Daily Devotional

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

Reading 1 -2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings and 1-2 Chronicles for these past number of weeks has been a sober reminder of the ups and downs of faith. In 1 Samuel 7, we read about the people of God tired of living in a theocracy (with God as their King) and begging Samuel for a human king like the other nations around them. And so it came to be. King Saul was anointed and reigned over a united kingdom for forty years until, because of his sin, God removed the kingdom from him. God anointed King David to reign for forty years, certainly not without raising up Nathan, the Prophet, to expose King David as an adulterer and murderer. As promised, King Solomon followed David, reigning for forty years. His reign would end with a once-wise King Solomon being reduced to paganism because of his many foreign wives. His unwise son, Rehoboam, would be the impetus for the nation of Israel to split in two. And things go from bad to worse.

             Every one of the many kings in the ten tribes in the Northern Kingdom “did evil in the sight of the LORD.” Some of them even forced their children to be burned alive as a form of pagan worship. Eventually, these ten tribes would be conquered and assimilated in the Assyrian nation around 722 BC.

These same historical books point out that there were only eight “relatively good” kings in the Southern Kingdom (Judah and Benjamin) who “did right in the sight of the LORD.” However, too many of these good kings still allowed varying levels of paganism to exist in their kingdoms. That, too, would have devastating results. Around 586 BC, these two remaining tribes would be conquered by the Babylonians (under King Nebuchadnezzar) and kept in captivity for some seventy years, until God raised up a pagan Medo-Persian King Cyrus to both conquer the Babylonians and free the people of Judah/Benjamin to return to “the land” and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

It has been often said that history is really HIS STORY. Well, where is God in all this history of sinful mankind? The answer is simple. He never left. I am reminded of the old saying: “If you don’t feel close to God, guess who moved?”            

Throughout the ups and downs of His people’s faith He was always there--warning, chastening, loving, protecting, providing redemption and forgiveness. So, regardless of the frailties of our human leaders and the people that follow them into sinful practices, we can trust our lives to Jesus Christ “who is the same yesterday, today and forever.” He is the One who is not just a king like all the other nations may have. He is the King of Kings and LORD of LORDS. And He will reign forever and ever! What other king could we want?
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
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