Rehoboam follows advice of foolish friends. Selfish ambition in Jeroboam and Rehoboam leads the nation to split into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. We learn the consequences of not obeying the commands of God (I Kin. 13:11-32).
Verses for Today:
Jeroboam said in his heart . . . if this people go up to do sacrifice in the House of the Lord at Jerusalem . . . they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king . . . made two calves of gold, and said . . . behold thy gods, O Israel. . . . And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. . . . And he . . . made priests . . . which were not the sons of Levi. . . . And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam . . . to destroy it (I Kin. 12:26-31;13:34).
King Solomon was buried in the city of David his father (11:43). His son Rehoboam inherited power and a treasury full of wealth; however, Solomon left the kingdom morally and spiritually bankrupt. Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, Thy father made our yoke grievous (harsh, hard): now therefore make . . . his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee (12:3-4).
Note that Rehoboam said to his newly-appointed cabinet of young friends: What counsel give ye that we may answer this people? (12:9). Taking the young men's counsel, Rehoboam foolishly threatened the nation with additional taxes and even more cruel treatment. This blunder caused the people to rebel. Jeroboam successfully led a revolt that divided the kindom and gained the support of the 10 northern tribes. The tribe of Judah, as well as the tribe of Benjamin and most of the Levites, remained faithful to the worship of God in Jerusalem.
Jeroboam provided his new northern kingdom with two "more convenient" places of worship at Bethel in the south and Dan in the north. The Word of God clearly commanded that all worship sacrifices must be conducted at the Temple in Jerusalem (Deut. 12:13-14). And He shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam . . . who made Israel to sin (I Kin. 14:16).
A similar departure from the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God is prevalent today. Pitiful as this is, many Christians neglect to read His Word and simply read numerous popular books and consequently do not know the Truth of God. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (greedy) wolves (Matt. 7:15).
Thought for Today:
Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven (Matt. 7:21).
Through Shemaiah who spoke for the Lord (I Kin. 12:22). Jesus spoke only what the Father told Him: I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a Commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak (John 12:49).
12:14 scorpions =scourges with sharp points; 12:32 high places =pagan shrines; 13:6 intreat =plead in prayer; 13:32 cried =shouted, declared.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Official: Rep. Niki Tsongas (MA) • Country: Greenland (60,000) northeast of Canada • Major languages: Eskimo dialects and Danish • Religious freedom • 98% Protestant; .1% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you boldness and opportunities to share the Gospel with others (Col. 4:3-4).
Optional Reading: Acts 27
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:13