1 and 2 Kings are books that give brief accounts of the kings of Israel and Judah. More details are given in 1 and 2 Chronicles and the other Old Testament books of History.
Here in chapters 15 and 16, most of the kings we read about did not follow the Lord, and the times were spiritually very dark indeed. Most of them “did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.” What were the sins of Jeroboam? The were the worship of idols, golden calves. And he built asherah poles and encouraged the people to worship other gods.
What is the first of the ten commandments? I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. When Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” this is the one He responded with.
The amazing thing to me is that God is so loving and patient that He didn’t completely wash His hands of these, His chosen people. Through all of these dark times when the kings and the people turned their backs on Him, He did not forget His promise to Abraham…that his descendants would be His people, and His promise to David that his descendants would always be on the throne.
But then, here we are in 2016 and God has still not washed His hands of mankind. He has made a way for anyone who will believe in His Son to have eternal life and a relationship with God. And most of the world is as far from God as those we read about today. Still, God is patient. And to any who ask forgiveness, He is faithful and just to forgive.
People talk about the vengeful angry God of the Old Testament. I’m sorry. I don’t see that at all. Sure, there were times that He punished His people, but it was as a loving father punishes a wayward child. He does it because of his love for the child so that they will not be harmed by the consequences of bad behavior or wrong decisions.
That really is the thread we see all through the Bible. From the first page to the last. God is love, He is madly in love with you, and He has done everything to make it possible to reconcile your bad choices so that there is no longer anything keeping you apart from Him.
That is the kind of God that I can love and serve gladly.