And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD. Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake, as He promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children. In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents. Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time. (2 Kings 8:16-22)
Though God allowed it and even orchestrated some events to draw people back to Him, Judah and Israel spent most of the times of the kings in disobedience and rebellion against the LORD. They did not walk in His ways but in the ways of Ahab, idolatry and sin against God and against one another. God was waiting until their sin had reached His limit to pronounce judgment, even as He sent prophets to warn them of their wickedness. The litany of the kings of Judah and Israel, following the days of Solomon is not a chronicle of glory but a legacy of that once again reminds us of the days of Noah, when the thoughts and imaginations of the hearts of men were only evil continuously. The few kings of Judah who brought the people back to God lengthened the time before their judgment, but judgment did come to both Israel and Judah.
God warns His people through the pages of Scripture to follow the example of those who walked in His ways and forsake the sin and disobedience of those who rebelled against the LORD. His grace is sufficient, and His mercy is everlasting but His wrath will come upon the children of disobedience. He calls whosoever will to repentance and reconciliation, but He will punish those who will not receive Him. As Creator, He has the right to pronounce judgment upon His creation. As Redeemer, He has given Himself for all sin and to forgive those who come to Him in faith. As King, He alone is LORD of all and over all, ruling those now who submit to Him and ruling all creation in His time and according to His ways. Since His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, we often struggle with the seeming incongruity between His sovereignty and our free-will. Both are taught in the Scriptures and we must trust the Author of our salvation and His Word to know better than we how to reconcile His love and mercy with His judgment and justice while being free to choose a God who is Sovereign over all and is all powerful and all knowing. We ought not to confuse His fore-knowledge with His fore-action, but trust that He who knows all will do all that He has promised in His time.
While we are here on this earth as His ambassadors and ministers, God has commanded those of us who are His saints and know Him to go out into this world to reach the lost that they might be saved from sin. He desires that His people strive to be holy and obedient unto Him that we might minister to those around us who are hurting and in need as He provides. We serve others, equipped with the Word of reconciliation and righteousness, rightly divided and fitly spoken, that they may see Christ in us, the hope of Glory. Our God has commanded us to love one another with an unfeigned love, even as He first loved us, and to disciple one another in the Word of God so that we may all grow in grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Our Lord has commissioned those who are His with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to go where He sends us in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we go, we are to proclaim the Good News of forgiveness through repentance and reconciliation with the Father through faith in His Son, that those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of God might have life in His Name.
God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and the knowledge of the Truth. Jesus loves you and wants to establish a covenant relationship with you that is real and personal. Surrender to Him on His terms and He will give you a brand new life of discipleship and fellowship with Him that is abundant and everlasting. God calls you to faith in Christ and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary to pay your sIn debt. He has provided the only way of reconciliation with God, forgiveness from God, and Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is God the Son, to give you a new life in Christ. Turn away from yourself and your sIn and turn to Him alone for eternal Life, now and always.