Read 1 Kings 12

Highlights:

Rehoboam, king of Judah; Jeroboam, king of Israel; the idolatry of Israelites; disobedient prophet slain.

And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the Word of the Lord: therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the Word of the Lord, which He spake unto him (I Kin. 13:26).

Jeroboam successfully led a revolt against the united kingdom and with the support of the ten northern tribes, split it into two kingdoms. The tribe of Judah, as well as the tribe of Benjamin and most of the Levites, remained faithful to the Davidic dynasty and worshiped in Jerusalem.

Jeroboam feared that if the people went to Jerusalem to worship, they might desire to unite the kingdom; therefore he set up two worship centers, one in Dan and the other in Bethel. Jeroboam led Israel to worship idols by setting up a golden calf in each of the new sanctuaries.

Jeroboam is an example of all who have yielded to the temptation to abandon doing the will of God in order to gain political or personal advantage.

Three tragedies are presented in this chapter. First, King Jeroboam was more concerned about his control over a nation than he was about the control of God over him. Second, although the old prophet knew the will of God, he lied. He influenced the young prophet not to complete what God had called him to do. The third tragedy was the young prophet's untimely, tragic death. He had the message of God and the courage to preach it, and he refused all the king's bribes. He stood fearlessly in the midst of a multitude, proclaiming the judgment of God upon disobedience. Neither the pleasures of a luxurious table nor the prospect of comfortable lodging after the fatigue of a long journey could tempt him to swerve from the path of commanded duty.

But the young prophet disobeyed God when he accepted the warm reception of the aged, backslidden prophet. The resulting catastrophe was a severe but necessary judgment of God to attest the truth of the message with which the prophet had been charged.

It is not difficult to recognize obvious sin and reject it, but Christians often miss the Lord's best by becoming involved in something that, in itself, may not be sinful, but something that keeps us from accomplishing the purposes of God.

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love (Rev. 2:4).

Thought for Today:

The person who satisfies God is obedient to His indwelling Spirit.

Christ Portrayed:

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).

Word Studies:

12:14 scorpions, scourges with sharp points; 12:32 high places, pagan shrines; 13:6 Intreat, Plead in prayer; 13:32 cried, shouted, declared.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Audrey Hash • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Officials: Rep. Niki Tsongas (MA) and Res. Comm. Pedro R. Pierluisi (PR) • Country: Burkina Faso (11 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and Sudanic tribal languages • Religious freedom • 48% Muslim; 33% belief in false gods, idolatry, and heathenism; 14% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Husbands, give honor to your wives, or else your prayers will be obstructed (I Pet. 3:7).

Optional Reading: Acts 27

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:33