Jeroboam And Ahijah

INTRODUCTION: The LORD used the prophet Ahijah and the Ephraimite Jeroboam to establish the northern kingdom of Israel because King Solomon promoted worship of false idols to satisfy his foreign wives. This brought judgment in Judah, but with mercy for the sake of King David, who became the standard of comparison with the phrase "did what was right in the sight of the LORD." Jeroboam, the first king for the northern kingdom had the opportunity to lead them to serve the LORD. But Ahijah later pronounce on him the judgment of the LORD because he set up worship of false gods and committed other evil acts. King Jeroboam became the comparative symbol of false worship throughout the entire history of the northern ten tribes of Israel.

NOTE: Bible verses are from the Bible in Basic English.


A - SOLOMON DISPLEASED THE LORD GOD

1 Kings 11 "6 And Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord, not walking in the Lord's ways with all his heart as David his father did. 7 Then Solomon put up a high place for Chemosh, the disgusting god of Moab, in the mountain before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the disgusting god worshipped by the children of Ammon. 8 And so he did for all his strange wives, who made offerings with burning of perfumes to their gods. 9 And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had twice come to him in a vision; 10 And had given him orders about this very thing, that he was not to go after other gods; but he did not keep the orders of the Lord. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, Because you have done this, and have not kept my agreement and my laws, which I gave you, I will take the kingdom away from you by force and will give it to your servant. 12 I will not do it in your life-time, because of your father David, but I will take it from your son. 13 Still I will not take all the kingdom from him; but I will give one tribe to your son, because of my servant David, and because of Jerusalem, the town of my selection."

COMMENTS: The LORD had spoken directly to Solomon two separate times to warn him about the very things he now had done. The temple of the LORD had been built and there had been peace and prosperity in the kingdom. Solomon did not remove the high places that he had put up for the false gods of his many wives, so he could not ask to be forgiven by the LORD for this egregious sin. Instead he foolishly continued to depend upon his own wealth and power to prevent any slave from being able to violently split the kingdom when his son would become king.

Jesus gave a timeless teaching to show how vain things can displace the higher and more precious blessings of the LORD. Mark 4 "19 And the cares of this life, and the deceits of wealth, and the desire for other things coming in, put a stop to the growth of the word, and it gives no fruit." Anyone who loves the LORD God must desire the eternal fruit of the Word above all else!


B - JEROBOAM BECAME AN ENEMY OF KING SOLOMON

1 Kings 11 "26 And there was Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother was Zeruah, a widow; and his hand was lifted up against the king. 27 The way in which his hand came to be lifted up against the king was this: Solomon was building the Millo and making good the damaged parts of the town of his father David; 28 And Jeroboam was an able and responsible man; and Solomon saw that he was a good worker and made him overseer of all the work given to the sons of Joseph. 29 Now at that time, when Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite came across him on the road; now Ahijah had put on a new robe; and the two of them were by themselves in the open country. 30 And Ahijah took his new robe in his hands, parting it violently into twelve. 31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take ten of the parts, for this is what the Lord has said: See, I will take the kingdom away from Solomon by force, and will give ten tribes to you; 32 (But one tribe will be his, because of my servant David, and because of Jerusalem, the town which, out of all the tribes of Israel, I have made mine,) 33 Because they are turned away from me to the worship of Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, and Chemosh, the god of Moab, and Milcom, the god of the Ammonites; they have not been walking in my ways or doing what is right in my eyes or keeping my laws and my decisions as his father David did."

COMMENTS: Jeroboam was part of the tribe of Ephraim, and his deceased father's name was Nebat. King Solomon appointed him as an able and responsible supervisor over workers who were also descendents of Joseph. Since the prophet Ahijah and Jeroboam were alone on the road in the open country, it is unlikely that there were any witnesses to their meeting. However, verses 26 and 27 declare their exchange as the cause of Jeroboam's threat to the kingdom. Solomon had previously been told by the LORD that the kingdom was going to be taken away from his son, and he had decided to take his own steps against any opposition to keep that from happening. Since surnames are not given, Jeroboam is identified as the son of Nebat, and Ahijah is said to be a prophet from Shiloh; and this is important to distinguish them from other men who had those names.


C - THE LORD TOOK THE KINGDOM FROM SOLOMON'S SON

1 Kings 11 "34 But I will not take the kingdom from him; I will let him be king all the days of his life, because of David my servant, in whom I took delight because he kept my orders and my laws. 35 But I will take the kingdom from his son, and give it to you. 36 And one tribe I will give to his son, so that David my servant may have a light for ever burning before me in Jerusalem, the town which I have made mine to put my name there. 37 And you I will take, and you will be king over Israel, ruling over whatever is the desire of your soul. 38 And if you give attention to the orders I give you, walking in my ways and doing what is right in my eyes and keeping my laws and my orders as David my servant did; then I will be with you, building up for you a safe house, as I did for David, and I will give Israel to you. 39 (So that I may send trouble for this on the seed of David, but not for ever.) 40 And Solomon was looking for a chance to put Jeroboam to death; but he went in flight to Egypt, to Shishak, king of Egypt, and was in Egypt till the death of Solomon."

