God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).

Thursday, January 25, 2024

3 Lessons We Can Learn From Israel's Kings


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

The Old Testament provides us with multitudes of examples of Israel’s failures to obey God. Despite warnings from prophets, the people refused to turn away from false gods. When the leaders fell into sin, most of the population followed.

Here are 3 lessons we can learn from Israel’s kings. If we will read their history with open eyes we can learn from their examples and avoid the same mistakes they made.

1. Disobedience Has a Price.

Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come (1 Corinthians 10:11 NKJV)

Saul took it upon himself to offer a sacrifice that only the priests were allowed to do. He decided what to do rather than listening to the Lord. Because of this disobedience the kingdom was torn away from his family and given to another.

David’s sin with Bathsheba is recorded in 2 Samuel chapter 11. He repented and God forgave him, but he paid a heavy price. The child Bathsheba bore died, the sword never left David’s house, and his children lived in turmoil. One of his sons raped a daughter of David and his son Absalom attempted a coup against his father’s kingdom. But because of David’s repentant heart, God made a promise that David’s descendant would always be on the throne.

Solomon started out right. He was the wisest man who ever lived. He penned hundreds of proverbs and songs and his wisdom was known throughout the world. Yet because of his marriage to multiple women from heathen countries, his heart was turned away from God and toward the idols of his wives (which God forbade His people to do for this reason). God preserved one tribe because of his promise to David but the remaining tribes were torn from Solomon’s line and after his death given to his servant Jeroboam.

And the most famous evil king of Israel was Ahab. He brought the worship of Baal to Israel after he married Jezebel. He wouldn’t listen to the prophet Elijah’s warnings. He died in battle and the dogs licked his blood from the chariot where he fell.

2. Advice From Ungodly People Can Draw Us Away From God.

 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14).

Solomon’s son Rehoboam reigned in Judah after his father’s death. He rejected the counsel of the elders who had advised Solomon and instead he listened to his friends. He fell to peer pressure.

Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord but later relied on the king of Syria instead of the Lord. He was diseased in his feet the rest of his life.

Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, walked in the ways of David but he did not take away the high places of false worship. He later allied himself with the evil king of Israel, Ahaziah, to make ships to go to Tarshish.  Because of this the ships they made were wrecked.

When Joash became king of Judah he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Yet when Jehoiada the priest died, Joash listened to the leaders of Judah and they bowed down to worship wooden idols. After years of the kindness of Jehoiada into Joash’s life, Joash still killed that prophet’s son. Because of this act, judgment was executed against Joash and his own servants conspired against him and killed him.

3. A Divided Heart Will Make Us Unstable.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:14-15 AKJV)

In 2 Kings 10 Jehu destroyed the worshippers of Baal yet in verse 31 it says, But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin.

Jehu destroyed the elements of Baal but did not totally dedicate himself to the Lord. He had a divided heart and a divided heart will make us unstable in all our ways (James 1:8).

We live under a new covenant and we are not judged for sin the way these Old Testament kings were. But there is still a consequence to sin and the lessons the lives of these kings left behind can show us what happens when we abandon God and go our own way.

We can be thankful for God’s mercy and forgiveness, but we can spare ourselves so much pain and heartache if we will follow His ways to begin with.

What have you observed about the lives of these kings? Share your thoughts.

3 Lessons We Can Learn From Israel’s Kings. If we read their history we can learn to avoid the same mistakes they made. (click to tweet)

Image by Jukka Niittymaa from Pixabay


Thursday, January 18, 2024

Do You Know How Much You Matter to God?


by Barbara Latta

As we enter a new year our thoughts are on new ways to set goals or start resolutions.

But we can also be tempted to look behind us and allow any despair, heartbreak, or loss from last year to overwhelm us. Our soulish health depends upon changing our focus.

The only reason we should look in the rearview mirror is to learn from mistakes. We don’t need to stay in the pain of the past. God doesn’t want us living in regret.

We can anticipate the future with hope when we focus on the love Christ has for us and that He gives our lives significance.

The best way we can start this year is to know we matter to God.

We can learn how important an individual life is when we read the story of the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-25).

Jesus left Judea to go to Galilee. In that day, Jews did not travel through Samaria. They would take the longer way around to avoid putting their feet on the soil of a despised race. Except for Jesus.

The Scripture tells us that Jesus “needed” to go through Samaria. He knew a woman with a broken heart and a spiritual thirst would be there. A woman who felt insignificant. A woman who didn’t matter to society. A woman who felt alone and isolated. A woman who sought love but remained empty.

She may not have mattered to anyone else, but she mattered to the Son of God. She mattered so much He changed His route just to be where she was.

The Messiah ministered to this woman’s soul and healed her hurts by accepting her despite her sin and failures. His words changed her destiny. He broke religious tradition and racial prejudice because she was important. He showed her what true love was all about.

Do you ever feel the same way this woman did? Do you feel lost in the billions of people in the world as if you don’t matter?

The Savior speaks to us as individuals. He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). We matter so much He died in the place of each of us.

He meets us where we are like He did with the Samaritan woman. You matter. I matter. He gives each life significance. He wants our fellowship. He wants us to let Him love us.

We can start the new year by accepting Christ’s love and letting Him show us how important we are to Him. Please know you matter to God.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10 NIV)

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

We can start the new year by accepting Christ’s love and letting Him show us how important we are to Him. Please know you matter to God. (click to tweet)

 Have you set new goals for this year? My most recent article on Crosswalk encourages us to make prayer a priority and grow into a habit in 2024. You can read the article here. 4 Ways to Make Prayer a Priority This Year

Image by Treharris from Pixabay