Read: 2 Kings 15:8-31
He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his predecessors had done. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.
Our focus verse is about Zechariah, but you can see from the text that it could have been said about any and all of the kings we read about in todays passage. “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord…” This reads like an epic HBO special with all the violence, cunning, backstabbing, and murder we´ve come to expect from Hollywood dramas. But this was no made up story – as we’re told many times, it’s “written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel.” True story.
I don’t even like to watch those ultra-violent, graphic shows on tv because there aren’t any likable characters. If I’m going to spend time watching something, I have to like at least someone in the story. This passage is really no different – these guys sound more like criminals than kings. If they did anything worthy of admiration or respect, it apparently didn’t compare to the acts of violence and treachery recounted in 2 Kings 15.
What was with those guys? They were supposed to be the ones who were leading God’s chosen people. They were supposed to be the good guys – the guys the Israelites could look to in times of confusion and despair to point them towards the God who saves. But not these guys. They had one interest and one interest alone and that was getting all the power and glory for themselves. They refused to return to the Lord and they reaped the consequences of that choice. And not only them, but the whole nation of Israel. They all paid for the choices the leaders made.
Do you ever feel like we’re in the same boat? That those in authority all over the globe have made some pretty poor decisions and we all get to share in the consequences? It doesn’t matter who you align yourself with politically, it seems like across the board self-glorification and the annihilation of anyone who disagrees is the order of the day. So what are we to do in the face of this chaos?
We’re to pray.
If we truly believe that Jesus is the hope of the world, then we pray that those in authority (all over the world) would join with us in unapologetically acknowledging that Jesus is, indeed, the hope of the world. If we truly believe that the God of the universe and all that is in it hears the prayers of His people and responds, then we pray that the King of Kings would intervene and bring the Kingdom of God to places here on earth that are mired in hell.
We pray for BIG things. Things that only God can do. The praying is our part. The doing of the BIG things is God’s part.
Let’s make 2016 a year that we dedicate to praying for BIG things. BIG things for leaders of all kinds. BIG things for our brothers and sisters across the globe who are suffering. BIG things for our community. BIG things for God’s work in our own lives.
This world is so in need of God. So in the need of His redemption. Let’s not let anything stop us from praying for this world, so in need of a Savior.
Almighty God, teach me to pray for this world, for leaders in power, for my brothers and sisters who are suffering. Thank you that you are a God who saves. Help me, Lord, to believe that you can and will do big things and intervene in the chaos of this world. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen