Tag Archives: Stability

Peace and Stability in Volatile Times

source: eastcentralillinoiswxphotography93 via Flickr
source: eastcentralillinoiswxphotography93 via Flickr

 

In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah…
In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah…
In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah…
In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah…
1 Kings 16:8, 15, 23, 29 (NIV)

 

After the reign of Solomon, the nation of Israel was split in two. Ten of Israel’s tribes comprise the northern kingdom of Israel with the capital in Samaria. A “Game of Thrones” is a good way to describe the political situation in the northern kingdom as the throne is occupied by a string of strongmen who largely ascended by power, violence and force. Nineteen kings occupy the throne over a period of about 200 years before being conquered by the Assyrians.

 

The tribes of Judah and Benjamin comprise the southern kingdom of Judah with the capital in Jerusalem. Judah remains loyal to the house of David and clings to God’s promises to David. The throne is occupied by nineteen kings and one queen from the line of David over a period of about 350 years before Judah is conquered by the Babylonians.

 

I found it interesting that King Asa of Judah was described as being faithful to God and he reigned over 40 years. It struck me while reading today’s chapter that during Asa’s reign the political situation in the northern kingdom is extremely volatile with a series of military leaders and strong men claiming the throne. Every one of them is described as being committed to the local pagan idols and gods rather than the God of Israel. In the case of Zimri, he held the throne for an entire week before committing suicide by burning the palace down around him. Yikes.

 

This morning I’m pondering the contrast in the two nations during Asa’s reign. It’s an apt word picture for how I think of my life with and without my faith. Despite the ebb and flow of blessing and tragedy along life’s road, I find a high degree of peace and stability from my faith in Jesus – much like Judah seemed to experience during Asa’s reign. I think back to what I remember life being like before my decision to follow Jesus and it feels a lot like the political situation in Israel with life swaying aimlessly with each shift in the power of emotions or circumstances.

 

Today, I’m thankful for peace and stability even in the midst of volatile life changes.

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Chapter-a-Day 2 Chronicles 3

The right pillar he named Jakin (Security) and the left pillar he named Boaz (Stability). 2 Chronicles 3:17 (MSG)

As I read the description of Solomon’s temple with all of its ornate construction filled with precious metals, I can’t help but remember that God created a new paradigm with the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus. No longer would he dwell in a temple made of woood and metal, but in the hearts of those who believe. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV).

If my body is a temple of the God of creation, then how precious it is. I read today’s chapter, I read of the two giant pillars named “security” and “stability” and I think of the pillars in my own life. I not only think of God, who is my rock and fortress, but also of my parents, my grandparents, my wife, my family, my mentors, and my dearest friends. My temple stands fast with strong and faithful pillars. Without them, my life would have completely fallen apart long ago.

Today, I’m thankful for those in my life on whom I can and do depend; grateful for the pillars of this temple I can aptly name “safety” and “security.”

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and J.W. Photography