Old King Cole was a merry old soul…
There was once a king who lived in a marvelous palace. He did not always have such a fine palace, but it took years of work and God’s blessings to build up. It was surrounded by a vast wasteland that the king took possession of and improved to the best of his ability. Thus, he expanded his kingdom.
Some considered the king a wise king, and they were devoted and loyal followers of the king. Some would travel across the vast wasteland and immigrate to the kingdom. However, some would later change their mind and return to their native countries. Some even chose the vast wasteland to live in rather than the beautiful kingdom!
There were others, though, who did not believe in the king but rather secretly hated the king because they were envious of him and his power. Some allowed this to develop into bitterness, to the point where they were eventually driven out of the kingdom. However, some were high-ranking government ministers who were good at acting as though they were loyal when they actually were not.
Things were not always peaceful in the kingdom, however. The king’s son, Abimelech, tried to take power by force and by blackmail. He was driven out to start his own kingdom, which later had its own coup and drove him out yet again.
Yet, others were able to maintain their place until the king’s death. Since he had no son, the king at the last moment chose a close minister, Jeroboam, to take his place. This minister had not been in his office for as long as the others, and so they were jealous of his power even more than they were originally jealous of the king’s power.
The king died, and all seemed well at first. The people, for the most part, pledged their loyalty to the new king. However, King Jeroboam seemed to not be so zealous for the same things that the old king was. After a while, he began to relax on some things that a few felt that the old king was “strict” about. Some of the changes made sense, while others got people talking.
Not just the people were talking, either. Eventually, the minister with the most envy, Nabal, became ambitious enough to stage a civil war. Some rallied to Nabal’s side, but most did not, for they realized his envy and desire to be adored were the driving forces behind his defection. He carved out a corner of the kingdom, which the weak King Jeroboam could not take back. However, Nabal’s drinking and lust limited the amount of damage he could do to the kingdom.
Still, rumors of Jeroboam’s weak handling of the kingdom continued. Indeed, he seemed to overturn quite a few of some minor laws that the old king had established. This also got some of the ministers of the cabinet talking. Finally, the Minister of Education, Jehu, decided the kingdom had gone too far astray, and he staged a civil war as well.
The kingdom was again rent into two pieces, but once again many realized the ambition and desire for power that was behind the civil war. Yet, it wasn’t all that simple, either, for there was a rising number of citizens that were happy with the liberal changes that King Jeroboam was instituting. This produced quite a dilemma in the minds of more than a few. Neither side was right, so which side do you go with?
Finally, the king decided to come clean. He wanted to be like all the other kingdoms in the world. He did not want to be king of a special kingdom any longer. This led to an outright revolt, and many left who wanted the former ways. However, some mayors and officials also left because they were in fear of losing their status if they stayed in the old kingdom.
This new nation, though, decided they no longer needed a king. They decided to have a different type of government where officials were elected into office. That way, they reasoned, there wouldn’t be on single power that could make grand changes, and it also limited those who lusted for such power.
Of course, that wasn’t the end. There still were others who had to have power, and they often left this new kingdom as well, taking others with them. Then, human nature and stubbornness took over and yet another split occurred.
10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
~ Pr 13:10
How did God spread the Gospel in the 1st century? Did He create a behemoth of an organization to pool resources and get the word out?
8 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
~ Ac 8:1-4
Does God only work through one man at a time? One nation at a time? Then why were there two kingdoms, and did God (attempt to) work through them both?
29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:
30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:
31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:)
34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:
35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.
Did Christ promise a large global church?
31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
~ Mt 26:31
We usually look at this verse in regards to that particular night, but why “abroad” if the scattering was to be limited to that?
Where does the desire to not be scattered come from? Does it not come from a lack of faith? Where does the desire to have a large organization to protect and care for us come from?
11 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.