Ahijah receives Jereboam's wife
Oh my goodness! Today’s scripture reading is just down-right depressing to me. It makes me so sad to read about those times when God’s anger burns against a person, family, or people group. It makes me feel terrible to bear witness to the sinfulness of humanity as evidenced by our inability to love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
In this case, Jeroboam angered God by bowing down to false Gods and by forsaking his relationship with God-Almighty. As a consequence, God allows Jeroboam’s son to die and takes the stewardship of Israel away from his family.
In my faith tradition these types of scriptures are referred to as Law. Law means that we have sinned. Law means there are consequences for sin. Law means that the penalty for sin is death. What bad news! For we know that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)!
But, Law is never left to stand alone this side of the cross.
Law is always paired with Gospel or GOOD NEWS! God knows that by ourselves we are not capable of living up to the requirements of the Law. God knows that our sin-full nature will rise up and be greedy, adulterous, and unfaithful. So God sent GOOD NEWS from Heaven.
Jesus is our GOOD NEWS! No longer are we bound only to the Law. We are now also bound to Him who is GOOD NEWS. Jesus’ death upon the cross was the once and for all sacrifice, or atonement for our sin. God has made things right. God has restored our broken relationship with God. God proved once and for all how much God loves us! Isn’t that wonderful?!
And let me tell you, this GOOD NEWS is free! We can’t do anything to earn it and it’s available to all. But, in response to such love, given so extravagantly, our hearts can do nothing less than love and serve God in return.
Look, today’s scripture shows us exactly what life would be like if we were still bound only to Law. Jeroboam’s whole house was cut off and his entire people group was scattered! This is the consequence of sin my friends! But, thanks be to God that we now pair Law with Gospel in Jesus Christ.
We do our best to live holy and righteous lives following the commandments of God, but when we fall down and then confess our sin, Jesus picks us up again, dusts us off, kisses us on the head, wraps us up tight in arms of love and sends us on our way with the admonishment to, “Do better next time!”
We don’t have to be afraid of the God who made us, loves us, and died for us. We have been set free in Christ to love God and neighbor with great joy and great passion! Now, ain’ta that good news?!
In what ways do you need to become more aware of GOSPEL—GOOD NEWS—in your life?
Loving and Forgiving God, how I praise your name! I confess that I have tried to live a “lawful” life all by myself and I have failed. Thank you so much for the GOSPEL—GOOD NEWS—that fills my heart up with joy! I am loved! I am forgiven! I am saved! This is something I cannot keep to myself...Help me to share GOOD NEWS with others today. In Jesus Name, Amen.