Today’s readings… (1 Kings 15), (Jeremiah 41), (Mark 15)
    As we reflected on our Mark 15 reading we noted how the evil “chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him (Pilate) release for them Barabbas instead” of Jesus (v.11)  The role of the “crowd” is often a significant factor in the course of events. We have read earlier in the book of Kings of the harmony and cohesion of the nation during the reigns of David and Solomon when, more than at any other time, the value of God-fearing kings who can exercise total control and whose word is Law, brought stability and peace to the nation.
    Our 1 Kings reading (15) describes the chaos of life for 20 years after the death of Solomon until good king Asa came on the throne and reigned for 41 years.  The northern kingdom never had a good king.  Those in the north who sought to live under a good king moved south at that time. (2 Chron. 15 v,9).
    Our Jeremiah chapter (41) describes the total chaos after Jerusalem is destroyed by the Babylonians – the man they left in charge, Gedaliah, is murdered.  The experiences feed into Jeremiah’s mind leading him to write his ‘Lamentations’ which we will read in a couple of weeks. His godly mind was overwhelmed by all that happened.
    Today we have situations which are the same in many ways; the “crowd” are “stirred up” to influence those in power or seeking power. Many leaders and aspiring leaders try to advantage of this. An incredible array of means are available for people to urge this or that course of action – compared to when we were young.  We are awed by the prospect that someday, maybe soon, that (taking the “heavens” to represent the ruling powers) what we read in Mark 13 will occur; “the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” [v,26,27]
    As these events threaten to unfold – what must be the attitude and expectation in the minds of the truly faithful!?  God’s kingdom is at the door; a far greater kingdom than that of David and Solomon, it will be world-wide.  David’s Psalm for Solomon (72) goes far beyond what happened in his son’s reign to become a prayer and vision of what his greater son will accomplish.  In our Mark chapter. Pilate himself called Jesus “the king of the Jews” (v.9), but, Jesus said to him, “ my kingdom is not from the world” [John 18 v.36]  God will appoint him, not man, and he will reign with God given power.  We must not be “stirred up” by any human means – but through the zeal with which we read God’s word.