Leaders are important. That fact is very apparent in the world we live in today. But in fact, leaders have always been important. Effective leaders are able to attract others to them without ever pursuing them. Effective leaders draw deep loyalty without asking for it.
As we found out this week in Chapter 16 of The Story, the Israelites were very loyal to their king, even to the point of fault. Israel had 39 different kings, but unfortunately only five did what was right in the eyes of God. And as we see in 2 Kings 17, King Hoshea was not one of the five. Verse 2 states, “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not like the kings of Israel who proceeded him.” Hoshea was in cahoots with Assyria and then Egypt, two countries that put other gods before the God of Israel. God was displeased, and the people of Israel are deported to Assyria. The northern kingdom of Israel is gone.
The problem is that the people lost their way. The Lord had warned them, “Turn from your wicked ways.” They were to follow the law—God’s law. But the people fooled themselves into thinking that they could do whatever they want. God’s grace will cover them, right? Verse 14 states, “But (the people) would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the Lord their God.”
The law showed what God desired, and we are to govern our lives this way. We are to follow the law, not because it will save us, but it is how we show the world who He was. We are saved by grace, but if we don’t follow the law, we are just abusing that grace. And don’t think that others don’t notice.
Put all of this in the context of today. We are living in a time of great division. But no matter the side of the fence you are on, God says, “Put Me first.” God could not let the Israelites continue in their ways, and neither can we depart from the law and expect grace to save us. God wants you to come back to Him. God wants you to show the world who he is.
Continue to stay in the Word each week and join us for our 10:15 a.m. service either in person or online.