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Bible Pathways 04/27/2003

April 27

Read I Kings 14 -- 15

In Today's Reading:

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

After the division of the united kingdom of Israel, Jeroboam set up worship centers at Bethel in the south and at Dan in the north. The southern kingdom of Judah was greatly influenced to worship the Lord because the Levites (in the northern kingdom) left their . . . possessions and went to . . . Jerusalem. . . . So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah . . . for three years because they walked in the way of David (II Chronicles 11:14,17).

In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign in Jerusalem, Rehoboam . . . 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 the (idol-worshiping) Ammonite (I Kings 14:21).

Although the kingdom of Judah did not forsake the prescribed order of the temple services, Judah did what was evil in the LORD's eyes. They provoked Him to jealous anger with their sins. . . . Also male shrine prostitutes were in the land. They imitated all the abominations of the nations that the LORD had dispossessed before the Israelites (14:22-24).When Israel first entered the land, God had declared: There must be no shrine prostitute among the daughters of Israel, and no male shrine prostitute among the sons of Israel (Deuteronomy 23:17).

Because of their sin, God withdrew His blessings and protection from Judah. In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt went to war against Jerusalem. He seized the treasuries of the LORD's temple and the treasuries of the royal palace. He took everything (I Kings 14:25-26). The kingdom was not only emptied of all its wealth but now it was under the control of Egypt.

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 followed by the acceptance of homosexuality and lesbianism.

For God's wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth (Romans 1:18).

Christ Revealed:

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

Prayer Needs:

Country: Austria (8 million) in central Europe · Major language: German · Religious freedom · 83% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Confess and forsake all sin (Isaiah 59:12-13).

Optional Reading: Acts 28

Memory Verse for the Week: Jeremiah 15:16

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