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
Jeroboam led the Israelites to sin when he set up worship centers for his kingdom at Bethel in the south and at Dan in the north. However, 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. . . . And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD . . . came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the LORD. . . . So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah . . . for three years they walked in the way of David (II Chronicles 11:14,16-17).
In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign in Jerusalem, Rehoboam . . . forsook the Law of the LORD (12:1-2). Rehoboam had 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 was . . . an Ammonitess (I Kings 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 with their sins. . . . 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 had declared: There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel (Deuteronomy 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 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 had encouraged the worship of false gods and that sin continued to gain popularity during the reign of his son Rehoboam. Biblical history confirms that once cults and false worship become acceptable in a nation, they are soon 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 (Romans 1:18).
14:3 cracknels = cakes or fig bars; 14:5 feign herself = pretend; 14:6 heavy tidings = bitter news; 14:15 groves = pagan shrines; 15:12 took away = banished; 15:17 suffer = allow or permit.
By Asa who removed idols and sodomites (I Kings 15:11-14). Christ cleansed the Temple (see Matthew 21:12-13; John 2:13-16). As Christians, we are the Temples of God. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9; see I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Corinthians 6:16-17).
Pray for BP Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Country: Trinidad and Tobago (1 million) two islands seven miles off the coast of Venezuela · Major languages: English and Hindi · Religious freedom · 34% Protestant; 29% Roman Catholic; 25% Hindu; 7% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Don't try to impress others with your prayers; pray about whatever is on your heart (Matthew 6:7-8).
Optional Reading: Acts 28
Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:18