Judgement on Jeroboam and Rehoboam

1 Kgs 14: 1-31

It was eventually judgement time for Jeroboam as his son fell sick. I believe he must have really loved the boy a lot. He told his wife to disguise and pay a visit to Ahijah, the prophet who told him he would be king in the first instance. Is it not surprising how people turn to God for help after being disobedient to him. As we had learnt at this time Jeroboam had made idols and altars, putting people who were not Levites as priests over these places of idol worship. We then ask the question to why he did not turn to his own priests in his time of trouble?

When Jeroboam’s wife got to Ahijah, despite his loss of physical vision, the prophet still saw visions from God and could hear his voice. He unveiled Jeroboam’s wife’s disguise and delivered God’s verdict to her. The message was clear, all men in jeroboam’s family would be cut off, and none would have a decent burial (eaten by dog or birds). The son would die also as the woman enters the city, and would be the last to have a decent burial in Jeroboam’s family. In addition, Israel too would suffer punishment for following the idolatry ways of Jeroboam. The prophecy was fulfilled as declared by Ahijah, with Jeroboam’s son dying and being buried. jeroboam later died too after reigning for 22 years, and his son Nadab became king in his place.

We were then told of what happened with Rehoboam who was reigning in Judah. just like his Israel counterpart, He and Judah provoked God with their  idolatry. This led to the king of Egypt, Shishak, attacking and looting of the temple, carting away the gold treasures that Solomon had put in the temple. In their place, Rehoboam had to put brass treasures. So, Rehoboam also reigned for seventeen years in Jerusalem and was buried, with his son, Abijam, taking over.

As the book says, it is all about the kings and chronicling what they did. So how did the next generation of Israel and Judah kings proceed? We will wait and see.

Some verses to remember

vs 15:  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. And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.

vs 22: 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.

 

The Man of God From Judah and The Old Prophet of Bethel

1 Kgs 13:1-34

Today, we saw a strong word coming from God against the sin of Jeroboam the king of Israel. A man of God from Judah prophesied that Jeroboam’s altar in Bethel would be used to sacrifice the priests who offer sacrifices on it, by Josiah, a descendant of David. He also said that as a sign from God, the altar would be rent and the ashes upon it poured out. When Jeroboam heard the prophecy, he stretched out his hand that the prophet should be caught, but his hand withered and he could not withdraw it. The altar was also rented as the man prophesied and its ashes poured. So, Jeroboam pleaded with the man of God to pray for him for his sin to be forgiven, and his hand was restored.

After this, Jeroboam asked the man to come home with him to refresh himself, but he declined saying God had warned him not to eat or drink, nor go back the same way he came. So, the man of God departed.

We however learnt that an older prophet who dwelt in the land after being told all that had happened, pursued after the young man and asked him to come with him to eat and drink. Initially the man of God refused, reiterating God’s warning, but he later consented when the older prophet lied to him that God’s angel had told him it was OK for the young prophet to come with him to dine.

So, the man of God went with the older prophet and ate and drank in his home. But while they ate, God’s word came to the older prophet saying that, because the man of God had disobeyed God in returning to eat and drink, he would be devoured by a lion on his way back. When the young prophet left with his ass, he was met on his way by a lion which slew him according to God’s word. What does this teach us? We should fear and respect God, obey his instructions only, and not that of men, no matter whom they are. In the long run, we would be responsible to God, and so we must confirm every instruction that affects our lives from him ourselves, and be fully persuaded. Despite his own role in the events, the old prophet was not judged, but the young one who received instructions initially from God was.

The chapter concluded by noting that despite the warning and signs from the man of God, Jeroboam did not desist from his sins. He continued to make the lowest of people priests for his high places, whosoever wanted to, he consecrated and made priest. This later brought judgement on him as his house was cut off from the face of the earth.

Some verses to remember

vs 2: And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.

vs 21-22: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, but camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.

