(August 3, 2020)
– I Kings 14:19
“The other events of Jeroboam’s reign, his wars and how he ruled, are written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel.”
Note: Hi friends! I have enjoyed writing these devotionals but I simply have not had time to write them lately. I am going to try to find a new rhythm that will not be everyday, but I will particularly try to send one out on Mondays. I do hope they are a reminder of how much I miss seeing you face-to-face.
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If you read through the Books of Kings, there are 40 kings after Solomon’s death (actually, one of them was a queen, Athaliah). There were 20 in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and 20 in the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
Each one is constantly compared to King David who had “a heart for God.” Each time it was asked: Was the king faithful to Yahweh? What was their heart like? This was the criterion in assessing their reign. As for their deeds – whether they built huge buildings, won battles, or enacted trade agreements – all of those things were not recorded in the Bible; they were recorded in a different book – “the book of the annals of the kings of Israel.” This refrain about the annals is stated repeatedly as you read through the different monarch’s reigns.
If you’d like to read the annals, you cannot. They no longer exist.
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The annals are a metaphor for a misplaced focus. These kings had power, prestige, money and fame. Their work lives consumed them. Yes, they were busy… and most of them did not have a heart for the Lord. All that they strove for is now gone and unknown. Just as the annals turned to dust, so too will all “success” without the Lord.
It is frightening how easily our priorities become askew. How we can get caught up pursuing things that have nothing to do with the Lord.
When it truly comes down to it, and the last page of someone’s life on this earth has been written, at their funeral we don’t want to hear about what they did; we want to know who they were. What God was showing us in their life? Forget their “professional annals,” did they know the Lord?
That is what remains.
When your time has come – as it will to us all – what do you want to be said about you? Will it be a resounding “yes, we saw Jesus in them!” …or in all practicality, is our time spent elsewhere else?
Father, will You help us to make the most of our days? Give us hearts of love for You.
Give us hearts like Jesus, for everything else shall fade away.