(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Well, as you read through 1 and 2 Kings, it's hard not to be discouraged; it's hard not to think that the whole plan of God has just blown up, that these people have gone crazy, corrupt king after corrupt king, kings murdering kings; it's a mess, and you wonder, “Where is God? Why is this happening?” as you watch Israel descend into political, cultural, social chaos. Israel is not a very nice place to be; it’s not led by very noble leaders; these guys don't want what is best for their own people. And you would ask, “Where in the world is God? What in the world is He doing? How in the world can this take place?”
I think, if you're honest, you've asked those questions too. Maybe you look around at your culture, and you say, “This thing just seems to be getting worse. People seem more lost and confused than ever; things that we thought would never change rapidly change. Where is God? What is He doing?” And in the middle of that chaos, in 1 Kings 8:56, there is this encouragement. Listen to these words, “Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He has promised; not one word has failed of all of His good promises, which He spoke by Moses His servant.”
Now, think of the contrast. God is saying, “I have not failed to deliver anything that I've promised to my people.” Again, you get this contrast between God, the Promise Keeper, and His people, Covenant Breakers. And as you watch king after king after king after king, you would wonder, “Why doesn't God just turn His back and walk away, and say, “Enough already! I'm done! I'm not going to do that anymore!”
Well, you get another phrase in 1 Kings where God says, “I do this for the sake of my servant David.” Now think about what is being said, “for the sake of my servant David.” What is He saying? God is saying, “I am committed to the promise I made to David; that out of him, would come a kingdom that would never end, and that King would be the Messiah, the Lord Jesus. I have not abandoned my promise.”
And so God is saying, “I'm going to remain faithful to these unfaithful people, not because of the fact that I'm keeping score, and they’re still worthy enough to be rewarded by my love; I'm doing it because of what is inside of me. I’m a God of such awesome love; such burning, redemptive zeal; that even in light of the rebellion of these people that have led to such cultural, political, social chaos, I will not walk away because I will not deny myself. I will remain true to my plan; and out of this mess, somehow, my plan will continue until every promise I ever made will be fully delivered.”
You know, we still live in the middle of the mess because there are promises of God yet to be fulfilled. We still live in hope. There's a way in which, if you could summarize the whole theme of the Old Testament, it's waiting, waiting for this God because He's worthy of the wait!