Satan loves to divide and conquer! That has been his scheme since the dawn of creation. We can look back to the book of Genesis and see that God told Adam not to eat of the Tree in the Center of the Garden. Later, Satan, the serpent, posed questions to Eve and said, “Surely, God didn’t say…” twisting the words and causing confusion and bringing Eve to eat the fruit – the forbidden fruit of the Tree in the center of the Garden of Eden. Division, lies, twisting of the truth, watering down the reality of what was said and making it seem harmless. But it was far from harmless!
After the death of King Solomon, the Nation of Israel cried out to his son Rehoboam and asked if the work load would continue, if the making of bricks and all the building projects would continue at the same rate, bringing wealth to the leadership, the king of the kingdom? Rehoboam replied in fierce measure, yes! In fact, the work load will increase; more bricks, less supplies and more demands. The nation of Israel rebelled against Rehoboam and the second in command under King Solomon was approached to lead them with a gentler hand. Jerobaom did just that and the nation of Israel was divided from 12 tribes into two groups. The Northern Kingdom under the reign of Jeroboam with 10 tribes of Israel following. This left the tribes of Judah and Benjamin under the leadership of Rehoboam and was called Judah.
Divided again, but the kings and queen that followed to lead the northern kingdom of Israel did more damage than this one act of following Jeroboam. They failed to follow God. The Northern Kingdom became later known as the 10 lost tribes of Israel, dispersed and lost among the world of the nations of people. The kings of the southern kingdom did not do much better and in 587 BC the Southern Kingdom was divided by deportations to Babylon. The nation of Judah failed to follow God. We look at Israel as a nation of faith in the Bible, but what we find is much different. Chosen people that fail to follow God, fail to follow the commands of God and the many times God sought them, but only to turn to their own devices.
We live in a nation divided. We live as religious people, but divided. We live as families, but divided. We are divided in many ways and unfortunately we may be divided in the one way that matters most. We refuse to come together and worship, adore, follow and obey the One True God and His son, Jesus, the Messiah. We continually want God and Jesus to approve of what we do rather than us doing what God approves. We are to build up one another, draw people to God and our lives are to point people to the One True God.
As we enter the season of Lent at the end of February, may we begin preparing now by tearing down the walls of our encampments of our thoughts and justice and rebuild according to God’s standards? The division must end or divided we will fall and fail as a people, as a nation and as servants of the Most High God and our Lord, Jesus, the Christ. Bow now before the throne of God and seek true peace and find true joy.
The writer is the pastor of Immanuel Church of Kettlersville and St. Peter’s Church in New Bremen.