COMMENTS: The LORD allowed Solomon to remain as king until he died, but that was a carryover blessing from the many ways David had served the LORD. Ten tribes would be taken from Solomon's son after he became king, but the LORD said he would sustain a light for David that would burn forever before the LORD in Jerusalem, the city the LORD had made his own and has put his name there. Jeroboam would be king over Israel, with the opportunity for him to have the LORD to be with him, building up for him a safe line of descendents, as he had done for David. This promise was laid before Jeroboam by the words of Ahijah on the condition that Jeroboam give attention to the orders given by the LORD, walking in his ways doing what is right in his eyes, and keeping his laws and orders as David the LORD'S servant had done. Through this separation of tribes, the LORD would send trouble on the seed of David, but not forever. The text does not give the detail of how or when Solomon decided that Jeroboam was a threat, but Jeroboam fled to King Shishak in Egypt when Solomon sought to have him killed, and he remained there until Solomon died. All of these things were within the will and provision of the LORD God as he had revealed to both Solomon and Ahijah.


D - KING REHOBOAM REJECTED KING SOLOMON'S ADVISORS

1 Kings 12 "1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had come together to make him king, 2 And, hearing of it, Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who was still in Egypt, where he had gone in flight from Solomon, and was living there, came back to his town Zeredah, in the hill-country of Ephraim; 3 And all the men of Israel came to Rehoboam and said, 4 Your father put a hard yoke on us: if you will make the conditions under which your father kept us down less cruel, and the weight of the yoke he put on us less hard, then we will be your servants. 5 And he said to them, Go away for three days and then come back to me again. So the people went away. 6 Then King Rehoboam took the opinion of the old men who had been with Solomon his father when he was living, and said, In your opinion, what answer am I to give to this people? 7 And they said to him, If you will be a servant to this people today, caring for them and giving them a gentle answer, then they will be your servants for ever. 8 But he gave no attention to the opinion of the old men, and went to the young men of his generation who were waiting before him: 9 And said to them, What is your opinion? What answer are we to give to this people who have said to me, Make less the weight of the yoke which your father put on us? 10 And the young men of his generation said to him, This is the answer to give to the people who came to you saying, Your father put a hard yoke on us; will you make it less? say to them, My little finger is thicker than my father's body; 11 If my father put a hard yoke on you, I will make it harder: my father gave you punishment with whips, but I will give you blows with snakes. 12 So all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had given orders, saying, Come back to me the third day. 13 And the king gave them a rough answer, giving no attention to the suggestion of the old men; 14 But giving them the answer put forward by the young men, saying, My father made your yoke hard, but I will make it harder; my father gave you punishment with whips, but I will give it with snakes. 15 So the king did not give ear to the people; and this came about by the purpose of the Lord, so that what he had said by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam, son of Nebat, might be effected. 16 And when all Israel saw that the king would give no attention to them, the people in answer said to the king, What part have we in David? what is our heritage in the son of Jesse? to your tents, O Israel; now see to your people, David. So Israel went away to their tents. 17 (But Rehoboam was still king over those of the children of Israel who were living in the towns of Judah.) 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoniram, the overseer of the forced work; and he was stoned to death by all Israel. And King Rehoboam went quickly and got into his carriage to go in flight to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel was turned away from the family of David to this day. 20 Now when all Israel had news that Jeroboam had come back, they sent for him to come before the meeting of the people, and made him king over Israel: not one of them was joined to the family of David but only the tribe of Judah. 21 When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he got together all the men of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand of his best fighting-men, to make war against Israel and get the kingdom back for Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah, the man of God, saying, 23 Say to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the men of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people: 24 The Lord has said, You are not to go to war against your brothers, the children of Israel; go back, every man to his house, because this thing is my purpose. So they gave ear to the word of the Lord, and went back, as the Lord had said."

COMMENTS: Rehoboam went to Shechem for a gathering of all the tribes which apparently had been the predetermined ceremony to approve the next king. Upon hearing about this, Jeroboam left Egypt, and he returned to Zeredah. Rehoboam told the representatives of the ten tribes to come back to him in three days for his answer. Rehoboam rejected experienced advice, and instead followed that of men of his own generation. When all the people returned on the third day Rehoboam gave them his rough answer and the ten tribes abruptly rejected him to be their king. This was by the purpose of the LORD to bring about that which Ahijah of Shiloh had told Jeroboam.

When the people of the ten northern tribes knew that Jeroboam was back, they apparently were prepared as they assembled again and made Jeroboam king over Israel. Rehoboam gathered troops from Judah and Benjamin to prepare to go to war to regain the full kingdom of Israel. However, King Rehoboam and all the men of Judah and Benjamin heeded the word of God spoken by Shemaiah the man of god and did not go to war against their brothers the children of Israel. They accepted that this separation of the tribes was the purpose of the LORD.


