Irreparable Damage

Bill Brinkworth

After reading I and II Kings, one sees that after King Solomon’s death, the kings that succeeded him were often less than desirable.  At least 26 leaders were remembered as: “…they walked in the sins” of another person, “… sinned and made Israel to sin …”, “… did evil in the sight of God…”, or “… did worse than all that were before him.”  Bad leadership has always been a problem for any country, including Israel.

Sadly, in that time period, only six leaders were recorded as dong “… right in the eyes of the Lord ...”, “right in the sight of the Lord”, or even “… according to all his father (a godly man) did”.  Further investigation of those six reveals that not all of them did all that was right.  They tolerated some sin to continue in their country, and did not halt all that was plaguing the nation. With early Israel as an example, we can see that godly leadership is rare.

Of all the kings that wanted to lead their country in the direction God commanded, Josiah  (II Kings 22-23) was the most determined to please God and have Him bless his country. King Josiah rebuilt the temple, so the country could return to proper worship of the one God in Heaven; and urged the priests to inquire of the Lord what must be done. When Josiah heard God’s truths from the Word of God, he was convicted, repented of his sins, and was even more determined to remove sin from his country; so God’s hand would be on it.

The young king committed himself, and the people also agreed to obey God. He cleaned out idolatry from all over the country.  Even the places of false worship were destroyed. Priests of false religions were killed. Houses of sodomites (II Kings 23:7) were destroyed. Witchcraft and occult practices (II Kings 23:24) were also “put away,” along with many other practices that were abominable in the sight of God.

After all the “good” this king brought about in Israel, I expected to read that God was going to spare the country His due wrath, as He had done graciously many times in the past. Although there “… was no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might …” (II Kings 23:25) God did not stay His hand of vengeance on the land; all because of the great wickedness of a previous king, King Manasseh (II Kings 21).
“Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.” II Kings 23:26

Horrified, I related that time in history to what is happening in so many countries today. Leaders, like the wicked King Manasseh, are also ignoring God’s law.  They are allowing false worship to continue, in many ways even giving it preferential treatment.  There is no effort to turn to God.  Abominations that are clearly forbidden by God are allowed and encouraged to continue. God is totally mocked, ignored, or forgotten.

Even more frightening is that even if a godly leader did take the reins of a country, and do all he could to turn the country to God, and even have results; it may be too late!  Irreparable damage may have been done that has angered a Holy God! The sins of past leaders may have angered God so much; that no matter what moral and biblical changes are made, it may be too late!

What can one do, when God is so angered at what was done by previous leaders and the people?  There is nothing that can be done, if it is anything like what happened prior to King Josiah’s reign.  A nation will reap what was sown by wicked rulers. Only God can turn His wrath away.  We certainly cannot make Him.
“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Mat. 5:45 (Consequences often fall on the ungodly and godly, as rain falls on both).

If a nation finds itself in the hopeless situation Israel faced in II Kings 23, individuals still must not give up and succumb to what everyone else is doing.  Christians must still stand for right and live righteously, and do all they can to change what is going on around them.   Although nations may crumble, individuals  must still determine in their heart to do what is right according to God’s Word. We must do right, no matter what happens around us.
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Rom. 14:12
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Eph. 6:13

 “No one gets away with any sin!”

This article was featured in The Bible View #559.

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