Sad Reign

A reading for Tuesday, November 3, 2015: 1 Kings 14:21-31.

The reign of King Rehoboam was a sad time in the history of God's people. On Sunday in my community of faith we studied the narrative lectionary story of the dividing of the kingdom again into the northern and southern kingdom. The unraveling came in the midst of a fight between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. In today's lesson we see the unfortunate results of that division.

The nation of God's people is weak and fighting amongst themselves. They begin to look to other gods and other ways of being, and ignore God's ways for life. They are suddenly vulnerable to foreign invasion and occupation. King Shishak of Egypt comes and takes what he wants with little to no resistance. In this sad story, God's people lose wealth and power, peace and security.

The point of the story seems to be that God's people are at our best when two qualities are present. When we commit to God's ways for life being at the center of everything we do, then we are at our best. Second, when we remain united, sometimes even in spite of differences among us, we are operating as our best. When we fail, it's because we have lost our focus on God.

The story of Rehoboam might be summarized in this way:
Division, selfishness, unfaithfulness, corruption, greed, power... all these things diminish our witness to God. These are sad times for God's people.

Availability to God and others, vulnerability, humility, intentionality and purpose... all these are our ways for life in the presence of God. These are a more excellent way!

God, we are grateful for your continued presence in our world and in our lives. May we remain available and vulnerable to you and others. In Jesus name, Amen.


Popular Posts