Lessons from Jeroboam

  • 5 May 2021

And at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah had dressed himself in a new garment, and the two of them were alone in the open country. Then Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it into twelve pieces. And he said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and will give you ten tribes (but he shall have one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel), because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and they have not walked in my ways, doing what is right in my sight and keeping my statutes and my rules, as David his father did. Nevertheless, I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of David my servant whom I chose, who kept my commandments and my statutes. But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand and will give it to you, ten tribes. Yet to his son I will give one tribe, that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name. And I will take you, and you shall reign over all that your soul desires, and you shall be king over Israel. And if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.  ~1 Kings 11:29-28

Wow. What an honor. Solomon had turned his heart away from God and began to worship idols which caused God to look for someone else to lead His people. For some reason, He entrusted Jeroboam the son of Nebat with this task. It didn’t take long, however, until Jeroboam did the very thing that God warned Him against.

And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David. If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”  ~1 Kings 12:26-28

This became Jeroboam’s legacy. Throughout the rest of Kings and Chronicles, almost every other king was compared to “Jeroboam son of Nebat who made Israel to sin.”

You would think that someone who had been promised great things from God would have taken God’s admonitions seriously. But, alas, Jeroboam let his own fear get in the way, proving that he wanted the kingdom, but He didn’t trust God to do everything that He promised.

It’s sad to say, but we can be just like that. Throughout Scripture, we are told how to live in order to experience fellowship with God and yet, for many, His presence doesn’t mean that much. We somehow think we can have the world and Jesus too but, according to Scripture, that is not possible.

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  ~James 4:4

No one wants to be called an adulterer and yet that is what those who love the world are called. It is possible to be in the world while not of it, but the majority don’t even try to find that distinction. Here in America, we don’t have idols like some other countries, but we still have things that we worship. If you are spending an inordinate amount of time doing anything while neglecting time with the Father, that just may be an idol. Don’t be known as the man or woman who put other things ahead of their relationship with Christ so that they caused others (namely their children) to sin. Be that person who is so faithful that generations upon generations will follow the Lord because of your example. It may take work, but it is not impossible.


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  1. Chet - May 6, 2021 at 4:20 PM

    Amen, food for pondering!

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