The Most Dangerous Time

 In Pastor Jeff's Blog

“But when he became powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall.” – 2 Chronicles 26:16

In the last few weeks I’ve been reading 1 & 2 Chronicles in my devotional time (I know, right?). These books are largely the record of the kings who ruled in ancient Israel and are filled with profound insight into human nature, leadership and God’s perspective on it all. Not quite as dark as Game of Thrones, but close!

Lots of the kings in ancient Israel started badly and ended badly. Under their leadership the nation struggled and suffered. But there were also some kings who did well, leaders like David, Asa and Josiah. They “sought the Lord with all [their] heart”, which means that they focused on obedience to the Lord and leading the people with faithfulness, love and humility. Under their leadership the nation often thrived.

But what really caught my attention in these pages was how frequently even the best leaders ran off the rails, not during times of struggle and stress, but at the height of their success. David had an affair with Bathsheba and had her husband killed to cover his crime when God had finally given David rest from his enemies. At the height of Uzziah’s power he became proud and arrogant and made poor decisions. Solomon became greedy and unfaithful when his wealth and fame were at their zenith, resulting in a divided kingdom.

What happened to these leaders is a warning to us: often the most dangerous time in our spiritual journey is not when we experience trouble and challenges, but when things are going well. Sure, tough times can turn us from God, but they often remind us of how dependent we are on God. Good times, times of ease, are often the times that we become complacent, arrogant and independent.

All of which reminds me to be careful about labeling situations as “good” or “bad”, but instead to be aware of both the blessings and the dangers in every moment and pursuing faithfulness in it all.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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  • Mike

    The actions we may take and the decision we make when they are based on the scriptures and under the guidance of the holy Spirit are much different than the way society acts and makes decisions. The “pursuing faithfulness in it all” is the outcome of our openness and devotion to Christ and our hope for the future.

  • Phil

    Good words.

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