Archive for September 18th, 2019

1 Kings 16: Legacy

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ruins of Samaria

King Omri was successful in his political career and for this reason he appears in the ancient documents of several cultures.  He wielded his military power well, winning battles, capturing cities, and establishing the new capital of Samaria.  It seemed that anything he put his hand to was bound to do well, and yet . . . “Omri was an enormously famous and successful king, yet the Bible pays him virtually no attention. Political success, the eyes of the Biblical writers, counted for very little if an individual had turned away from God”.  (Zondervan 512) We might remember Omri more if we paused to remember that he fathered the man often considered the wickedest king in Israel history, Ahab.  The legacy of Omri then is this . . . he founded a major city that came to symbolize corruption, and his son numbered with the vilest of men.  We may want to reflect on this a bit today.

We humans focus too often on controlling the story we hope will be told of us once we have left this earth.

We humans put too much energy in building monuments to ourselves that will eventually crumble.

We humans expend our energy and talent gathering fortune and fame while we neglect the nurturing of heart and soul.

When we consider the legacy of King Omri, founder of Samaria and father of Ahab, we see that he has a great deal to teach us from the grave.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay will destroy, and thieves break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. (Matthew 6:19-21)

Jesus reminds his apostles – and he reminds us – that there is no point in gathering wealth and power; there is nothing eternal about building memorials to ourselves.  The testimonials that are everlasting are the many small acts we commit as we love our enemies and help one another to reach the fulfillment of our true potential – our potential in Christ.

No one can serve two masters.  He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and Mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

Jesus reminds his followers – and he reminds us – that we cannot try to live in both worlds.  We cannot be “just a little dishonest”.  We cannot turn a blind eye to corruption.  We cannot tell “just one little lie” for once we begin our journey into the world of Omri the lure of false success is too strong.  The end of that journey will be the monument we build to ourselves – an evil dwelling and wicked offspring.

Seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be given to you besides.  (Matthew 6:33) 

Once we learn to rely on God rather than the world of reputation and affluence . . . we will have taken the first steps in securing a legacy that will serve us forever.

A re-post from August 25, 2012.

Image from: http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Places/Place/339792

“Omri and Samaria.” ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE (NIV). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005. 512. Print.

For more information about the ancient city of Samaria, click on the image above or go to: http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Places/Place/339792

For more information about Omri and Ahab, go to: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2005/10/omri-king-of-israel.aspx#Article  or http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2006/01/02/Ahab-the-Israelite.aspx#Article


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