And observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go (NIV) 1 Kings 2:3
From wisest to vilest
The book of 1 kings records the final years of the united nation of Israel and its subsequent breakup into two separate kingdoms- Israel and Judah. The opening chapters describe Solomon’s divinely given wisdom and the golden years of his reign. But the dangers of success ultimately cause Solomon to take his eyes off God and focus instead on power, influence, wealth and foreign idols. Because of his disobedience, civil war breaks out, the kingdom is torn in two and the two kingdoms slip deeper into wickedness.
Within this account of Israel’s decline, we meet those who stand firm in their commitment to God, as well as those who actively campaign against him. We feel the heartache of a mother who is willing to give away her child to preserve his life (1Ki 3:16-28). We applaud the respect accorded to the queen of Sheba as she questions Solomon (1Ki 10). We sorrowfully observe the negative impact brought about by solomon’s devotion to things other than God himself (1 Ki 11). We are humbled by the trusting belief of the widow of Zarephath (1 Ki 17:7-24) but horrified by the manipulative wickedness of Jezebel (1 Ki 18-21).
The chapters of 1 Kings illustrate a clear correlation between a leader’s personal morality and the course of those who follow that leader. Success in a leadership role requires taking God’s commands and promises seriously. Disobedience to god’s commands will bring devastating consequences that may affect several generations, but obedience to God’s way will bring far-reaching blessings.