1 Kings 16
These chapters that rehearse the parade of kings who did evil in the sight of God teach us something of critical importance about our proclivity toward sin. It is cumulative.
Like a sweet tooth that is never satisfied, but wants more as soon as the sugar crash hits, sin never fills us up. It begins with little compromises and, left unchecked, grows like a monstrous tumor deforming and destroying any healthy tissue. It may not be visible at first, but it is growing under the surface. Unseen, but still causing damage.
The gospel is that Christ paid the price for all of that sin in order to set us free from it’s deadly effect. We don’t have to clean ourselves up, perform our own surgery to remove it, or promise to do better. He loves us as we are.
But He loves us too much to allow us to keep on suffering, to allow the tumor to grow without intervening. He loves us enough to want what is best for us, even at the cost of His own life.
If that weren’t enough, He gives us the Holy Spirit to be our constant guide. To point out those things that will cause us to stumble. To guide us through shark-infested waters (or chocolate-infested grocery aisles). To show us the way of escape that He has promised in every temptation. He exhorts us to “not quench the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19) The Holy Spirit convicts us, teaches us, enables us, empowers us, warns us, guards us, seals us, gives us the words to speak, the strength to stand, and the fruit of the Spirit.
What sins are creeping in to your life? Like tiny cancer cells, invisible to the naked eye, but visible to the Holy Spirit. Pray that God would allow the Holy Spirit to provide the spiritual equivalent of an MRI. And then treat whatever God reveals as seriously and aggressively as you would a cancer diagnosis. It is just as destructive and deadly.
Reject the lie that says the sin revealed by the Holy Spirit makes you unacceptable to God. The cross says you are accepted in the beloved, that God loved you from the foundations of the world. But reject, also, the lie that whispers it is not sin, the cajoling voice telling you it doesn’t matter, the nagging tempter urging you just one more (one more cookie, one more peek, one more dime, one more drink, one more hit, one more lie).
The kings of Israel didn’t have a Savior. They didn’t have the gift of the Holy Spirit. So they spiraled out of control, chasing every imaginable sin in search of something to satisfy. Ignoring the God who had promised in Deuteronomy 28 to bless Israel abundantly, in every way, if they would follow Him.