I have spent a far bit of time recently working my way through ‘Kings’ and ‘Chronicles’ which both retell the stories (sometimes word for word with each other) of the kings of Israel (and later the Kings of Judah and Israel when they split).
Now these are fascinating stories and it is great to read, particularly interesting to me is the challenges placed before these leaders, whether they fail or flourish. After about the 3 change of King I usually get lost as to who is king of where and who his father was and how many time removed they are from the kingship of David etc. (I made myself a little genealogy to keep track) but it is still good all the same.
The line that recurs over and over again throughout the whole time is ‘During his entire reign, he refused to turn from the sins of his father/ancestors’. When you hear that you instantly just think, ‘ Oh yeah, just another selfish King’, but I’m a little more concerned about it and how it applies to me.
We all know that we are products of our parents (literally and figuratively, but I don’t really want to explain that right now). We are a creation of what we see, feel, hear and believe, and for most of our preteen our parents are our number 1 example.
We pick and choose the bits we want, unfortunately genetics makes us unable to change some things (like predisposition to illness, general appearance, etc) but we can choose our behaviours based on our parent.
I love my parents and they taught me a lot and shaped a lot of the decisions I made and will make, some good, like my care for others was modelled by my mum, my actions helpfulness and persona as a teacher come from my dad, but there are also things I chose to do in spite of my parents example, smoking, drinking to excess, manipulation of others (sometimes I really fail at this), management of my money and time, letting people walk all over me (again I really struggle here too) my Christian values, etc. We all choose to react either negatively or positively to the example we are set by our parents.
My concern is this, are we doing things now, that we don’t know are wrong, just because that’s what has been modelled to us?, are we at some point in the ‘Book of No-bodies’ going to have ‘He followed the example set by the world and refused to turn from his sin’ just because we don’t know we are wrong?
Its pretty clear in Scripture:
‘Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.’ Deut 13:4 NLT
We have the example, the manual and the director to keep us on track, lets use them better.
Just a Thought