Read I Kings 14 -- 15
After the division of the united Kingdom of Israel, Jeroboam set up worship centers at Bethel and at Dan. During the next three years the Southern Kingdom of Judah was greatly influenced to worship the Lord because the Levites left . . . and came to Judah and Jerusalem. . . . So they strengthened the Kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong (II Chronicles 11:14,17).
In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign over Judah in Jerusalem, we read he forsook the Law of the Lord (12:1-2). Rehoboam followed the policy of his father Solomon in being "broad-minded" and "tolerant" of other religions. This could be expected of Rehoboam since his mother's name was Naamah an (idol-worshiping) Ammonitess (I Kings 14:21).
There were other evidences of his infidelity to the Lord. Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter (granddaughter) of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines (II Chronicles 11:21). Although the Kingdom of Judah did not forsake the prescribed order of the Temple services, Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord. . . . For they also built them high places, and (idolatrous) images, and groves (idol centers). . . . And there were also sodomites (homosexuals and lesbians) in the land; and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel (I Kings 14:22-24).
God withdrew His blessings and protection from Judah . . . in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, that Shishak, King of Egypt came up against Jerusalem: And he took away the treasures of the House of the Lord, and the treasures of the kings house; he even . . . took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made (14:25-26).
Rehoboam replaced Solomons gold shields with worthless shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard (II Chronicles 12:10). Whenever the king came from his palace to the Temple for his religious ceremonies, he was escorted to and from the Temple by the palace guard, which would precede him, carrying the shields of brass. The kingdom was not only emptied of all its gold but now was under the control of Egypt.
Gold was the most costly of all metals and, because of its purity, is symbolic of God. In striking contrast is brass, a mixed alloy of copper and zinc in varying proportions and of much less value. These brass shields were symbolic of God's judgment and the nations spiritual poverty.
In his later years, Solomon encouraged the worship of false gods and it continued to gain popularity during the reign of his son Rehoboam. Once cults and false worship become acceptable in a nation they are eventually followed by the acceptance of homosexuals, lesbians, and all the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel (I Kings 14:24; Deuteronomy 23:17).
The wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all . . . unrighteousness of men, who hold (repress) the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).
Christ Revealed: In Asa's ridding the land of idols and sodomites (I Kings 15:11-14). Christ cleansed the Temple (Matt. 21:12-13; John 2:13-16). As Christians, we are the Temples of God and are cleansed of all unrighteousness when we confess our sins (I Cor. 6:19-20; II Cor. 6:16-17; I John 1:9).
Word Studies: 14:3 cracknels means cakes; 14:5 feign herself to be means pretend to be; 14:6 heavy tidings means bitter news; 14:15 groves means shrines for worshiping the idol-god Asherah, a Canaanite fertility goddess; 15:17 suffer means allow or permit.
Government Official: Rep. Joe Moakley (MA) · BPM Staff: George Kopchak · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KIJN-AM/FM, Farwell, TX · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of Tim Peterson · Country: Ethiopia (60 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: Amharic and Tigrinya · Unsettled after overthrow of communist regime · 41% Eastern Orthodox; 35% Muslim; 10% Protestant; 10% animist; .7% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks to the God of heaven; His mercy endures forever (Psalms 136:26).
Optional Reading: Acts 28
Memory Verse for the Week: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14