Jehu’s family reigns in Samaria for four generations. The fifth generation king Zechariah reigns for only 6 months. Remember the proverbs: for 3 generations and for 4 … . The story of Azariah’s (Uzziah) leprosy is in 2 Chronicles 26. Azariah was a believer who thought he was as good spiritually as those appointed to the offices in the church (i.e. then priests, or now, elders and minister). He went up in the Temple to offer incense and prayer without the call or appointment of God.
And here Israel really starts to fall apart, conspiracies, murder, many different blokes stabbing their way to the throne.
The sins of “Jeroboam the son of Nebat” are mentioned five times in this reading (and they’ve been recurrent in our previous readings too)!
I keep coming back to this, it keeps pinging loud and clear. The destructive influence Jeroboam had.
And what were his sins? Idolatry. It began super early on in his reign, 1 Kings 12 v25-33 – And this was his reason, “If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, …”
He used false religion as a tool to maintain his power and influence (and life).
False religion is all around us today. Sometimes it can be easy to see, think about the hypocrisy we see in various institutions. But sometimes it can be right beside us in our own life.
And we know it’s not an easy thing to do, and that it’s a long-distance run to the prize (1 Cor 9).
But the prize is worth it!