God, stop now. This is not a game. God sees everything we do. We dare not live as if we will not one day be held accountable for our actions.
Second, continue to live as one of the Lord’s faithful, even when others do not.
Third, look forward to the future when God will make everything perfect. Our momentary struggles are not worth comparing to the eternity that we have to look forward to as followers of Jesus.
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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.