Bible in a Year – Day 115: A Better Angle
If we’ve learned anything over the past 115 days, it’s that God will do just about anything to get his point across. He’ll also use just about anything or anybody. So, it should not come as a shock to read about Jeroboam (II) in chapter 14 – about his actions or about how God used him for Kingdom purposes.
Jeroboam was nothing special as a king – just one in a long line – except of course that he had a name that rang familiar to the people of Israel and to those of us who have been following this succession of kings. The first Jeroboam did all kinds of evil things. If you remember, he was formerly one of Solomon’s officials, but he was rebellious and ended up running for his life and fleeing to Egypt.
Upon Solomon’s death, however, Jeraboam returned to Israel and became king. He then perpetuated the division between the northern tribes (Israel) and the southern tribes (Judah) by barring his people from worshiping in Solomon’s temple (which was in Jerusalem in Judah) and setting up golden calves for them to worship instead.
Jeroboam son of Nebat’s name was synonymous with sin in ancient Israel, and so, when his namesake, Jeroboam son of Jehoash assumed the throne, it probably came as no surprise that this new Jeroboam was as wicked as the first. Chapter 14, verse 24 tells us that “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.”
But God had a plan for Jeroboam. This evil, wicked king would be used by God to bring about a kind of restoration for Israel. He was evidently a valiant fighter and managed to recover the areas of Damascus and Hamath from Judah. In this way, we are told in verse 27, God saved Israel by the hand of Jeraboam.
God saved Israel by giving victory to a wicked king. You know there had to have been other would-be kings in Israel sitting around and wondering why God would allow this guy to be so successful. I mean, we do that today, right? “God, I’m following you and trying to be faithful and my life is crap. This guy is out there doing whatever he wants and he seems to have the Midas touch.”
You see, if you’re like me, you sometimes get bogged down in the personal stuff. God’s perspective is much larger. He had more interest in saving a nation than in showing one man who was boss…at that time. Now, there are plenty of instances in the Bible where God decided to show someone who was boss (even his faithful servant Moses got to experience that one), but in this time, at this place, the all-knowing God decided that the better scenario was for this king to win these military victories, even though it meant that Jeroboam’s kingdom – and ego – would be increased.
God has unfathomable insight into every complexity of every situation. For me, when I see the “Jeroboam” of this world being successful in seemingly everything they do, it does me some good to remember that the view from where I stand is not a good one. I’m better off to defer to the big guy – he’s got the better angle.
- Bible in a Year – Day 358: Cheaters
- Bible in a Year – Day 354: Holy Peace, Batman!
- Bible in a Year – Day 353: Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing
- Bible in a Year – Day 329: Slaves of Righteousness
- Bible in a Year – Day 304: Simple, Powerful Prayer
- Bible in a Year – Day 295: Worth It
- Bible in a Year – Day 284: Jesus’ Cleaning Service
- Bible in a Year – Day 281: Faithful Dog
- Bible in a Year – Day 271: Sticky Sin
- Bible in a Year – Day 269: Win-Win