Tuesday, Mar 28th

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1 Kings 14

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When a king lies and works against God, God will not let him rest. God WILL punish on this earth. Saddam Hussein was found hiding in a sewer. It was his deserved place on this earth, and his death was also deserved... hanged by men but judged by God, who worked through the magistrates. Many wicked men and movements are loose on earth today as Satan enjoys his last years of freedom. But, his time is short, as is the time for all who act wickedly. Many will die on this earth as a direct punishment, before they face God at the Judgment seat, to be sent to hell for ever.

Verses 1-4

  1. At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick.

  2. And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people.

  3. And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.

  4. And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age.

 

The young son of Jeroboam, Abijah, was sick. His very name was delusional, for it means ‘Jehovah is my father’! How Jeroboam could name his son thus, while he was himself in sin, is remarkable. Wishing the God he was abusing to heal his son, Jeroboam sent his wife to find the prophet Ahijah, the man who told him he would be king. She was to ask him to ask God to heal Abijah.

 

She was told not to reveal her true name, as wife to the king, and to take gifts: 10 loaves, cracknels (hard biscuit or cake that could break into crumbs), and a flask of honey. He hoped that the ‘mystery woman’ would be well received if she gave the prophet gifts. She was to ask what would happen to their son. The dutiful wife did as she was told and went to the house of Ahijah in Shiloh. By this time the prophet was blind, so he could not see the woman. We are told it was a condition brought on by his old age... possibly something like cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, which are age-related.

Verses 5-10

  1. And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman.

  2. And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings.

  3. Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel,

  4. And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes;

  5. But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

  6. Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.

Jeroboam did not reckon on God’s intervention before his wife reached Ahijah. God told the prophet who was coming and that she would pretend to be someone else. The wife entered his home and walked in, and Ahijah heard her footsteps. As soon as she stepped into the doorway Ahijah greeted her as the queen and asked why she tried to hide her real identity. The reason, of course, is that Jeroboam knew he was in the wrong and deserved nothing from either God or the prophet.

Ahijah then gave the woman bad news. He told her to go back to her husband, with a message she did not expect. She was to tell Jeroboam that God had installed him as king, removing the honour from the house of David, even though David was faithful and true, doing only what God wanted him to do. But, Jeroboam was acting wickedly (worse even than Solomon) and built idol groves with gold statues of calves, which stirred God to righteous anger, for he had put God behind him, as if He were nothing. For that reason, God said, He would destroy the house of Jeroboam and all male heirs. God would remove them all, as someone who removed dung... nothing would be left of his family name.

Modern Christians have a wrong attitude towards God, thinking He would never harm them. Not so! If He sees us acting or speaking publicly in a way that deviates from His word, He can and does come to us in judgment on this earth. Ananias and Sapphira are prime examples of things most Christians see as ‘only a small lie’, but which God sees as grave sins! They died on the spot. Do not make their mistakes (which can range across the whole spectrum of sin).

Verses 11-16

  1. Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it.

  2. Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die.

  3. And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

  4. Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? even now.

  5. For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger.

  6. And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.

Ahijah gave a final warning to the queen. Those who died in Jeroboam’s reign would be eaten by wild dogs and birds (a metaphor for destruction)... because this is what God promised, such was His disdain for the king and his family. The queen was told to carry God’s words back to the king, and to understand that as soon as she arrived back in the city the child would die. God warned that the line of Jeroboam would cease as all the males died. This took place through Basshar of Issachar, who finally exterminated the family of Jeroboam 24 years after he became king (re. verse 14).

The people of Israel would mourn the child’s death and only Jeroboam and his closest allies would attend the burial. This was an allowance made by God, because He “found (some) good thing toward the LORD... in the house of Jeroboam.” We are not told what this one good thing was, but it enabled the king to go to the funeral without penalty from God. Note that God still refers to Himself as the LORD God of Israel, though they allowed themselves to be taken from the path of holiness. It is a warning to us today, that God can come to us with a hammer to destroy us if our lives are wrong, even if some things we say and do are honest and good.

God would visit all of Israel, tearing them away from the land He had given them, because they offended Him with groves and idols. Fast or slow, God WILL respond to the godlessness of men. The result of the sins of Israel was severe, chilling the heart of anyone who loves the Lord: “And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.” He did not cast them off, but He chose to disperse and harm them for a season, because of their sins.

