God on the Spot – Part 8: Protecting the Bloodline, Preserving His Word
By Dianne E. Butts –
God has brought about His plans and preserved the knowledge of Himself in the Tabernacle/Temple and His written Word…in spite of human failure and sin.
Saul failed to be a great king. After Saul, David was Israel’s greatest king but he too failed, committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband, Uriah, to cover it up. David desired to build a house for God’s Ark, but God prevented him because he had blood on his hands (1 Chronicles 22:7-8). David provided the blueprints and all the materials to build the Temple, but it was his son, Solomon, who built it.
Solomon started out strong, asking God not for riches and honor but for wisdom to lead His people. This so pleased God, He granted Solomon’s request for wisdom and gave him riches and honor besides (1 Kings 3:5-15). But God warned Solomon not take on many wives, for they would lead him astray (1 Kings 11:1-13). Solomon built the magnificent Temple, a palace and more. But he married more than a thousand wives of various nationalities and religions and eventually allowed their idols into the Temple corrupting the portrait God had painted of Himself (1 Kings 11:1-6).
Solomon instituted forced labor and heavy taxation for all this building. Upon his death the northern tribes sent Jeroboam to Solomon’s son, now king Rehoboam, to request these burdens be lifted. But Rehoboam refused and the kingdom divided in two for almost four hundred years, from 975 to 586 BC. The tribes Judah and Benjamin continued David’s line and occupied the south known as Judah, including Jerusalem. The remaining ten tribes, known as Israel, occupied the north and eventually built worship centers in Bethel and Dan so that its occupants would not have to travel into Jerusalem to worship at the Temple. These “duplicate” worship centers further corrupted the one true portrait of the One True God.
The list of kings of both Judah in the south and Israel in the north toggled back and forth between godly kings, like Rehoboam’s grandson, Asa, Asa’s son Jehoshaphat, and later Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah, and those who did evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab and his wife, Jezebel (1 Kings 16:29-33).
During this time, the Word of God was so neglected that it became lost. (Or perhaps God, being on the spot to preserve His Word, hid it in the Temple.) Under Josiah, Hilkiah the high priest found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord. He presented it to King Josiah who read it and renewed the covenant in front of all the people (2 Kings 22:1-23:3ff, 2 Chronicles 34).
It was the sin of the people and certain kings, and the corruption of the portrait of God painted in the Temple, that finally led to God cleaning house by sending His people into exile. First Israel in the north fell to Shalmaneser and was taken into captivity in Assyria in 722 BC. Then Judah in the south fell to Nebuchadnezzar and was taken into exile in Babylon, and Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in 586 BC.
It was God Who was on the spot to preserve the bloodline from Abraham to Messiah through the exiles and preserve the revelation of Himself in His Temple and Word until the people returned and rebuilt the Temple.
And then for about four hundred years, God was silent.
September: “God on the Spot – Part 9: Fulfilling the Prophecies.” When it was time to bring Messiah into the world, God was on the spot to fulfill all His promises.
Dianne has written for over 50 Christian print magazines and seventeen books, including the upcoming For God So Loved the World He Created Chocolate. Her work has appeared in Great Britain, Bulgaria, Poland, Canada, and Korea. When she’s not writing, she enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband, Hal, and gardening with her cat, P.C. in Colorado. www.DianneEButts.com www.DeliverMeBook.blogspot.com