Read 1 Kings 12
Rehoboam follows advice of foolish friends. Selfish ambition in Jeroboam and Rehoboam causes 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).
Three tragedies are presented in these chapters. The first is King Jeroboam's concern about his control of the Northern Kingdom if the priest and the people continued to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem. Jeroboam feared that if people returned to Jerusalem to worship, His Northern Kingdom would return to the house of David (I Kin. 12:26-27). Therefore, he built one of his altars in Bethel, close to his southern border not far from Jerusalem. But the true God-appointed priests refused to participate in worship at Dan and Bethel and moved to Jerusalem. In order to maintain his two altars, Jeroboam hired men who were willing to participate in the worship of idols. Whosoever would, he consecrated (13:33).
The second tragedy was the actions of an old prophet who knew the will of God for a young prophet who did what God had called him to do by confronting Jeroboam for his evils. Yet, the old prophet lied when he said that God wanted the young prophet to accept his hospitality and come to his home (13:18). The third tragedy was the untimely death of the young prophet who failed to fully obey the will of God. He received the message of God and had the courage to preach it in the face of the ruthless Jeroboam.. Furthermore, he refused to go home with the king and rejected all his bribes. He fearlessly proclaimed the judgment of God upon the Northern Kingdom's disobedience. But, his downfall came when he was influenced to accept the warm reception of a deceitful old prophet.
The greatest danger to the Church is not the outside world, but fundamentally-sound believers who, like the old prophet, have lost their "first love" and grown indifferent (carefully note Rev. 2:1-4). Beware of the influence of those who should know the right answers, yet whose daily conduct and conversation reveal an inconsistent life. It is not difficult to recognize obvious sins — such as theft, murder, or adultery — and reject them. Christians often miss the Lord's best by becoming involved in something that is not spiritually profitable. Satan will often use an "old prophet" to influence us from doing what we know is the will of God. It is of utmost importance that we, as Christians, guard against plans that distract us from the Word of God. But, seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)
Thought for Today:
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Luke 16:13).
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 Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Official: Rep. Niki Tsongas (MA) • Country: Denmark (5 million) in northern Europe • Major languages: Danish and Faroese • Religious freedom • 92% Protestant; 1% Muslim; .5% Roman Catholic; .5% cults; .1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks for the privilege of assembling with other Christians each week (Heb. 10:25).
Optional Reading: Acts 27
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:12