1 Kings 14:29-15:8 (Part 2) – He Gives Us Every Opportunity to Return To Him!

Posted: February 4, 2019 in 11-1 Kings

1 Kings 14:29-15:8 (Part 2 of 2)

Abijam Rules in Judah

The thing that has been plaguing me as I pondered this passage for the second time was why did God put up with the ungodly ways of the Israelite kings of the northern and, particularly, of the southern kingdom? There are two answers to that question that I think are appropriate.

First, let us think about our own children. Do we stop loving them just because they misbehave or break our “house rules” when they are living at home under our roof? Do we stop loving them when they are adults and decide that we have harmed them in some way, even if it’s just a perception that they have? The answer to both of those questions is a “no”. We love our children no matter what. We may not agree with what they are doing or even how they treat us as parents, but we still love them. Sometimes, we have to love them from afar as they work through whatever issues they have with us. But we love them anyway. Sometimes, we have to allow circumstances in their lives to play themselves out because of choices that they have made, but we still love them anyway. I think that is part of what is going on here is that God loves his chosen people, even when they are showing Him great disrespect even after all that He has done for them. God seems to be giving them every chance in the world to repent and change their ways and return unto Him. God is a longsuffering parent to the people of Israel. He loves them without end. He will allow their evil choices to run their course in their lives but He still allows them to exist as a people chosen by Him. He loves them like an earthly parent loves a child. An earthly parent will welcome their child home with open arms even after years of disagreement and disrespect because of the love the parent has for the child. God is like that with ancient Israel.

Second, the idea that comes to mind is the song by Casting Crowns called “Until the Whole World Hears”. God is so wanting all of us to return to Him that He continues to hold back his judgment on mankind. He so desires for us to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, He will be longsuffering. He wants us to have every opportunity to repent and return unto Him. There will be a time when His patience will run out and we will hear the trumpet sounds of the return of Jesus Christ that will herald the end of all things. However, in the meantime, God so desires that we have every opportunity to repent and worship Him that He will suffer with our disrespect toward Him. That is not to say that He accepts everything that we do. He is angered by our sin and disrespect just as any human parent would be. That is not to say that He will not let our sins have their consequences in our lives. However, it does mean that He will continue to love us even when we are yet sinners. He will give us every opportunity to repent. While we are living and breathing, it is never to late to repent and come unto God through His Son.

With those two things in mind, let us now read 1 Kings 14:29-15:8 once more:

29 The rest of the events in Rehoboam’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 30 There was constant war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 31 When Rehoboam died, he was buried among his ancestors in the City of David. His mother was Naamah, an Ammonite woman. Then his son Abijam became the next king.

Chapter 15

1 Abijam began to rule over Judah in the eighteenth year of Jeroboam’s reign in Israel. 2 He reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother was Maacah, the granddaughter of Absalom.

3 He committed the same sins as his father before him, and he was not faithful to the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had been. 4 But for David’s sake, the Lord his God allowed his descendants to continue ruling, shining like a lamp, and he gave Abijam a son to rule after him in Jerusalem. 5 For David had done what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and had obeyed the Lord’s commands throughout his life, except in the affair concerning Uriah the Hittite.

6 There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam throughout Abijam’s reign. 7 The rest of the events in Abijam’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. There was constant war between Abijam and Jeroboam. 8 When Abijam died, he was buried in the City of David. Then his son Asa became the next king.

After reading the passage, it reminds us all that we are no better than Abijam. We are all sinners in God’s eyes. We live in a generation that pulls us away from God and many of us fall prey to the seduction of our culture by the individual choices that we make. The thing that defines us as Christ followers is that we recognize our sinful nature and we understand what God has saved us from through the sacrifice on the cross by His Son and through His Son’s resurrection. We become acutely aware of our sin nature through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit spends our remaining lifetime rooting out the toughest roots of our sin nature. We are not made perfect until we meet Jesus in heaven when we die. As Christ followers, we recognize our sins (though it takes longer with the sins we find toughest to give up over time) through the supervision of the Holy Spirit and we begin to repent of them and turn away from them as we continue to mature in Christ.

Does God stop loving us as Christ followers when we sin. No. He is a longsuffering parent. Just as a human parent will see their child returning home after a life of hating their parent and run to them and hug them and take them in and love them as if no time had passed. God is waiting for each of us to return unto Him. Is your life a mess? Are you ready to come home? Are you ready for God to run to greet you as you come to Him from the distance? Are you tired of being sick and tired? He is a longsuffering God. He loves you. He is giving you every opportunity to return unto Him. Turn from the mess that your sins have made of your life. Turn from your running from God. Return home to the One who loves you like no other. You have every opportunity. He will accept you with open arms. Please return unto Him while you still have breath in your body.

Amen and Amen.

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