Vantage Point

I don’t have much for you today, but i just wanted to share an encouraging thought that i had over the summer.

First Samuel through Second Kings is the record of Israel’s history as a kingdom. The kingdom started under King Saul, was transferred to David because of Saul’s disobedience, was split during David’s grandson Rehoboam’s reign, and thus continued until the Babylonian captivity under King Nebuchadnezzar. Rehoboam, when the kingdom split, was left with the tribe of Judah whereas his rival, Jeroboam ruled over the remaining tribes in a kingdom known as Israel.

Jeroboam though was a wicked king. He perverted the worship of the Lord and led Israel into idolatry. As such, a prophet comes to him in 1 Kings 14:7-9 and relays the following message from God:

Go tell Jeroboam, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: I raised you up from among the people, appointed you ruler over My people Israel, tore the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it to you. But you were not like My servant David, who kept My commands and followed Me with all of his heart, doing only what is right in My eyes. You behaved more wickedly than all who were before you. In order to provoke Me, you have proceeded to make for yourself other gods and cast images, but you have flung Me behind your back.”‭‭

Notice the comparison to King David–the model king for both Israel and Judah. God says explicitly that David “kept [His] commandments and followed [God] with all of his heart, doing only what is right in [His] eyes.” Now let’s quickly compare that to the very next chapter of the narrative. In 1 Kings 15:3-5 we read about David’s great-grandson, King Abijam.

Abijam walked in all the sins his father before him had committed, and he was not completely devoted to the Lord his God as his ancestor David had been. But because of David, the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem to raise up his son after him and to establish Jerusalem. For David did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, and he did not turn aside from anything He had commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

The historian tells a different story than God told. God said that David “kept [His] commandments and followed [God] with all of his heart, doing only what is right in [His] eyes” (14:8). The historian says that David “did not turn aside from anything He had commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (15:5).

However, we need not fear a contradiction in the Scripture. This is a clear example of what God told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.”

The simple fact of the matter is people have a different perspective than God. Often our own view of ourselves is different than God’s. Others see us as sinful or hypocritical; we might be tempted to agree with them. But if we have trusted in Christ and seek to please Him with our lives, then God sees us as entirely obedient to Him because He sees us in Christ.

Let’s strive to please Him in all we do.

Trust Him today if you haven’t before.

In this with you.

Soli Deo Gloria
Solus Christus
Sola Gratia

Thanks for reading.

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