Social identity is the term used by social psychologists to describe the ways that people express who they are. These ways include making choices that align with their “in-groups” and avoiding behaviors that they associate with their “out-groups.” Social identities can include geography, ethnicity, gender, age, and professional affiliation. Some people want to be identified as academically gifted and work hard for the best grades in school. Others might find such identity to be for the so-called geeks or nerds, and work hard to stay away from such identification!
King Jotham decided to choose the identity of a servant of the Lord, and he made choices that aligned with being a godly king. He opposed the evil enemies of God’s people, and he repaired the temple. He fortified Judah and ensured their prosperity. “He walked steadfastly before the Lord his God” (v. 6).
Jotham also avoided behaviors that would lead to destruction. He learned from the example of his father, Uzziah, and did not attempt to enter the temple. He did not claim rights and privileges that were reserved for the priests (v. 2). He was a powerful king because he trusted God, and he did not allow his political power to poison him with deadly pride.
Though Jotham was a godly king, the people did not follow his example. Their corruption and idolatry continued. They enjoyed the benefits of peace and prosperity that they received because God blessed Jotham, but they made no attempt to repent of their own sins and turn their hearts toward the Lord. They assumed that a good king was enough to protect them from God’s judgment, and they ignored the lessons of their history. As we will read tomorrow, they would soon learn otherwise.
Share, the annual fundraising event for Moody Radio, is in full swing at WMBW in Chattanooga, Tenn., today. Please ask God to bless the efforts of Brent Manion, Jason McKay, Paul Martin, and Tabi Upton to make Christian radio possible.