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Evaluation no. 2 of KINGDOM of PRIESTS BY Eugene H. Merrill
The Divided Monarchy
A challenge in all of Bible and Theology seems to be the unfamiliar nouns nestled among fascinating stories in the land of the lost. Similar to wrapping our mind around a complex mathematical problem so too, can be the understanding of biblical events with the names of the prophets, Kings, and cities of that era. Understanding even vaguely that God’s word is truth, the following chronicle would catch a person’s eye.
If correct, Jehoshaphat was a descendant of Samuel through Asa; each had their own tally of bad decisions. Perhaps a blatant manipulating of their purpose here on earth provoked by the enemy; as each was in-fact chosen by Yahweh to be King. Page 357 notes Asa was a godly ruler who walked in the ways of David. Just as today’s society faces new challenges and decisions on a daily basis, so did these Kings in their day. The section moves onto note Asa made a treaty obtaining Ben-Hadad’s support against Baasha; an overture for which the prophet Hanani condemned him. Asa turned to human resources and emptied the sacred treasury to purchase an answer to his problem. In addition, he imprisoned the man of God who brought the word of rebuke, became frustrated and lashed out with oppressive measures against his own people. Upon turning the page, Merrill notes despite his lapses, Asa had a heart for God. (Merrill, 2008)
Jehoshaphat, son of Asa, also ruled over Judah and walked with Yahweh; but again actions of the flesh moved the new King to make a common cause with Ahab, even marrying into the Israelite royal family. Later when an attack was launched on Jehoshaphat and it was too late he proclaimed a nationwide fast and assembled the people at Jerusalem for prayer, no less seeking the heart of God. In his petition Jehoshaphat reminded God of his ancient promises and Yahweh answered and assured the king and people of God’s presence. Repeatedly these Kings strayed away from God’s council and repeatedly they found themselves seeking mercy. The magnitude of this biblical ancestry is how each knocked at the door and how it was opened.