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I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Lessons from Jeroboam's life (with scripture texts)


S: 1 Kings 11:9-11, 29a, 30b, 33, 37-38 The Lord was angry with Solomon because he had shifted his allegiance away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him on two occasions and had warned him about this very thing, so that he would not follow other gods. But he did not obey the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you insist on doing these things and have not kept the covenantal rules I gave you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.” ... The prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met [Jeroboam] on the road... “Look, I am about to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and I will give ten tribes to you.... I am taking the kingdom from him because they have abandoned me and worshiped the Sidonian goddess Astarte, the Moabite god Chemosh, and the Ammonite god Milcom. They have not followed my instructions by doing what I approve and obeying my rules and regulations, like Solomon’s father David did.... I will select you; you will rule over all you desire to have and you will be king over Israel. You must obey all I command you to do, follow my instructions, do what I approve, and keep my rules and commandments, like my servant David did. Then I will be with you and establish for you a lasting dynasty, as I did for David; I will give you Israel.”

1 Kings 12:26-30 Jeroboam then thought to himself: “Now the Davidic dynasty could regain the kingdom. If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, their loyalty could shift to their former master, King Rehoboam of Judah. They might kill me and return to King Rehoboam of Judah.” After the king had consulted with his advisers, he made two golden calves. Then he said to the people, “It is too much trouble for you to go up to Jerusalem. Look, Israel, here are your gods who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” He put one in Bethel and the other in Dan. This caused Israel to sin; the people went to Bethel and Dan to worship the calves.

1 Kings 13:1-6,33-34 Just then a prophet from Judah, sent by the Lord, arrived in Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing near the altar ready to offer a sacrifice. With the authority of the Lord he cried out against the altar, “O altar, altar! This is what the Lord says, ‘Look, a son named Josiah will be born to the Davidic dynasty. He will sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who offer sacrifices on you. Human bones will be burned on you.’” That day he also announced a sign, “This is the sign the Lord has predetermined: The altar will be split open and the ashes on it will fall to the ground.” When the king heard what the prophet cried out against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam, standing at the altar, extended his hand and ordered, “Seize him!” The hand he had extended shriveled up and he could not pull it back. The altar split open and the ashes fell from the altar to the ground, in fulfillment of the sign the prophet had announced with the Lord’s authority. The king pled with the prophet, “Seek the favour of the Lord your God and pray for me, so that my hand may be restored.” So the prophet sought the Lord’s favour and the king’s hand was restored to its former condition. ... After this happened, Jeroboam still did not change his evil ways; he continued to appoint common people as priests at the high places. Anyone who wanted the job he consecrated as a priest. This sin caused Jeroboam’s dynasty to come to an end and to be destroyed from the face of the earth.

1 Kings 14:1-15 At that time Jeroboam’s son Abijah became very sick. Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go to Shiloh and see the prophet Ahijah. He is the one who said that I would become king of Israel. Dress yourself so that people will not know that you are my wife. Give the prophet ten loaves of bread, some cakes, and a jar of honey. Then ask him what will happen to our son, and he will tell you.”

So the king’s wife did what he said. She went to the home of Ahijah the prophet in Shiloh. Ahijah was very old and had become blind. But the Lord said to him, “Jeroboam’s wife is coming to ask you about her son because he is sick. I will tell you what to say to her.”

When she came to Ahijah’s house, she pretended to be someone else. 6 But when Ahijah heard her coming to the door, he said, “Come in! I know who you are. You are Jeroboam’s wife. Why are you pretending to be someone else? I have some bad news for you. Go back and tell Jeroboam that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jeroboam, I chose you from among all the Israelites. I made you the ruler of my people. David’s family was ruling the kingdom of Israel, but I took the kingdom away from them and gave it to you. But you are not like my servant David. He always obeyed my commands and followed me with his whole heart. He did only what I accepted. But you have sinned worse than anyone who ruled before you. You stopped following me and made other gods for yourself. You made those statues to make me angry. So Jeroboam, I will bring troubles to your family. I will kill all the men in your family. I will destroy your family completely, like fire burning up dung. Anyone from your family who dies in the city will be eaten by dogs. And anyone from your family who dies in the fields will be eaten by birds. The Lord has spoken.’”

Then Ahijah said, “Now, go home. Your son will die as soon as you enter the city. All Israel will cry for him. They will bury him, but he is the only one from Jeroboam’s family who will be buried. This is because he is the only one in Jeroboam’s family who pleased the Lord, the God of Israel. Soon, the Lord will put a new king over Israel who will destroy Jeroboam’s family. Then the Lord will punish Israel. The Israelites will be so full of fear that they will shake like tall grass in the water. He will pull Israel up from this good land that he gave their ancestors. He will scatter them to the other side of the Euphrates River. The Lord will do this because the people made him angry when they built sacred poles [to worship a fertility goddess]. He will let the Israelites be defeated because Jeroboam sinned, and then he made the Israelites sin.”

1 Kings 15:29 When Baasha became the new king, he killed everyone in Jeroboam’s family. He left no one in Jeroboam’s family alive. This happened just as the Lord said it would when he spoke through his servant Ahijah at Shiloh.

1 Kings 15:34 but he did what the Lord said was wrong. He did the same sins that Jeroboam had done that caused the Israelites to sin.

1 Kings 16:2 “I made you an important prince over my people Israel. But you have done the same things Jeroboam did. You have caused my people Israel to sin. Their sins have made me angry.

1 Kings 16:19 So Zimri died because he sinned and did what the Lord said was wrong, just as Jeroboam did when he caused the Israelites to sin.

1 Kings 16:26 He committed all the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had committed when he caused the Israelites to sin. They worshiped worthless idols, and this made the Lord, the God of Israel, very angry.

2 Kings 10:31 But Jehu was not careful to follow the law of the Lord with all his heart. Jehu did not stop committing the sins of Jeroboam that caused Israel to sin.

O: God had told Jeroboam through the prophet Ahijah that He would take away 10 tribes of Israel and make him king over them because Solomon stopped following the Lord. God was only going to leave Judah -- and that was only because of David's faithfulness to God. God assured Jeroboam that if he were to follow God faithfully, God would establish Jeroboam's dynasty like He did David's.

However, Jeroboam did not trust God. Not only that, he led Israel into spiritual adultery because of his lack of trust that God would fulfil His promise to him that He would establish his dynasty like David's, if only he trusted in Him.

God gave him another chance to repent when he sent the Judean prophet to confront him at the consecration of that evil altar. Yet Jeroboam did not repent, and as a result, Jeroboam and his entire family was eventually wiped out. Only one person in the whole family was found to be innocent, the little boy that God, in His mercy, allowed to die young and in peace, buried and mourned by Israel. The rest of the family were not buried nor mourned, because of their evil.

Jeroboam's evil became such a byword from then on that subsequent evil kings were always compared to Jeroboam.

A sub-lesson is that of Jeroboam's good son. Sometimes the good die young, to spare them from the judgment of God that will befall others around them.

A: God promises us many blessings if we follow His Way. But we are tempted to do things the evil way of the world. It is difficult to resist this temptation, but we must.

Fortunately, like David found out with his sin with Bathsheba, even when we do give in, repentance is an option. Even in Jeroboam's case, God gave him a chance to repent — only he refused to take it.

So: follow God! If we mess up, repent and turn back to Him! Don't persist in evil, or face the consequences.

P: Father, when I am tempted to disobey You, please remind me of the lesson of Jeroboam. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

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