There are a few characters mentioned in the Holy Book that could be better. Menahem was one of them. Known as the sixteenth king of the northern Israelite Kingdom of Israel, according to the Bible, he was the son of Gadi, who ruled for ten years, around 752–742 BCE. He came to power by force after assassinating the previous king, Shallum.
He is known for his ruthless tactics and for imposing a heavy tribute on the people to finance his military campaigns. His reign is considered a continuation of the moral and religious decline of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The Bible states that Menahem “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” (2 Kings 15:18)
Sometimes it might seem overwhelming or even unnecessary to read about the bad people from the Bible, but the truth is, they are detailed in the Holy Book for a reason. And we shall never question God’s reasons for creating some people, even if they only did wrong in their lives.
It’s important to remember that the dark exists to show how bright the light is. If you had never experienced bad events and never met bad people, how would you even know to distinguish good from bad? Evil from Divine? Yes, it’s hard to accept that you need to be compassionate even towards these kinds of individuals, but you are here to please God, not anyone else, not even yourself.
Why Were Israel’s Kings Mostly Evil?
It might come as a shock when you find out that most kings who ruled over Israel in Biblical times were evil. There are several mentions stating that the Israelites were “God’s chosen people,” but somehow, they had mostly terrible rulers. You could think about it this way. God always tries to bring the lost on the right path.
Sometimes it works, the wrongdoers are forgiven, and sometimes God’s naughty children doom themselves. Nevertheless, Israel is an important place for God, and the Bible shows us how He repeatedly says, “This is Mine” (Joel 1:6; Zech. 2:5-7; Gen. 35:10-15).
It’s not wrong to believe that the Almighty Father wanted a fair ruler for His land and His chosen people. It would also not be wrong to believe that He tried to test some of His children, the ones that He helped become rulers of Israel. It started with Jeroboam, the first evil king who pushed Israel to sin. Jeroboam turned his back on God and started building shrines where people would worship fake gods. “Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!” (1 Kings 12:28).
There are many kings of Israel who were considered to be unfaithful to God and led the people astray through idol worship and other sinful practices. However, there were also a few kings, such as David and Hezekiah, who were considered to have been good and faithful leaders. David is even mentioned to have been God’s favorite human on earth.
Why Did God Love King David?
The Bible states that God loved King David because “he was a man after His own heart.” This means that David had a strong desire to follow and obey God. He demonstrated this through his actions and leadership. David was known for his faith and his devotion to God. And also his willingness to repent and ask for forgiveness when he sinned.
David is also famous for his role in the history of Israel. He led the Israelites to many military victories. And also he established a stable and prosperous kingdom. Most people know David from the story of David and Goliath. An impressive story that teaches us never to give up and always trust God.
According to the story, the Israelites and the Philistines were at war. The Philistines had a giant warrior named Goliath who challenged the Israelites to send out a champion to fight him. However, none of the Israelite soldiers were willing to face Goliath. So David, who was not a soldier but a young shepherd, stepped forward and offered to fight Goliath even though he had no experience in battle.
He was only armed with a slingshot. This story is seen as powerful, showing faith and courage, with David representing the small and weak who defeated the powerful through faith in God.
Additionally, David is credited with organizing the worship of God in Jerusalem and bringing the Ark of the Covenant there. It was seen as a significant religious and national achievement. David’s poetry and psalms also hold a special place in the Holy Book. It is believed that he wrote many of the Psalms that are included in the Bible. His poetry is praised for its spiritual depth and beauty.
What Is the Difference Between Menahem and King David?
Even though both of them were once rulers of Israel, the differences are astonishing. Menahem, who was the king of Israel from 1049–1042 BC, is described briefly in the Second Book of Kings. He was a powerful and ruthless king who came to power after assassinating his predecessor. Menahem is also mentioned in the Book of Isaiah, where he is criticized for his cruelty and oppressive rule.
It is said that Menahem has killed a large number of people to solidify his power, and he is also said to have extorted money from the wealthy in order to maintain the throne. He is also criticized for his religious practices, as he is said to have practiced idolatry and led the Israelites away from the worship of the one God.
David, on the other hand, was a good king who only “did good in the eyes of the Lord.” Unlike Menahem, David loved his land and his people, and that won him the hearts of many, who were ready to follow him even before he became king.
The biggest difference between the two kings of Israel is humility. It is usually mentioned by scholars that in order to be God’s “chosen,” you need humility. The evil rulers lacked humility and never thought they needed God’s help. That turned out to be their downfall. The greatest lesson to be learned here is that you are never “too good” for God or His help.