The legacy we leave

Today’s reading:
1 Kings 22: 51 – 52

Ahaziah son of Ahab began to rule over Israel in the seventeenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria two years. But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the example of his father and mother and the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had led Israel to sin.”  (NLT)

Extended reading: 1 Kings 22: 41 – 53

I am reading the stories of the kings of Israel and Judah as part of my daily reading. Stories of awe and victory. Stories of sin and idolatry. Stories of how dependence on the Lord makes a positive difference and vice-versa. The writers of the books of Kings and Chronicles make it very clear, as each king takes the throne, about the path they took and the position they had with God.

In fact, as far as extended reading goes, please go through the books of 1 and 2 Kings and Chronicles. Today, I look at two kings – one named Jehoshaphat and the other, Ahaziah, son of Ahab. Ahaziah was the son of a father and mother, known for their evil ways.

Today’s passage starts with the other king – Jehoshaphat – “Jehoshaphat son of Asa began to rule over Judah in the fourth year of King Ahab’s reign in Israel. Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the example of his father, Asa. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight.” (2 Kings 22: 41-43)

Two kings. Two opportunities. Opportunity to be able to write history, literally. Opportunity to lead their children and their nations to success.

But as history got written, one reigned for twenty five years. The other reigned for two years. One enjoyed success, the other failure. It is not very difficult to see why. As you go through these books in the Bible, you will read about the many kings and of the paths they chose. Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah were influenced by their parents and had their share of influence on future generations.

What are we leaving behind? What is our legacy? Are we leaving something our kids, our church and our  future generations can look up to or would they be ashamed of our works?

We could be like Ahaziah, who did not have the opportunity in his upbringing. He was not taught to walk in the ways of the Lord. So he chose the other. But he chose. What are we choosing today? Do we choose to trust God or blame our past or our circumstances for our position today?

As I write this, I am aware there are people who seem to have already  lost that chance. You may be going through a bitter divorce. Or you may be convicted for murder or robbery. Or caught in adultery. Those seem like serious legacy-hurting actions. But you know what – everyone’s lost their chance at leaving behind a good legacy. We have all sinned. We have all gone wrong. No one is better than the other. (Romans 3: 23)

But Jesus made a way. He showed the way to heaven. A way for us to make it right – with the people of this world and with God above. He gives us an opportunity to leave behind a legacy. Not of great wealth or a great name in this world. But a legacy of trust, faith and family. A legacy that our children can be proud of. Will it be said of us – “<insert your child’s name here> was a good person, following the example of his father/mother, <insert your name here>. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight.”?

That is the only legacy we can boast of. A legacy of trust in the Lord. A legacy of dependence on the Holy One – the Great I AM.

What is your legacy?

What do I pray?
Lord, I put my trust in You. I decide to leave my legacy in You. I have done wrong. I have sinned. But I am redeemed by the blood You shed on the cross of calvary. Save me, Lord and help me live this life for You. In Jesus’ name.

(If this thought has blessed you, won’t you let us know? Comment here or send us an email to feedback [at] simplyhim [dot] com)

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This thought was part of the Weekly Devotional at SimplyHim.com

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