Highlights In Today's Reading:
Rehoboam accepts advice from foolish youth instead of wisdom gained from experience by the elders. Guidance from God prepares the nation to fall. Selfish ambition in the two key people here, Jeroboam and Rehoboam, leads the nation to split into the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. We learn the consequences of not obeying the commands of God (13:11-32).
After Solomon's death, ten of the twelve tribes immediately formed the Northern Kingdom of Israel with Jeroboam as king. This division of the nation had been foretold to Jeroboam by the prophet Ahijah long before Solomon's death (11:29-38).
God had promised Jeroboam: If thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in My ways, and do that is right in My sight, to keep My Statutes and My Com mandments, as David My servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David (11:38). But, Jeroboam said in his heart . . . If this people go up to do sacrifice in the House of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me (12:26-27).
After his position as king was secure, he rejected the Lord's appointed place of worship in Jerusalem. He then established an idolatrous system of worship, setting up two golden calf worship centers — one in Dan and the other in Bethel — thus destroying the God-given spiritual ties between northern and southern Israel (12:28-29).
The faithful Levite priests fled to the Southern Kingdom (II Chr. 11:14). After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth (I Kin. 13:33-34).
Jeroboam's actions are reenacted today by all who set aside the Word of God — in business transactions, on the job, in school, or anywhere else — for self-advancement. Oh, how important it is to know the Scriptures and to cast out anything in our lives that would hinder us from following God with a true heart!
God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Thought for Today:
Whenever we determine to worship anything or anyone other than the One True God, we are setting ourselves up for destruction.
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 Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts for the week in honor of John Risca Williams, Sr. • Government Official: Rep. Niki Tsongas (MA) • Country: Jordan (5 million) in southwestern Asia • Major languages: Arabic and English • Religious tolerance • 93% Muslim; 5% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Praise and thank the Lord that He can do exceedingly more than we ask or even think (Eph. 3:20).
Optional Reading: Acts 27
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:14