1 Kings 14:25-28 – When We Drift From God, We Think We Own the Truth!

Posted: February 1, 2019 in 11-1 Kings

1 Kings 14:25-28

Egypt Invades Judah

I am not usually one to talk about politics in my blog because it often divides rather than unites. And this blog is not necessarily political but will use a political example as to the nature of the country in which we now live. The government shutdown is a clear example of the nature of our country now.

The government shutdown represents the polarization of the American social landscape and how it is far different from what our nation has been like right up until probably the 1990s. What our nation has become is not what it was prior to then. Prior to the current century, you will see a nation that was governed by compromise. The governmental set-up the founding fathers gave us was one that forced us to compromise. With three branches of government, compromise was inherently necessary. No one branch of government wields all the power. Compromise was what our founding fathers wanted. In the art of compromise, they felt that what was the best for the country as a whole was what would result. Everybody would not get what they wanted but the nation moved forward with the a middle of the road result that produced the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Prior to this century, Americans could live with that because we had a more collective mentality about our nation and our life within that framework.

Increasingly though over time, we have become a nation where individual rights have become paramount over what is good for our society as a whole. Because of our increasing wealth over the generations since World War II, each succeeding generation has become more self-centered and individual rights have become greater than the collective good of our entire society. The reason for that I assume is that as we have become more wealthy as a nation over time, we have drifted from God and see ourselves as the arbiters of our own fates. We have eschewed God and replaced Him with ourselves. When that happens, we become more individualistic and less willing to subsume our personal wills to that of the greater society. What is right for me is most important and if society is destabilized by the result, it must adapt to me. With that type of society developing in us, it is no wonder that our politics in Washington are what they are. There is no longer a willingness to compromise by either party because that is weakness to them. That is giving up what I want personally and that is weakness to us. Individual rights and opinions are greater than what is good for society would be the mantra of our day.

I know that we complain about Washington. But what Washington has become is a reflection of our society. After all, we have elected every person that’s there. We complain about Washington. But Washington is us. The government shutdown is a reflection of the fact that we as a nation place our personal rights above those of what is good for the country. We get in Washington what we are. When a nation loses sight of God, we begin to focus on ourselves and make ourselves gods. Thus, we then begin to cripple our nation in the name of getting what we want rather than compromising for the greater good of society.

As we can see in our text for today (and understanding what has been leading up to it since Solomon died), Israel let the same thing happen to them. In 1 Kings 14:25-28, we see the beginning of the end of the independence of the nations of Israel and Judah. The reason being is same as what we are seeing in our nation’s capital today. Let us read this passage now:

25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam’s reign, King Shishak of Egypt came up and attacked Jerusalem. 26 He ransacked the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace; he stole everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made. 27 King Rehoboam later replaced them with bronze shields as substitutes, and he entrusted them to the care of the commanders of the guard who protected the entrance to the royal palace. 28 Whenever the king went to the Temple of the Lord, the guards would also take the shields and then return them to the guardroom.

In this passage, we reflect on that when Rehoboam came to power, he inherited a mighty kingdom. Everything he could ever want was given to him. Apparently, though, he did not recognize why he had so much or how it had been obtained. God allowed Shishak of Egypt to invade Judah and Israel. Egypt was no longer the world power that it once had been, but with the weakness now apparent in what was Solomon’s mighty kingdom, the pharaoh saw an opportunity. The Egyptian armies were not strong enough to completely subdue Judah and Israel but the damage was great and the divided kingdoms were never the same again.

The telling tale here is that within just five years after Solomon died, the Temple and the palace were ransacked by foreign invaders. How quickly the glory, power, and wealth of Solomon’s unified kingdom disappeared. When the people became spiritually corrupt and immoral (see 1 Kings 14:24), it was just a short time until they lost everything. Wealth, idol worship, and immorality had become more important to them than God. When we rebel against God, ignore Him, and push Him out of our lives, everything becomes relative and society descends into doing what is right in our own eyes rather than observing the moral absolutes given to us by God. When that happens, decay begins as a nation. We see it in what was the kingdom of ancient Israel and in every empire that man has built for himself. The Israelites became so enamored with their own pleasure that they forgot to mind the store. They became collectively weak and made them ultimately susceptible to invasion. The Egyptians here proved that it could be done. Later, we will see the complete destruction of the kingdoms of Israel – first by the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, then the Greeks and the Romans, and that’s just during the biblical era.

What can we learn in 21st century America from ancient Israel history? We can learn that we must return to God. When we understand that there is a higher power than ourselves, we become less self-centered and more willing to do what is right for society. When we understand that it is God who sets the standards for our lives and not ourselves, we become more interested in our fellow man and what is good for him as well as what is good for me. Pray that we return to God as a nation so that we can survive as a nation. When we drift from God, we drift from His blessings. When we drift from God, we decide for ourselves what is right and collectively we become weak. When we drift from God, we have examples right here in the Bible what happens to a nation when they become self-involved and make idols for themselves and of themselves.

My prayer is that both sides of the shutdown debate will learn that compromise is not weakness. May they learn that what has made our country great over these 240 plus years is not one side getting its way and pounding the other into the dirt. No, it has been our ability to recognize that we won’t get anything we want if we are not willing to give up some or much of what we want.

We have an example in Jesus Christ. He is God in the flesh. He did not have to give up any ground. He simply could have forced us to believe in Him or He could have destroyed us all or simply let us all go to hell as we deserve. However, He did give up His own rightful glory to come to earth to live a sinless life, show us how to strive for holiness, show us how far short of holiness we are (no matter how holy we think we are), and to die on the cross as the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins, and to arise from the death to demonstrate that we have hope eternal through belief in Him as the Son of God. He did not have to do that. He could have stood His ground and torched the earth. But He gave up His glory for our long-term benefit. Our politicians should remember that they are sinners and they are not the owners of the truth. They have human plans and human plans are flawed. Let each of them learn that in order for the country to move forward that they have got to give up something. Otherwise, we are just going to burn down the house just to win a victory and crush an opponent. What have we gained if we win and the house is burned down?

Amen and Amen.

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