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The Kingdom Divided – Rehoboam vs Jeroboam

1 Kgs 12:1-33

Rehoboam took over as king in place of Solomon his father. His first major act was to decide on how his servants would be handled in terms of their working conditions.  Led by Jeroboam, they pleaded for a lighter yoke and promised to serve him if he did make their yoke easier. He told them to return in three days for a response.

Rehoboam  then sought counsel from the old men who served his father. They rightly advised him to listen to the people. He also the went to seek counsel from his younger colleagues, who told him to make the people’s work harder. Rehoboam then for no wise reason forsook the advice of the old men and went with the counsel of his young colleagues to a disastrous conclusion. Where do you get your counsel from? Who are you listening to?

The people withdrew their support for David and his house, as each man in Israel departed to his own tent, and left only Judah to Rehoboam. All these were as God had foretold because of the idolatry sins of Solomon. Israel (aside Judah), then made Jeroboam their king.Rehoboam attempted to win the kingdom back through war, but was warned by God through Shemaiah not to, for the division of the kingdom was from God, so the war was called off.

Jeroboam, now ruling as king over Israel then thought to himself that with the people still going to Jerusalem to sacrifice to God, their hearts might be drawn back to God and to Rehoboam. So, he made two calves of Gold, placed one in Bethel and another in Dan, and caused the people to sin by worshipping these idols.

With the kingdom now divided, and Jeroboam leading Israel into idolatry, what happens next? The study continues…….stay tuned!

 

Some verses to remember

vs 8:  But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him.

vs 16: So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.

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The Sad End of Solomon’s Reign

1 Kgs 11:1-43

Having read about the beauty of Solomon‘s accomplishments, the house he built, the temple, his wisdom and riches, it looks so much an anticlimax to learn how his reign ended.

As Solomon grew older, his heart was turned away from God, and there was no other reason for this than the fact that he desired and married may strange women. Solomon had a total of seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. i am not sure I have seen any current living person having that much number to deal with. How was he able to manage them all? love them all, satisfy them all? A lot of these women were strange or foreign women – daughter of Pharaoh, women of Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hitites. God had beforehand warned Israel about these strange people and their ability to lure his people into idolatry.  These women were able to turn Solomon’s heart from God, and he went after Ashtoreth goddess of the Sidonians and Milcom of the Ammonites. He even built temples for these gods, causing even his people to worship these gods.

God was clear on his commandments and standards, so he meted out the right judgement to Solomon. The kingdom would be divided and torn away from him, but for David’s sake, a part would be retained for his descendants – one out of the twelve tribes. So we start hearing of enemies rising against Solomon, men like Hadad the Edomite, Rezon, and Jeroboam the son of Nebat who was Solomon’s servant, but would soon become Israel’s king rather than Solomon’s son.

Disobedience has great consequences. God has given us so much to enable us to love and obey him, sin however wants to draw our hearts away from God. Will you let it?

Solomon eventually died and was laid with his fathers, but what happened afterwards? We will soon see.

Some verses to remember

vs 6: And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.

vs 11: Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.

 

The Visit of The Queen of Sheba

1 Kgs 10:1-29

The kingdom continued to grow under Solomon, and his fame continued to spread abroad. Today, we saw the queen of Sheba coming around to prove the things she had heard about Solomon.

The queen of Sheba came in all her majesty with a great train, camels, spices, gold and precious stones, she then asked Solomon the hardest questions she had. Solomon told her the answers to all her questions barring none. When the queen saw the Solomon’s wisdom and the majesty of his kingdom – his house, his servants, she was lost for words. She admitted that what she had heard was not up to half of what she now witnessed by herself. She concluded that happy are the servants who stand continuously before Solomon and hear his wisdom. She then gave gifts to Solomon in golds and spices before departing back to her own land.

In the remainder of the chapter, we got more glimpse into the  wealth and riches of Solomon’s kingdom. In his time, only gold was counted as valuable, silver was nothing. He received much gold and other valuables from kings around and those who visited him. He was truly blessed with riches in every sense of the word. He exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.  All the earth sought to him to hear the wisdom which God had put in his heart.

