You Can Be Pleasing to God in the Midst of Terrible Circumstances!

October 4, 2014

First Kings 14 provides a glorious account that has great relevance to the very difficult life circumstances that a vast number of people in the world are facing today. A close look at this passage shows that you can be pleasing to God in the midst of terrible circumstances!

The Great Wickedness of Israel under the Rule of King Jeroboam I

As His judgment upon Solomon for his wickedness, God brought about the division of His people into the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah (1 Kings 11-12). God raised up Jeroboam the son of Nebat to be king over the Northern Kingdom (1 Kings 11:31, 35).

Jeroboam was a horrifically wicked king (1 Kings 11:26-33; 13:33-34). He sinned greatly in spite of God’s great goodness to him (1 Kings 14:7-9; see this post for an explanation of this important point).

Under his evil rule, Israel became very wicked (1 Kings 12:30; 13:33; 15:30). False worship abounded in Israel far more than it ever had prior to the reign of Jeroboam (cf. 1 Kings 14:9).

One Who Was Pleasing to God in This Evil King’s Own Household

Scripture implicitly highlights the great wickedness of Jeroboam’s household in a noteworthy way by revealing that there was only one person in it who was pleasing to God (in some unspecified manner):

1Ki 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

This statement, however, does much more than implicitly highlight the wickedness of Jeroboam’s household—it magnifies the reality that Abijah the son of Jeroboam (I Kings 14:1) was a person in the royal household in whom was “found some good thing toward the Lord” (1 Kings 14:13)!

The Glorious Significance of Abijah’s Uniqueness

In a manner that Scripture does not explain, Abijah was somehow still pleasing to God even though all the rest of his family was wicked, especially his father. Moreover, God found something good in him in spite of the great wickedness of all the people around him and of the country in which he lived.

Despite his terrible circumstances, especially the horrifically false worship that permeated Israel at this time, Abijah was yet pleasing to God to an extent that God deemed it worthy to record in His eternal Word how He would uniquely favor him in contrast to the fate that the rest of his family would experience! This record about God’s strikingly taking notice of Abijah provides us all with a glorious account of how someone was pleasing to God in spite of his terrible circumstances!

By not specifying anything about what was good about Abijah or about how and why Abijah had something good in him toward God, the Holy Spirit has made this text applicable for people who live in all kinds of bad situations. Undoubtedly, God intends from this passage that you would learn and believe that like Abijah, you can be pleasing to God in the midst of terrible circumstances!

May He grant you repentance (as needed) and faith to please Him regardless of how difficult your life circumstances may be.


To learn how you can be pleasing to God, please read my post The Gospel of God and His Christ.

Rajesh

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