Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

The wall separating East Jerusalem from the Palestinian village of Abu Dis. Photograph by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP, from In Pictures: Israel's illegal separation wall still divides, Aljazeera, July 2020

So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
1 Kings 12:19

The Book of Kings (Kings 1 & 2) is considered to have been written around 550 bc during the Babylonian exile, probably to provide a theological explanation for the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah by Babylon 30-40 years previously.1 The division of the nation of Israel is described bluntly, in a single verse, following the death of Solomon and the prediction of the prophet Ahijah.2

The words unto this day. jump out at me. Of course, when the book was written 'this day' applied to the year 550 bc, the book being written in hope that the nation of Israel would repair itself and follow God as once intended. This did not happen, and in fact up until the time of Jesus we could say that Israel continued to fall away from God, needing someone like Jesus to call it back to the path. Few listened. Still, as a result of Jesus' death and resurrection a movement back into God's laws occurred, but was followed a few centuries later by an even bigger falling away when Rome effectively coopted Christianity for its own political ends. Christianity was already in collapse due to infighting and power struggles. It seems that following God's laws was never man's destiny. Still, a few do continue to try.

Today the nation of Israel is scattered across the globe, and we have the country of Israel occupying the original space. The country of Israel is not the nation of Israel though, and while citizens of the nation may try to follow God's laws from wherever they are in the world, it is clear that Israel, the political entity, does not. But it isn't fair to single out Israel. There are few, if any, truly God-fearing countries in the world today. Obeying God's laws has been reduced to "religion" and held up as an opponent to "Science"—our new golden calf.

1 1 & 2 Kings, A Commentary by Marvin A. Sweeney, 2007
2 1 Kings 11:29-31