Day 19: The Lust for Power

"When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family."

II Kings 11:1, NIV 


The study of the Old Testament kings gives one a rare insight to the lust of power. Over and over in the annals of the kings, we see intrigue, assassinations, and sometimes wholesale slaughter - all in the quest for a man or a woman to gain more power. Only occasionally do we read of a good king such as David, and we always see that the good kings were motivated by their desire to serve God, rather that their desire for power.


Why is this important to us? After all, the time of the kings occurred more than 2,000 years ago. The answer to that question, I believe, will give us an understanding of our own political systems in the age in which we live in.


For example, our nation is in the process of selecting a new President. Many people are putting themselves forward as the "servant of the people" for this important job. Many promises are being made as to how each one of these potential "servants" will serve, but it would be helpful for us to take a lesson from the time of the kings - only those kings who loved God were of any use to the people. All others were not neutral, they were a detriment.


Understanding the lust for power is difficult, but critical. The reason is that power is addictive to some people in the same way that drugs are addictive to others. And like the drug addict, a person addicted to power will often do anything, say anything, and promise anything if he thinks it will get him the power that he wants. By understanding this addictive lust for power by reading about the kings and queens of ancient times, we can then arm ourselves with information that will guide us in our decisions when selecting our own leaders today.


So, as you listen to all of the latest speeches of our political "wannabes", it might also be good to brush up on the history of the politicians of an era gone by. For if we can learn the lesson taught by these ancient kings - the lesson that the only good ruler is one who is first ruled by God - then we can be on our guard to more effectively choose our leaders today.


One thing is as certain today as it was during the time of the kings: People will always get the leaders that they deserve. That's why it is important for the people to be wise so that they can choose leaders who are wise. And heed this important lesson from the era of the kings: Should we be foolish in our selection of leaders, then we will pay the price of a nation that is governed by fools!


This is why we study!


"The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools." Ecclesiastes 9:17, NIV 


Today is the 19th day of the 30 day challenge to read through the books of the champions and the kings, with II Kings 7-12 being the reading for today. May God richly bless you as you seek to learn the lessons that He gives from the history that He has preserved!