February 18, 2013
For what will you be remembered? No doubt there will be something that people think of when they hear your name long after you are gone. We find over and over again in our world and in the Scriptures that people live, die, and are remembered in some way. There were numerous kings in ancient Israel in both the Northern Kingdom (10 tribes of Israel), and the Southern Kingdom (the tribes of Judah and Benjamin). The description of their reign is both fast paced and also somewhat monotonous as some kings lasted three months while others lasted for decades! But the running commentary of I and II Kings gives us a taste of the legacy left behind by two kings to which all other kings were compared. Those two kings are David and Jeroboam. They are remembered because of how they ruled, how they lived their private lives, and their heart devotion.
In I Kings 15:11 we read, “Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done.” When King Abijah is condemned it is said of him “his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God as the heart of David his forefather had been…For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” (I Kings 15:3, 5) It is obvious from only these two examples that the legacy of David had become the standard to follow if the reigning king desired to please the Lord.
In contrast to King David, Rehoboam (his grandson) was the rightful heir to the throne, yet God tore the ten tribes away from him and gave them to Jeroboam the enemy of Solomon because of Solomon and Rehoboam’s rebellion. King Jeroboam was promised success and prominence just as Solomon and David had if he would be true to the Lord, however, he chose to leave a legacy of a different sort. Jeroboam is condemned by God and it is said that he “provoked the Lord to anger.” It is said of both Nadab and Baasha who followed Jeroboam to the throne, “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of Jeroboam and his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit.” (1 Kings 15:34) Jeroboam is remembered generation after generation for his evil and the instigation of evil to those whom he led. What a tragic legacy!
Stop right now. What will people say about you after you’re gone? Write down how 2-3 people will remember you. If this is hard, call someone you know and ask them to be brutally honest and tell you “What will people remember the most about me after I am gone?” So, do you like what you hear? If not, get busy creating a legacy!