My daily reading through the Bible continues and it has been such a blessing! I did not expect to enjoy and appreciate it as much as I am or realize how timely it would be given the current events in the Middle East. I have been fascinated to read about the kings of both Israel and Judah. Usually the first or second line of the text lists the name of the newly crowned king and whether they walked in the good or evil footsteps of their father. I wonder what those boys were thinking when they heard the stories of God’s exact instructions on how to live and worship; then they watched their dad build altars to false gods, worship them, and follow all the pagan ways of their enemies. God was quick to discipline these foolish kings with defeat, destruction, and captivity by their enemies. He was not about to protect or promote a leader that shook his fist in His face and turned from Him. Yet, over and over again, when faced with certain defeat and death, this same foolish leader would repent and ask for forgiveness and God graciously gave it. As angry as God was with this man, He loved him even more and wanted to give him life not death. Listen to this record from God’s Word:

   The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. So the Lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God! 2 Chronicles 33:10-13 (NLT)

Amazingly, some young men did choose to reign with integrity and justice, tearing down the idols of the past. Who are you choosing to follow? But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4 (NLT) We know that God is our victor in the battle of life, not the enemy. Yet daily, I must choose to take the reins of leadership in my world and follow Him. This is the heritage I want to leave to my little ones!