Sunday, July 21, 2024
Sunday, July 21, 2024
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And the Winner Is . . .

“Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he did more evil than all who were before him” (I King 16:25).

Omri was king of the northern kingdom of Israel. He is the king that established Samaria as the capital of the country. Later his son, Ahab succeeded him. Does evil have a measure? It seems it does, for Omri “did more evil” than his predecessors on Israel’s throne. There are contests to see who the strongest man is. There are beauty contests to determine the most beautiful. There are shows to see who can win the most prizes. Here the “most evil” contest was won hands down by Omri. There are many “titles” we seek in life, but this is not one of them. What a terrible title to hold — most evil!

Is there a bottom or an end to your doing wrong in God’s sight? There is hopefully an end to your evil ways before your death. Think about it. Will those standing at your graveside or at your funeral or memorial service say of you: “Of all in his family, he was the champion. He was the best at doing evil. He did more evil than those who were before him”?

“…Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight more than all who were before him.” (I Kings 16:30).

And We Have a New Champion

We celebrate Father’s Day in our country. It is a day set aside to honor our fathers. Many fathers are living, while some have passed on. Perhaps you have precious memories of your father — I certainly hope so. A father’s influence over his son and his daughter is immeasurable.

Omri was an evil man. He was a champion at doing evil, a gold medal winner at evil. His son, Ahab saw this as a parental example. As he grew up to take his place on the throne of Israel, Ahab exceeded the old records of evil established by his dad. He became the new super champion of evil. He had taken evil, unprecedented and unmatched by his father, to a higher level. “He outdid daddy!” He won more gold medals at evil and established new records for evil. His father paled in his accomplishments of evil before the accomplishments of his son. (Remember the wife Omri arranged for his son Ahab? Her name was Jezebel.)

Dear Father, what is the legacy you leave your son or your daughter — your children? Do you model for them the path of godliness or the path of evil? Your children are watching you. More than likely, they will follow your pattern. The children’s song repeated in Sunday School says “Be careful little feet where you go for the Father up above is looking down in love… Be careful little mouth what you say for the Father up above is looking down in love…” It might be better sung to parents, “Be careful big feet… and be careful big mouth…”

— This is an excerpt from a new book that is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2022 by Dr. Tony Cleaver. The current working title of the book is, “Life Coaching: From the Historical Books.”