Highlights In Today's Reading:
Remember our sins will find us out (Num. 32:23). Jeroboam pays dearly for his sins (13:33-34) by the death of his son (14:1-16). Rehoboam is not much better! From here on we see one king follow another, leaving a legacy of evil in the sight of the Lord (15:26,34) or that which was right in the eyes of the Lord (15:5,11). Whether what we do today is in line with the Word of God will direct what will be said of us when we're gone!
Jeroboam set up worship centers at Bethel near the Kingdom of Judah in the south and at Dan in the north for his kingdom. The Southern Kingdom of Judah was greatly influenced to worship the Lord because the Levites (in the Northern Kingdom) left . . . their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem . . . So they strengthened the Kingdom of Judah . . . for three years they walked in the way of David (II Chr. 11: 14,17). But, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom . .. . he forsook the Law of the Lord (12:1-2). Rehoboam followed the policy of his father Solomon in being "broadminded" and "tolerant" of other religions. This could be expected of Rehoboam since his mother was an Ammonitess (I Kin. 14:21).
Although the kingdom of Judah did not forsake the prescribed order of the Temple services, Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked Him to jealousy. . . . And there were also sodomites (male cult prostitutes) in the land: and they did according to all the abominations (detestable practices) of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel (14:22-24). When Israel first entered the land, God declared: There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel (Deut. 23:17).
Because of their sin, God withdrew His blessings and protection from Judah. And it came to pass 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 king's house; he even took away all (I Kin. 14:25-26). The kingdom not only lost all its wealth but now it was under the control of Egypt.
In his later years, Solomon had encouraged the worship of false gods which increased during the reign of his son Rehoboam. Biblical history confirms that once cults and false worship become acceptable in a nation, they are followed by the acceptance of homosexuality and lesbianism.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (suppress) the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).
Thought for Today:
Sin never has the same influence upon us but rather always gets progressively worse. The flesh (sin nature) is never satisfied.
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).
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.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Henry Rogers • Staff: Ken Sharp • Government Officials: Rep. George Butterfield (NC) and Rep. Betsy Markey (CO) • Country: Kazakhstan (15.4 million) central Asia • Major languages: Kazakh and Russian • Religious tolerance • 47% Muslim (largely Sunni); 25% Russian Orthodox; 2% Lutheran; 2% Catholic; 1% Jewish; 2.3% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to reveal His will and fill you with His Spirit (Eph. 5:17-18).
Optional Reading: Acts 28
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:14