Tuesday, May 18, 2010

First and Second Kings: The End

First Kings begins with Solomon, the King of Israel, asking God for wisdom, setting out to rule God's people, setting out to build a temple for the Lord God Almighty. Second Kings, which is originally part of the same literary text, ends with Solomon's temple being dismantled. In between, Solomon turns his back on God, the kingdom is divided, the people war against one another, and finally, surrounding kings take the people into captivity.

The End.

Solomon's golden reign, filled with peace and prosperity, ends tragically.
David's line is destroyed.
Hope is lost.

But God's faithfulness, his compassion, and his promises never fail.
He is all-powerful.
He can do the impossible.

We see his power most clearly when no human possibilities remain.
We don't need a Savior when we can save ourselves, or when we don't even need saving.

David's line is not lost.
We know that.
We know that Jesus, the Son of God, comes from the line of David.

He is that Messiah, first promised in Genesis.
He is that King who will reign forever on David's throne.

We know that, but the people of Israel don't.
They can't see into the future the way we can look into the past.
They can have faith in God's promises. Or not.

And we can have faith in God's promises. Or not.
We can look into the past and see God's faithfulness to the people of Israel.
We can look into the past and see God's faithfulness to people in our spiritual community.
And, if we have walked with God long enough, we can look into the past see God's faithfulness in our own lives.

And then we can trust him with today. Or not.

As an aside, it is important to study Scripture and learn God's character, to identify his promises. If we don't know them, if we don't know God, it's very hard to have faith, and it's very hard to trust.

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