What Happens When We Fail To Learn From The Past?
Once again into my studies I find real life applications for our daily lives. In 2nd Chronicles 21, where we left off last time, we saw that Jehoram walked away from God to his own demise and that of his country. Today we pick up in chapter 22, just after Jehoram’s death and find that the people of Judah makes his son, Ahaziah, King of Judah. The Bible says that the reason he was made king was because his other brothers had been killed by Arabian bands.
So we have a 42 year old man taking the reigns of a kingdom that has seen both amazing miracles and utter devastation. Ahaziah had seen both in his life, so one would think that he would choose the path that would lead to the amazing miracles but sadly the Bible reports that he did not.
In fact, the Bible tells us that he chose evil over good, seeking the very counsel that led to his fathers destruction. It led to his only being king for one year – he was killed for his involvement with the evil king in Israel. Why would he do that? A better question is – Why would we do that?
Oh, don’t be offended, I am not accusing anyone of anything, I just know that sometimes we go to the left when we know that the way God would have us go is to the right. Why do we do that – sometimes the temptation is just so enticing that we choose not to resist. Other times that is just what we want and we say to ourselves – God will just have to forgive me.
I say these things because I have done them. But why? Why do we choose a path that takes us away from God? It is typically a gradual slide away that leads us off the path we know is the right one. We think that this won’t hurt much – this is just a little sin – or this isn’t that bad, after all I see another Christian doing it all the time…
All of these are nothing but excuses we, I, have used to justify bad behaviors.
The devastation that occurs when we walk away from God’s plan and path is made plain throughout scripture. If it is so plain then why would we dare even consider it? It is my belief that since the consequences are not immediately seen or felt that we continue. We have to realize that God is gracious and full of mercy and if He ended things for us at every slip we would never have a chance at all. We must seek His guidance daily if we are to stay on His well lit narrow path. We must be willing to learn form the examples of those that have come before us – both good and bad. We need to realize that the devastation that bad choices brought to the disobedient way back then can and will come to those who walk the same path today.
As we “study to show ourselves approved”, we must learn from the past and apply the lessons of the past. If people are leading us away from God, then we must separate ourselves from them. This may even mean keeping our distance from members of our family. Both of these cases are present in the life of Ahaziah – his Mom was the daughter of King Omri of Israel, one of the worst kings ever and his counselors were the same ones who led his father to his demise.
These people probably used the name of “god” and I am sure spoke all the right words but their actions proved otherwise. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do in these cases. So how are we to know what is good and what is not? Two simple questions –
- Have I sought God’s Will in this area of my life?
- Is the action I am about to undertake God honoring or self-honoring? Are you doing it for you or for Him?
While the first question is one that you may be use to, the second one can cut pretty hard. I have to admit that when I check myself against that standard I fall way short. In fact, this has just brought on in me a need to repent and dig deeper in my own life.
I am not saying this is easy to do. We are going to get it wrong from time to time but what we must do everyday is seek Him, check ourselves in His mirror and ask Him to examine us and to see if there is any evil in us. A regular prayer I speak –
“Lord what would you have me to do today?”
My job is to do that which He directs. On the days that I do what He directs I filled with joy and peace. On the days that I choose not to even ask, I am often filled with anxiety and doubt – sometimes I even find myself slipping into depression when I remain there long enough.
Look, I am just being transparent with you – honest to a fault. If you find my confession here too much then, I want you to know that I find it important that we stop playing church, putting on our masks that everything is alright and that we are all holy and perfect. We need to talk about our challenges, so that the people who are following in behind us on this journey to eternity will better be able to avoid the pitfalls. I look at the stories of the kings in the books of Chronicles and see a roadmap. I see things to avoid and things to embrace. I see how God speaks to us. I see the great reward from obedience and the horrible tragedy for going our own way.
So read the story in 2nd Chronicles 22 – short chapter – and see what lessons you can learn from it. Be willing to check yourself in the mirror and be examined. Then be willing to take the next step – all those things that are found lacking and wrong – repent and return to the God that loves you and wants more for you than you can ever imagine.
2 Timothy 4:2,5