We don’t always like the way that God works things out for good, do we? We wouldn’t do it that way. We wouldn’t permit such poor leadership to be in place if it were up to us. The story of Jeroboam II has some lessons for the common folk: God has our backs…
23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel became king in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. 24 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit. 25 He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Dead Sea, in accordance with the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.
26 The Lord had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering; there was no one to help them. 27 And since the Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Jeroboam, who reigned for forty-one years over Israel, did evil in God’s eyes. He maintained the historic sins of his namesake, king Jeroboam who had reigned eight generations earlier. Jeroboam I incorporated golden calf idol worship into the worship practices of Israel. Jeroboam II kept these practices up. Whenever we put idols in between us and God, the Lord is displeased.
Here is where it gets interesting… at the same time Jeroboam II came into power, the Lord saw the suffering of his people in Israel. There was no one to help them at a time when they were under Syrian oppression. We don’t see the details, yet we do see that God saved Israel by Jeroboam’s hand.
In other words, even though he was doing evil in God’s eyes, and even though he maintained idol worship, God’s love and faithfulness for his people was more important to God than his hatred for Jeroboam’s sin. Holy wow…
Is it possible that God has to balance the good of the common people with forbearance for the wrong leader? Jeroboam accomplished some things in terms of holding the borders and restoring national security (see vs. 25). He had some success in areas which contributed to making Israel secure and protected. Yet he did evil in God’s eyes.
How could God let that happen?
We don’t always like the way that God works things out for good, do we? We wouldn’t do it that way. We wouldn’t permit such poor leadership to be in place if it were up to us. Or would we? Sometimes we vote for it. Sometimes we reinforce the wrong behaviours.
The story of the common folk in Jeroboam II’s time reminds us that even when leadership is corrupt, God can find a way to work out good for those he loves and those who love him. No matter what is happening with the reigning authorities, our eyes should be fixed on Jesus. God’s faithfulness does not waver.
God’s faithfulness is sovereign over all other powers.