Read 1 kings 16:8-24, and what you will find is the people of Israel were no better than the people of this country today. Sin was so prevalent then and it is prevalent today. In this text, we see king after king taking over the people of Israel. Over- and -over again, the king leads his people away from God instead of towards God. What really stands out to me is the importance of a leader and how he or she can impact the behavior of others. Therefore, how do we stand up for justice in the midst of chaos and hate? How do we hear the Word of God in a world where differences are being protested? Here is what I think…
I believe that being a Christian is much harder than it was just 10-20 years ago. Having a voice and a difference of opinion is a good thing; however, it is now being protested with hate, violence, and destruction. As Christians, we are called to respect these differences, but with love, acceptance, and understanding. I do not believe this means we have to agree with others and their way of living, but to listen to their stories with an understanding they may be different from us and our beliefs. I believe it is most important that we realize that we are not the judge, but God who will judge all of us. For me, this understanding is a huge relief!
There is only one way to stand strong in a world of sin – And, it is the same 2000 years ago as it is today… We do not stand a chance without a strong relationship with God. God has to be our leader! God has to be the One who guides us and gives us strength to endure the evil in the world today! Israel continued to sin. The world continues to sin. We continue to sin. It is only Jesus Christ who died for us that gives us an inkling of an opportunity for forgiveness.
Let us pray, Gracious and Loving God, the world is a rough place to live in these days. Help us to turn to You for leadership – giving us the guidance and the strength to live a life that is pleasing in your eyes. We give thanks for Your Son Jesus Christ, the One who died for our sake. Amen.