God’s gift can make a way for you too. When we receive his wisdom, others are attracted to us, and both our lives and theirs would be richly blessed.

Some verses to remember

vs 4-5: And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.

vs 21:  And all king Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.

vs 24: And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.

 

God Appears to Solomon again

1 kgs 9:1-28

Having completed and dedicated the temple, today we learnt that God appeared for a second time to Solomon. God made him know that he heard all the prayers he made about the temple, and promised that his eyes and heart shall be with the temple perpetually.

God however made it also clear to Solomon that he expects obedience from Solomon as his father David did. This would ensure his kingdom would be established as his father’s was. If Solomon and his people however turned from following God, and start to follow other gods, God warned that he would cut them off the land he had given them, and even the temple built would be despised as evil would be brought upon the Israelites because of their disobedience. This shows us that God wants obedience more than any other thing. He wants to live and take pole position in our hearts and not just in a physical building.

The rest of the chapter talked more on Solomon’s reign. His relationship with Hiram, and also Pharaoh the king of Egypt and his daughter who was his wife. Solomon continued to reign administering his land well, as the land and the people enjoyed peace under him.

Some verses to remember

vs 3:  And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

vs 6-7 : But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people

 

Solomon Dedicates the Temple

1 Kgs 8:1-66

On completion of the temple, Solomon arranged for the ark of the covenant to be brought from Zion, the city of David, to Jerusalem where the new temple had been built. So all the people gathered and the priest brought the ark and other vessels to the temple. The ark was placed in the most holy place, with only the two tables of stones containing the law inside it. Then something remarkable happened as the priests came out of the holy place. The whole house was filled with the cloud of the glory of God to the extent that the priests could not perform their duties. This was proof to all that God was willing to accept and allow his presence to dwell in the temple.

After this came one of the most comprehensive prayers in the old testament, as Solomon raised his voiced to pray to God and dedicate the temple to him. He recounted God’s promises to his people right from Egypt, then to his father David. He then went ahead to express his desire that the temple would continue to be a place of God presence and power. A place of solace, a place where the whole of Israel could turn to even in times of troubles, or when they have sinned. Anywhere they went in the world, they could turn towards the temple and pray, and expect the payers to be answered.

After all the prayers, Solomon blessed all the congregation, and prayed that their hearts be inclined to walk in the ways of God. They all then offered sacrifices to God, and held a great feast which lasted for fourteen days, as everyone’s heart was filled with joy and gladness for the Lord’s goodness.

Some verses to remember

vs 10-11: And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.

vs 27: But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

vs 29: That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.

vs 56:  Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.

 

Solomon’s House and The Temple

1 Kgs 7:1-51

In today’s passage, we learnt of what went into the building of Solomon’s own house. The house took thirteen years to built, and we have details of the measurements and composition of different parts of the house described in this seventh chapter.

Notable mention was made of Hiram from Tyre, who we learnt was filled with wisdom in brass related works, he was responsible for the brass works in Solomon’s house and the temple. Much of the whole chapter was filled with the beauty and majesty of his works.

The chapter concludes by telling us that the all the works for the temple were completed, and Solomon brought in the silver and gold vessels that David his father had already dedicated in as parts of the treasures for the temple.

When God promises, he is able to fulfil. Today, we see his promises to David that his son would build the temple come to pass, as Solomon put the treasures of his father into the temple. Though it tarries, it will come to pass – Hold on!

Some verses to remember

vs 14: He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.

vs 51:  So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD.

 

Building The Temple

1 Kgs 6: 1- 38

The chapter highlights the details that went into the building of the temple.

To be updated soon.

Some verses to be remembered.

vs 38:  And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.

 

Preparations for Building the Temple

1 Kgs 5: 1-18.

Today preparations went ahead for building the temple God promised David would be built by his son.

 

To be updated Soon.

Some verses to remember

vs 5: And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.