Things down in Judah with Rehoboam, continue to go badly. The temple is raided and the gold is gone from the temple and the kings house, the king of Egypt took them away. The evil deeds they did were more than their ancestors had done.
Up north in Israel, that is where things got really, um… interesting. There had been a rapid succession of kings over the years, each “did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him. In our reading today we have King Ahab, who also did more evil in the sight of the Lord than all before him, and to top it off he went and married Jezebel, and with her he went all in worshiping Baal.
In these stories of royal intrigue and evil continue to spiral out of control. Things that were bad continue to get worse. It isn’t that they didn’t have and idea on what to do, they had God’s commands, they just did what they wanted, what seemed right in their eyes.
God is not done with these people, I read these stories and think, if I was God I’d be done with the whole lot. The good news, for all of creation is that I am not, and neither are you! God, gets angry, God will punish, God’s heart will ache as He continues to be God. This, while sometimes not very pretty, is ultimately hopeful. God does not give up, and God will be God whether we like it or not.
I find hope in this because I goof up, I sin, and maybe sometimes more than all before me. In the promises of my baptism, I know that but God seeks to redeem, God seeks to restore our relationship because God doesn’t give up. In that I give thanks to God for the story doesn’t end with our sin, but continues in God’s blessed grace.