May 8 | Daily Devotion

May 8 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a complete reading of the passage

Lectio Semi-continua: a shorter reading of the passage

Lectio Divina

There is an ominous theme in this section. After the death of Jeroboam, one king after another, and one generation after the next, followed his evil ways. Nadab, Jeroboam’s son, “did evil in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of his father” (1 Kings 15:26). The next king, a man named Baasha, “did evil in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of Jeroboam” (1 Kings 15:34). After that, King Elah also angered the Lord with his wickedness. Zimri usurped Elah, but was himself dethroned for “walking in the ways of Jeroboam” (1 Kings 16:19). And then came King Ahab, whose wickedness far exceeded any previous ruler who sat on the throne of Israel. He “considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam, “ and his kingdom became even more evil thanks to his marriage to the wicked Queen Jezebel.

What is amazing in this story is the tremendous influence one generation can have on the next. King Jeroboam’s wicked reign cast a looming shadow over the kings and queens who followed him. They then influenced the people to turn away from the Lord (1 Kings 15:34). Of course, influence can work in the other direction as well. Sometimes all it takes to divert a generation’s course is one man standing up to say, “This isn’t right. I’m going to follow the Lord.” Such is the case with Elijah the prophet, who stared down the people and stood against the pseudo-preachers who had abandoned the Lord. He was a man of conviction and courage, and through him God blessed the land.

It is important for each of us to remember the power of example. Our children watch our lives, and we will be talked about for generations to come. Sure, they hear what we say, but as the old expression goes, “actions speak louder than words.”   They see how we handle trials and work through conflict. They notice whether we give of our resources for those in need and how we treat the less fortunate. They pay attention to how we stay true to our spouse even when it is hard. They especially consider and internalize whether we make worship a priority when so many other things are demanding our attention, and they take note of how we pray to God in faith and read the Word in submission. They see how we strive to glorify God in all we do. Children also see their parent’s willfully sinful deeds, and all too often those are the footsteps they follow. Our example influences those who come after us to walk in the ways of the Lord or to completely abandon Him, perhaps for generations to come. May the Lord help us to devote our lives to walking in His ways.

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the Senior Pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.