Made Israel to sin? With all sin that is going on amongst the people now it seems odd that one leader could make the nation to sin all the more, but, that is the importance of a leader. We tend to think of sin in individualistic terms based largely on whether it hurts anybody else. We also tend to think of religion as something personal and private (what harm is to anybody if I sacrifice in the evening to Baal rather than Jehovah?). Sin should be thought of as a fluid pool all around us, the water you swim in is the water I swim in. That the nation can sin, that the leaders of a nation can make us to sin more, these are the things of sin that should be considered fully.
One hundred prophets hidden for protection strategically in two groups of fifty; do we grasp how hostile and desperate this situation is? So there are good and godly people remaining, even prophets. Many are on the run, many are silent, some stand up, a few of the most effective and public are pursued and therefore exiled to shelter. The stage is set for one major prophet Elijah. I guess living the godly life isn't always as easy going and peaceful as we'd like to think it.
What about a leader enables us the people to make more sin? Is it the brute strength of his sinful conviction? Is it the deeds his tight-fisted rulings and decisions impose upon us? Is it that we are suddenly subject to his over powering will? Rarely! Often it is his own ineffectiveness in dealing with the forces at work around him. It is the momentums that grow quiet organically against him that he does not stand to oppose. The factions that press against him that he seeks to appease and quiet, the idolatrous wives that force their own agendas, the decisions not made, the ideals compromised, the groundwork never laid or surrendered, the stabbing of the backs of his close allies for the sake of calming his distant enemies. Sin is not always caused by his strength or conceit but, more often by his weakness. Political strength is often determined by the perceived weaknesses in leadership that other factions intend to exploit. His sin enables a great many more to sin as well.
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