Verses 17-20

  1. And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died;

  2. And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet.

  3. And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

  4. And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead.

The queen returned to the capital city of the norther kingdom, Tirzah, with the unhappy news. As prophesied, the child died instantly she entered the gates. Then, Israel mourned the death and buried the child. It is a fallacy that God protects all children. Note how it was the child who suffered God’s wrath after David’s sin. The Lord is not affected emotionally, and it does not matter who the person is, young or old... when God judges, He will execute the decision. It could be that in each case the child was the most loved of the judged sinner, so what was most loved (greater than love for God) will be removed.

We are told that the rest of Jeroboam’s life, whether his wars or his reign, is found in the book of Chronicles. He reigned 22 years and then Nadab his son took over – but did not last long; Baasha murdered him. Let it be remembered throughout our lives – God sees what we do, He hears what we say, He knows what we think. He knows when what we call ‘holy’ is really sin. He acts against our wrongs.

Verses 21-24

  1. And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.

  2. And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.

  3. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.

  4. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

Rehoboam reigned 17 years as king of Judah, living in Jerusalem. He was aged 41 when he began to rule. His mother was wife of Solomon, Naamah, a descendent of Lot’s son.

The tribes of Judah, too, fell from their former loftiness, by returning to idolatry. They, also, did worse than their ancestors, so causing God’s “jealousy”. This is not to be taken as the jealousy found in mankind, which is a petty reaction. Rather, it is a provocation to anger, for God was the ONLY Lord of Israel, and their slide into idolatry constituted a turning to something dead, a spiritual rival.

His anger was justified – the Israelites built groves everywhere, and had temples and false gods on every high hill and under every green tree! There was no way God would allow that to continue without punishment, when He had previously bestowed the people with everything good and holy.

Incredibly, “there were also sodomites in the land”, polluting the people with their foul beliefs and actions. (See article on what sodomy really is). As sodomites they brought Israel to the same level as a sewer, committing every wicked thing known to mankind. In this text the reference is to male prostitutes who ‘served’ the idol temples, and so were unclean. Such evil men were supposed to die under God’s law, so this inexcusable activity made the case for Israel even worse.

Obviously, if there were a large number of ‘official’ temple prostitutes, it meant that there was an even larger number of men who had the same traits and desires, throughout Israel, who had sexual relations with men, hiding behind the excuse of ‘worship’. They were the epitome of wickedness, and remain so in any country foolish enough to let them live unchallenged, as they turn the minds of people from holy to evil. The presence of these wicked men made the situation for Israel even worse, and they were part of the judgment from God.

Note that these sodomites (homosexuals) performed ALL the abominable things found in godless nations around Israel. This is because homosexuality never stands alone – and is why modern Christians CANNOT allow it to continue – it is always accompanied and fed by every wicked sin found in men and women. It is the ultimate evil against God. This is why there can be no ‘dialogue’ with sodomites, only condemnation and shunning.

Verses 25-31

  1. And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:

  2. 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: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.

  3. And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed them unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king's house.

  4. And it was so, when the king went into the house of the LORD, that the guard bare them, and brought them back into the guard chamber.

  5. Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

  6. And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days.

  7. And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead.

Rehoboam had only been king over Judah for five years, when the pharaoh of Egypt, Shishak, made war against Jerusalem. God will always punish evil, whether by His own hand or by the hand of others. Shishak was also known as Sheshonk 1st, or Sesocchis, the first king of the Bubastite dynasty. He reigned when Solomon was king, and later made Judah a tributary. This occurred about 930 BC. (Also see 2 Chronicles 12: 1-12).

Solomon had thousands of chariots and horsemen, but his son, Rehoboam, did not. Shishak had 1200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen, and many more foot soldiers. These captured the main cities of Judah before they finally attacked Jerusalem. Rehoboam, with his gathered army, was told by a prophet that God would see to it that Jerusalem fell to the pharaoh, because of Judah’s idolatry. But, the rulers repented and God said they would not be destroyed, but would become tributes to the pharaoh. If ever both Israel and Judah came close to obliteration, this was it. Yet, God cannot go back on His promises, and He remembered both.

Shishak removed the huge gold shields Solomon had made, and all his treasures, and so the unimaginable wealth of Solomon was lost, the loss of wealth being a physical emblem of the loss of holiness and God’s favour.

The much humbled Rehoboam later recreated the shields, but in brass or copper. These were put into the keeping of the chief guard of the palace. But, such meagre replicas would not take the place of the illustrious solid gold shields. Rather, they were sad reminders of the failure of God’s people to stay holy. It was even more sad when Rehoboam entered the Temple, though not entitled to do so.

The life and works of Rehoboam (verse 29) are also found in Chronicles, including the wars continually between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. Gross sin ensures that enmity rages, even between kin. Rehoboam finally died and was buried in Jerusalem, his son, Abijam, taking his place as king.

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Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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