I noticed something while going through 1 and 2 Kings recently: there’s a pattern that they rarely deviate from in how they talk about the kings of Israel and Judah. The first verse talking about the new king will announce in what year of the reign of a certain king of the other territory this new king begins to reign and whose son he is. There may be a second verse that tells how old he was when he began to reign and how long his reign lasted. But the next verse tells what really matters: whether he did good or evil in the sight of the Lord.
This verse summarizes whether these kings were good or bad, whether God blessed or cursed Judah and Israel during their reigns. There’s some mention of their acts most of the time, some of the battles they fought perhaps, but there aren’t many mentions of their wealth, intelligence, or looks. I don’t recall any mention of the attractiveness of their wives and concubines; most don’t even have that number recorded. Nowhere in these books are they called brilliant economists, cunning generals, or jovial cut-ups.
Because none of these things matter.
When I die, my family and perhaps a few friends will actually miss me. Leah and perhaps our children will be broken-hearted, but for most people who knew me, there will be a few moments of sadness and then life will go back to normal. They’ll remember me for a variety of things, but will any remember me for my heart for God? If I were to die today, that answer is probably only Leah, because my heart has largely been on the things of this world. I’ve wanted a house, money, good job, kids, golden retriever, etc. I’ve even sought fame from writing books.
Yet what will God think of my time on earth? Will He say that I had a heart for Him, that I did good in His sight? This, far more than money, possessions, or relationships, is something truly worth aspiring to.