Examples of living by the Word of God
By Dr. Zebedi Muga
The book of Kings contrasts the person of the king, Josiah and Jehoiakim. The former, faithful and committed to the ideals of Yahweh, while the latter leans more towards political survival and personal greed than the former. Our reading from 22 – 24, shows the achievements and demise of both. Josiah is credited with return to the ways of Yahweh. The king leads in national repentance and reform of the cult. The latter, Jehoiakim, does not show any commitment in sustaining the achievements and ideals of the ‘document’ that was found in the temples and made a national document from which the whole nation pledges to live by. His punishment is in the form of the nation being overrun by the Empire while his people were taken into exile. The Deuteronomic write attributes this to his laxity and nonchalant attitude to the laws and statues of the document, which is thought to be the book of Deuteronomy. The main question here is, can our political leaders direct our energies to keeping the statutes of God? Can they work with prophets on God in achieving this?
Psalm 113 celebrates the sovereignty and the omnipotence of God and attributes all political power to God. God is interested and is active on behalf of those at the periphery. The king ‘being the son of God’ is expected to act on behalf of the poor and the lowly. Today there is need for the political leadership and ‘the political class’ to act on behalf of those at the periphery instead we find them greedy and venal focused on their own needs and wants. This text challenges this, and demonstrates that all things belong to and emanates from God.
The reading in Acts 28 illustrates how Paul manages two situations i.e., the one where he is thought to have extraordinary powers while the latter part pictures him engaging in dialogue of faith with the Jews. Though their reaction is negative he does not give up but is emboldened to continue in his ministry of preaching. How do we manage potentially adverse situations in our lives? Paul could have been tempted to focus only his publicity of the situation and benefits accrued from the situation but he does not. Instead he points his subjects to God and continues with his ministry of encouragement. It is my prayer that when god uses us in a situation we will give all the glory to him and not us.
1. Are we committed to the study of the word and use of the same in our daily our undertaking.
2. What examples can we learn from the lives of Josiah, Hezekiah and Zedekiah?
3. What lessons to we learn about God from Psalm 113?
4. What examples do we learn from Paul concerning his experience in Malta?
Dr. Zebedi Muga is Head of the Department of Biblical Theology and Philosophy at St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya