Or, alliteration in Southern Baptist sermons. (Not really.)
This title was born the moment I realized that, throughout all my Sunday School lessons, I had been taught that the people in the Bible were–at any given moment–either completely good, or completely evil.
Have you ever met anyone like that?
I thought not.
People are not straight black and white, they are COLORFUL. Issues can be black and white; for instance, there is no ‘middle ground’ on alien abduction. You are either for it, or against it. People are not so simple.
For instance, when I was small there was a sort of chart of the Kings of Judah floating around. It had columns for names, dates, and significant events, and one more column that said one of two things: GOOD or BAD. It went like this: Saul, mostly bad; David, Good; Solomon, good; Rehoboam, bad; Abijah, bad; Asa, good… and so forth.
Let’s examine two, shall we? I will avoid David and Saul, because there are any number of excellent studies out there on them. We’ll pick… Abijah and Solomon.
Good points: Built the temple; Asked God for Wisdom; Wrote three books of the Bible.
Bad points: Broke all three of the King-laws*; worshipped idols.
Good points: Obeyed God; Gave refuge to priests; Relied on God in battle.
Bad points: Broke the King-law by marrying fourteen wives.
I hope this has given you food for thought, and I encourage you to read 2 Chronicles (and Judges, and Hosea, and…)
*King-laws: Deuteronomy 17:15-20