Welcome to “Bible Ponderings #7” which finds me in the midst of the major prophets in the chronological reading plan. Every few weeks I hope to toss out there what I’m currently reading and invite you to ponder with me!
After the reign of King David’s son Solomon, the nation of Israel splits into the ten tribes of Israel, and the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. As each of the two kingdoms strays from God’s laws in varying degrees and at varying times, God sends prophets to warn Israel and Judah to get back on track or else they will suffer His righteous judgment. Due to the hard hearts of His people, the prophets have little success in steering God’s people back to the way they should go.
Trace Israel’s lineage and it is evil king after evil king after evil king. The prophets don’t have much success there.
But trace Judah’s lineage and there is a mixture of good and evil kings. How can one king have a “good” king as father and yet turn out evil, while another has an evil king as a father yet turn out “good”?
In some instances, there is no prophet around, and yet there suddenly appears a “good” king in Judah’s lineage who seeks to follow God’s laws. King Asa and King Joash are just two examples. What makes the difference?
When you dig into the Old Testament books of 1&2 Kings, there seems to be a common element to a king turning out “good.” And the reason is found a lot closer to home than having a prophet come to pay a visit!
The common element for those “good” kings was that they had someone in their world who was a godly influence.
In the same way, we need to look around and ask who is the young person in our world that we can influence toward knowing God? Are they our neighbor’s child, a niece or nephew, a young person at church, or our own child or grandchild? Ask any young person what an influencer is and they’ll likely quote a few names you’ve never heard of from their Instagram or Twitter accounts. So I looked up the definition and according to Google an influencer is “a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.”
I’d like to play with that definition and submit that a godly influencer is a Christian with the ability to influence potential Christ followers of the reality of God’s kingdom by acting justly, loving purposefully, and walking humbly. In other words, showing them Jesus- without hypocrisy or legalism.
Which now begs the question…how are we doing when it comes to being a godly influence to the next generation?
Are we leaving it up to the church, the youth group, the school, the sporting club, or the influencers of social media?
If we have a young person in our world then we have the wonderful privilege and responsibility of letting them see the reality of Christ in us.
Something to ponder!
p.s did you have a godly influence in your life as a young person? I look forward to hearing your comments.