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February 25, 2010

Chapter-a-Day 2 Kings 15

I80 western nebraska. Shallum son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah. He was king in Samaria for only a month. 2 Kings 15:13 (MSG)

Bear with me today, as my impressions from the chapter are more wholistic instead of being linked to a particular verse.

I've had a case of the blues for the past couple of weeks. Life feels a bit stagnant at the moment. It's sort of like driving through western Nebraska. You know that you are moving down the road, but you wouldn't know it from looking out the window. The view isn't changing. This has been a very long, very cold, very snowy winter. I feel a bit snowbound. I'm tired of gloomy, snowy days and long, dark nights. The days all seem the same. I feel like hope blew away in one of the three-storms-a-week blizzards a while back. [I'll stop whining now]

At the same time, I feel a whirlwind in the lives around me. A friend with an exciting new job. Another friend shocked to be released from his job. Yet another friend and his family struggling through the whirlwind of activity and emotion which accompanies the journey's home stretch. Surgeries, pregnancies, illness, divorces, changes, and moves. I watch them all from my computer screen inside Vander Well Manor. [Did I mention I was going to stop whining?]

I was struck, as I read today's chapter, of the contrast between Judah's experience and Israel's experience during this section of the historical timeline. Uzziah becomes king in Judah and rules for an impressive 52 years. Israel, on the other hand, becomes a revolving door of leadership. There is no clear royal line. It appears that, if you had the gonads to pull off an assassination, anyone had a shot at the throne. Of course, your reign might be as brief as Shallum because there were plenty of guys with gonads lining up in the queue to take their shot and off you.

One nation with a long, steady, even monotonous experience while next door there is a flurry of chaos and change. It reminds me today that there is a time for everything; a season for every purpose under heaven.

God, be near my friends who journey on a much different road than mine right now. Be near me on my own long, flat path as the experience that feels so different, and a bit lonely. Amen.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and gjs


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Azariah lived through a lot of kings in Israel. Can you imagine trying to deal with new leadership next door all the time? The chapter doesn't spend much time on whether Judah had great health due to continuity and Israel struggled due to change but it makes me wonder today. Consistent leadership tends to lead to less chaos.

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