Highlights:

Ahijah's prophecy; reign and death of Rehoboam; Asa's good reign in Judah.

Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem: And he took away the treasures of the House of the Lord (I Kin. 14:25-26).

The strength of Jerusalem was God, who withdrew His presence when idol worship was practiced in Jerusalem. Therefore, the kingdom of Judah was easily defeated by Shishak, king of Egypt.

When Rehoboam strengthened himself, he forsook the Law of the Lord (II Chr. 12:1). But that didn't mean that he had forsaken going through the ceremonial services in the House of God. The Temple and its services were still being maintained but Rehoboam allowed sodomites — male and female prostitutes — to practice their cultic religions on every high hill where there were images and altars to the false gods (I Kin. 14:23-24,28). He only meant to be broad-minded and tolerant and recognize other religions as equal to his own traditional past.

But there must be an open declaration of what is sin and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret (Eph. 5:11-12).

God permitted Shishak to invade Jerusalem and carry away its immense wealth, including the shields of gold — the symbol of His protection (I Kin. 14:26). Not wanting to be embarrassed by the absence of the golden shields, Rehoboam made in their stead brasen (brass) shields (14:27) and continued his ceremonies as though nothing had happened. He had substituted worthless brass — a symbol of idolatry — to replace the gold — a symbol of the precious presence of God. Unless one looked closely, he could not tell the difference.

Pity the poor, self-deceived soul who gives the appearance of worshiping God, but does not worship Him from the heart in obedience to His Word. His worship is worthless.

The deadness and discord that exists in some churches may be well hidden by all the activities going on, but a careful observer will notice the emptiness of that ministry. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (II Tim. 3:5).

What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (II Cor. 6:14).

Thought for Today:

The Lord is our strength and our shield.

Christ Revealed:

In Asa's ridding the land of idols and sodomites (I Kin. 15:11-14). Christ cleansed the Temple (Matt. 21:12-13; John 2:13-17). As Christians, we are the Temples of God, bought with His own blood (I Cor. 6:19-20; II Cor. 6:16-17) and are cleansed of all unrighteousness when we confess our sins (I John 1:9).

Word Studies:

14:3 cracknels, cakes or fig bars; 14:5 feign herself, pretend; 14:6 heavy tidings, very sad news; 14:15 groves, pagan idol shrines; 15:12 took away the sodomites, banished homosexual male prostitutes; 15:17 suffer, allow or permit.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Bible Pathway Media Producer Rick Hash • Government Officials: Sen. Daniel A. Webster (FL), and Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Jr. (NC) • Country: Burundi (6 million) in east-central Africa • Major languages: Kirundi and French • Losing religious freedom • 51% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 11% Protestant; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for unity of spirit with other believers (I Pet. 3:8).

Optional Reading: Acts 28

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:33