Read I & II Kings 12 -- 13
In Today's Reading:
Solomon's death; ten tribes revolt; Jeroboam rebuked by an unnamed prophet; death of the disobedient prophet
Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, Your father made our yoke grievous (harsh, hard): now therefore make . . . his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve you (12:3-4).
King Rehoboam consulted with the old men . . . and said, How do you advise that I may answer this people? And they spoke to him, saying, If you will be a servant to this people this day . . . and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants for ever. But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before (served) him (12:6-8)
Note that Rehoboam said to the wise old men: How do you advise? But, he said to his newly-appointed cabinet of young friends: What counsel (advice) give you 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 and declare a new king as the Lord had earlier ordained (I Kings 11:26-40). And it came to pass. . . . all Israel . . . made him (Jeroboam) king (12:19-20).
However, like Solomon, he failed to follow God's expressed command (11:38). Thus, Jeroboam provided his new northern kingdom of eleven tribes with two more convenient places of worship located at Bethel in the south and Dan in the north. This violated the Word of God which clearly commanded that all worship sacrifices must be conducted at the Temple in Jerusalem. And He shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin (14:16).
A similar departure from the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God is prevalent today. Pitiful as this is, some people neglect to read His Word and simply do not know the difference between God's truth and religious traditions or so-called political correctness. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (self-serving) wolves. . . . Not every one that says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:15,21).
12:14 scorpions = scourges with sharp points; 12:32 high places = pagan shrines; 13:6 intreat = plead in prayer; 13:32 cried = shouted, declared.
Through Shemaiah who spoke for the Lord (I Kings 12:22). Jesus spoke only what the Father told Him. All things that I have heard of My Father I have made known to you (John 15:15). For 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 (12:49).
Country: Algeria (31 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and French · Authorities have virtually ended all open mission work · 99% Muslim; .5% Roman Catholic/Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord's forgiveness with a repentant heart, knowing that God will graciously receive you (Hosea 14:1-2).
Memory Verse for the Week: John 6:63