God's reputation

God is the greatest.

God is the greatest.

2 Chronicles 2

After Solomon became king, the first thing he set out to do was build a temple for God. As you might remember from the story in 1 Kings, Solomon enlisted the help of Hiram king of Tyre for building materials and skilled craftsmen. He wanted the temple to be the most glorious, most elaborate sanctuary ever built for a god on the face of the Earth—and indeed it was.

God bears the consequences of our sin.

God bears the consequences of our sin.

2 Kings 25

Ah, so the residents of Judah are finally carried off into Babylon, and Jerusalem is destroyed. How depressing. Reading this chapter, I felt especially bad for Zedekiah, who watched his sons being killed before his eyes were plucked out. That would be an awful image to have to remember for the rest of your life. It’s just another stark reminder of the evil darkness we face when we try to live life without God.

God doesn't restrict His representatives' freedom.

God doesn't restrict His representatives' freedom.

2 Kings 10

The new king of the Northern Kingdom, Jehu, had been specifically commissioned by God for a special purpose: "You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the Lord’s servants shed by Jezebel." (2 Kings 9:7) And, as we saw in the last chapter, Jehu set out to do his job with zeal.

God disciplines because He loves.

God disciplines because He loves.

1 Kings 9

This is, I’m sure, a recurring theme we will encounter as we continue our journey through the Old Testament: God disciplines the ones He loves. And His discipline always carries a redemptive component (otherwise there’s no point to it). But often, I find that it’s God’s discipline that garners Him the most criticism. People tend to look at His "threats" of discipline in the Old Testament as something punitive, harsh, and retributive. And that’s how God gets a bad rap.

God is not image-conscious.

God is not image-conscious.

1 SAMUEL 23

So, Saul has pretty much given up the weighty matters of being king and has devoted himself full-time to his new hobby: Trying to kill David. The Philistines were still very much an immediate danger to Israel. In fact, at the beginning of this chapter, it was David who saved the people of Keilah from an invasion of the Philistines. But Saul seemed unconcerned with the Philistines and more worried about making sure David wouldn’t live much longer.

God gets a bad rap.

God gets a bad rap.

JUDGES 20

I think this chapter is a great example of how God often gets a bad rap for things we decide to do. In this instance, the men of the tribes of Israel gathered to go up against the Benjamites. At first, they asked the tribe of Benjamin to hand over the men who had raped and killed the Levite’s concubine. They refused and, in turn, geared up for the fight.