27 They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.
28 So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 29 However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan. (2 Kings 10:27-29, NIV, emphasis added)
In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3 The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. (2 Kings 12:1-3, NIV, emphasis added)
In the twenty-third year of Joash son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord by following the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit, and he did not turn away from them. 3 So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and for a long time he kept them under the power of Hazael king of Aram and Ben-Hadad his son. (2 Kings 13:1-3, NIV, emphasis added)
When someone new steps up to lead, I think there’s a hope that things would change for the better. A new politician, a new boss … even as a kid, I remember thinking, “When I’m a grown-up, I’m not going to do (that)!”
The reading today reminds me of a pendulum swaying side to side–a move towards improvement, a move towards decline. One way an effort to clear out the bad, another way a means to usher it in. I notice, though, even in the better times, sin lingers waiting in the wings.
Lord, where are the places in my life that I’ve left a door open to let sin gain a foothold? When I’m following after you, show me any places I’ve neglected to take seriously that offend you. Help me to turn from it all. I don’t want my life or example to be marked like Jeroboam’s. Thank you for this caution.