Kingpins that unhinged themselves and the nation

kingpins— we each have a kingdom of our own making that we Lord it over (from 2 Chronicles 25-28)

 A kingpin is by definition: a main or large bolt in a central position; a person or thing that is essential to the success of an organization or operation. The Jewish kings were just such, and as such, what they did or didn’t do, had a great bearing, not only on their own successes or failures, but on the successes and failures of the nation as well. In these four chapters we have an assortment of Kings of Judah who’s unhinging was all their own doing.

In 2 Chronicles 25 we have King Amaziah whom I give the moniker, The ‘Unlistener’. He sort of started off on the right foot; at least he went through the motions of doing good, but in the course of events, he didn’t listen very well, either to God or to others. He wouldn’t listen to God’s prophet who tried to warn him of the error of his ways, nor to a rival, king, who tried to talk him out of their going to war together, and in the end this inability to listen resulted in his complete unhinging.

King Uzziah of 2 Chronicles 26 was another. His problem was that, although he started off wonderfully, his success and greatness went to his head and as a result ‘his heart was lifted up to his destruction; he did himself in. Success and power weren’t enough for him, he wanted to be priest and prophet too and undoubtedly wouldn’t have minded at having a shot at also being God.

Uzziah was initially so successful that he sort of wound up thinking himself the center of all things, the King of Kingpins, so to speak, becoming so audacious, that the King of Kings had to intervene to set the record straight. Impudent, over confident, extremely self-centered Uzziah, touched by the direct hand of God because of transgression, wound up an ostracized leper, his kingdom administered by another and life and the kingdom went on without him.

And then there’s King Ahaz of 2 Chronicles 28, who never did start off on the right foot, and went from bad to worse. Scripture says of him, ‘And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord’. How sad. He’d already gotten down and out and instead of changing for the better and learning the lessons, he degraded himself yet further and made things even worse. His undoing was his totally forgetting the Lord, so that in the end God almost totally forgot him, or had everyone else forget him, except for the fact that he was a rotter. Though a king, he forfeited the respect and burial afforded royalty and died and ignominious, forgotten death. It is as if God had the last word: Ahaz had totally forgotten the Lord and in death he is almost totally forgotten.

So what do we learn from this sordid assortment of unhinged kingpins? I think even this is answered in 2 Chronicles 28:10, when the prophet Obed warns the children of Israel against undue vengeance  toward their Judean brethren in wanting to enslave them  in the midst of their judgment, defeat and suffering. The prophet rebuts them, in words reminiscent to Jesus own rebuke to those who would have stoned the adulterous woman, saying: ‘but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the Lord your God.

We are all persons of like frailties and we are all unhinged through the same sorts of things: lack of or failure to listen, both to God and to others; letting our successes go to our head and heart; yielding to spiritual pride, thinking we are indispensable and forgetting God, to name but a few. We may not hold a glamorous kingly position like these of old, but we do each have a kingdom of our own individual world that we Lord it over and often get so caught up and lost in that we end up thinking that perhaps we too are the center of the universe, or that all things, including God, should revolve around us and our wants and wishes.

[End of Article]

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