Examples; July 13, 2017

1 Kings 15:11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done.

From here on through the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile we have a succession of bad kings and an occasional good one. Asa was the first really good one after David, and the first good king of Judah after the northern 10 tribes split off. He was actually David’s great-great-grandson. Already Solomon’s great intelligence and wealth are overlooked, because they weren’t the factors that really mattered. Solomon simply enjoyed – and wasted – all that David laid up by his dedication to God. Solomon’s one significant achievement was the building of the temple. By his idolatry with his multiple wives he laid the foundation for great misery down through the centuries, and the writers of Kings recognized that. Asa, on the other hand, is commended for doing what he could to roll back the various abominations of the previous three generations, even having to deal sternly with his own grandmother in the process. (verse 13) We don’t know how he happened to turn out so well, but he is bound to have had someone close to him who taught him about the Lord, probably from a young age. Whether that was his mother or someone else we don’t know; it certainly wasn’t his father. However, God knows, and that person has certainly been rewarded. Throughout the history of Israel and Judah we see a failure to transmit faith from one generation to another. It would appear that fatherhood wasn’t given much thought, other than as a biological function. Even David failed to transmit his faith to his children. The Old Testament is given to us for examples, (1 Corinthians 10:11) but they aren’t necessarily good examples! We need to see what worked and what didn’t, and let the Holy Spirit show us how to live our lives so that we will be good examples for those who follow us.

This, of course, applies as much to me as it does to anyone. I am aware both of physical generations and spiritual generations. I personally have a magnificent heritage in both those areas. I have physical descendants, and many more spiritual descendants, and I am still an example to them. I need to live so that they will be drawn to ever greater devotion and obedience to God, so that the devil will be unable to steal, kill, or destroy that which God has provided.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Someone was talking just yesterday about how they hoped my example would be followed. I pray that my example would be worth following! Keep me from pride and presumption on every level, so that people may indeed see Christ through me and be drawn to their own salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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