The Faithful Few

Today's Bible reading: 1 King 12:1-20

It probably comes as a shock to many people who have only a passing knowledge of the Bible … that (a) ancient Israel was a very disunited people … and (b) the worship of the Lord was often carried on by only a small minority.  However that is the fact of the matter, as together we turn our attention this morning to the reality of the faithful few – a faithful remnant.

Two weeks ago our focus was the transition from Judges to the establishment of kingship for the Israelite nation … looking especially at the rule and reign of King David.  Few kings approached the greatness of David.   He - and his son, Solomon - were able to hold the southern and northern sections of the realm together – even if the union was an uneasy one.  Old rivalries between North and South - as well as Solomon’s program of forced labor - finally brought that political union to an end.  More importantly, the break between Judah in the south and Israel in the north meant that the latter was cut off from Jerusalem.  As a result, while there were a few kings in Judah who approach the pattern of pious kingship set up by David … the kings of the north were directly responsible for Israel's disaffection.  While most of the population served the Baal cult, it was left to the lonely prophets and a small remnant to raise the voice of protest and to witness to the True God.  Finally - after a little over two centuries, - the northern kingdom fell, and ceased to exist.

Prayer: Mighty Judge, we come before You with deep awe.  Spare us unworthy sinners from the judgement we so justly deserve.  In our Savior's name we ask this.  Amen.