Division

The divided kingdom of Israel represents the two areas of a believer’s life that can also sometimes get divided, the secular and the sacred. The area of a believer’s life referred to as the secular involves things like a job or the work we do, our family or the community in which we live, and careers that affect the choices we make. The sacred area of our lives clearly belong to God and involve such things as going to church or a synagogue, reading the Bible, and prayer. The way God dealt with the divided kingdom of Israel demonstrates his sovereignty over all areas of our lives.

Judah, the southern part of the kingdom, remained under the control of king David’s descendants. Judah correlates to the sacred area of our lives. The temple that existed within Judah’s borders made it possible for the people to connect with God and worship him as he prescribed in the Mosaic Law. The rest of Israel was governed by kings appointed by God to make sure the nation continued to exist until God’s plan for his people was accomplished. Secular activities are necessary to sustain life. Otherwise, God could have wiped out the rest of Israel and left Judah on its own.

Even though God sustained the entire nation of Israel, he did not protect the northern kingdom of Israel in the same way he did Judah. When God brought judgment on king Jeroboam for his idolatry, God destroyed his entire household. Not one descendant of Jeroboam was left when Baasha took over as king (1 Kings 15:29). The extermination of Jeroboam and his descendants conveyed the message that God would not tolerate pagan worship. What he wanted his people to understand was that they could shut him out of their everyday lives, but he was still their God and would discipline them as he saw fit.

The wars that took place between Asa and Baasha king of Israel (1 Kings 15:32) are similar to the internal conflict that a believer experiences when the secular and sacred areas of their lives get disconnected. The man that goes to church every Sunday and has an ongoing affair with his secretary will not sleep peacefully at night unless he is a psychopath. Guilt will eventually cause him to quit going to church or stop having the affair.

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