E - KING JEROBOAM FAILED TO TRUST IN THE LORD

1 Kings 12 "25 Then Jeroboam made the town of Shechem in the hill-country of Ephraim a strong place, and was living there; and from there he went out and did the same to Penuel. 26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now the kingdom will go back to the family of David: 27 If the people go up to make offerings in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, their heart will be turned again to their lord, to Rehoboam, king of Judah; and they will put me to death and go back to Rehoboam, king of Judah. 28 So after taking thought the king made two oxen of gold; and he said to the people, You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough; see! these are your gods, O Israel, who took you out of the land of Egypt. 29 And he put one in Beth-el and the other in Dan. 30 And this became a sin in Israel; for the people went to give worship to the one at Beth-el, and to the other at Dan. 31 And he made places for worship at the high places, and made priests, who were not Levites, from among all the people. 32 And Jeroboam gave orders for a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is kept in Judah, and he went up to the altar. And in the same way, in Beth-el, he gave offerings to the oxen which he had made, placing in Beth-el the priests of the high places he had made. 33 He went up to the altar he had made in Beth-el on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, the month fixed by him at his pleasure; and he gave orders for a feast for the people of Israel, and went up to the altar, and there he made the smoke of his offerings go up."

COMMENTS: Jeroboam fortified the city of Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and he also fortified Penuel. Then he began to follow his own thoughts and desires as he was afraid that if the people went up to make offerings in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, their allegiance would turned back to Rehoboam and they would put him to death. He did not trust the LORD to guide him and to provide for him a safe line of descendents as Ahijah had told him. Instead he foolishly turned to his own plans for security. He had two golden oxen figures made and told the people they should no longer go to Jerusalem, but instead worship the idols that were fashioned like the one made in the wilderness when Israel came out of slavery in Egypt.

The people were just as foolish as Jeroboam as they completely ignored the fact that the idol in the wilderness was destroyed, and an entire generation did not enter the Promised Land because of their disobedience and failure to wait upon the LORD. The people of the ten tribes grossly sinned as they worshipped the idols in Bethel and in Dan. Jeroboam appointed priests who were not Levites and there was also pagan worship in various high places. Jeroboam established an annual feast day to take the place of the one in Jerusalem, and on that day he offered sacrifices on the altar he had made to honor false deity.


F - A MAN OF GOD CAME TO BETHEL FROM JUDAH

1 Kings 13 "1 Then a man of God came from Judah by the order of the Lord to Beth-el, where Jeroboam was by the altar, burning offerings. 2 And by the order of the Lord he made an outcry against the altar, saying, O altar, altar, the Lord has said, From the seed of David will come a child, named Josiah, and on you he will put to death the priests of the high places, who are burning offerings on you, and men's bones will be burned on you. 3 The same day he gave them a sign, saying, This is the sign which the Lord has given: See, the altar will be broken and the burned waste on it overturned. 4 Then the king, hearing the man of God crying out against the altar at Beth-el, put out his hand from the altar, saying, Take him prisoner. And his hand, stretched out against him, became dead, and he had no power of pulling it back. 5 And the altar was broken and the burned waste on it overturned; this was the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. 6 Then the king made answer and said to the man of God, Make a prayer now for the grace of the Lord your God, and for me, that my hand may be made well. And in answer to the prayer of the man of God, the king's hand was made well again, as it was before. 7 And the king said to the man of God, Come with me to my house for food and rest, and I will give you a reward. 8 But the man of God said to the king, Even if you gave me half of all you have, I would not go in with you, and I would not take food or a drink of water in this place; 9 For so I was ordered by the word of the Lord, who said, You are not to take food or a drink of water, and you are not to go back the way you came. 10 So he went another way, and not by the way he came to Beth-el."

1 Kings 13 "33 After this Jeroboam, not turning back from his evil ways, still made priests for his altars from among all the people; he made a priest of anyone desiring it, so that there might be priests of the high places. 34 And this became a sin in the family of Jeroboam, causing it to be cut off and sent to destruction from the face of the earth."

COMMENTS: When a man of God came to Bethel by the order of the LORD, he called out against the pagan altar while Jeroboam was making an offering there. He made a prophecy that a descendent of David named Josiah would one day come there and kill the priests who made offerings there and burn their bones on that altar. He then said the sign from the LORD to verify his words would be that the altar would be broken and the waste on it overturned. When Jeroboam pointed at the man and ordered that he be taken prisoner, his hand immediately became dead and he could not pull it back to his body, and the altar was broken and the burned waste on it overturned.

Jeroboam immediately asked the man to pray to the LORD, the God of this prophet, for grace to Jeroboam that his hand be restored. It seems that Jeroboam now believed the man was truly from God, but he wanted that man to ask for grace and did not indicate that he personally would now submit in reverence to the LORD. As soon as Jeroboam's hand was restored, he wanted that prophet to go with him to be his guest and receive a reward. The man said he would not accept food, water or even a huge fortune from Jeroboam, because the LORD had ordered him not to stay there, and that he was not to go back by the way he had come to Bethel. This astounding direct impact on Jeroboam's own body, the miraculous immediate destruction of the alter, and the prophecy about a future king who would come from Judah did not change the idolatrous practices of Jeroboam.


G - JEROBOAM'S WIFE WENT TO AHIJAH IN DISGUISE

1 Kings 14 "1 At that time Abijah, the son of Jeroboam, became ill. 2 And Jeroboam said to his wife, Now come, put on different clothing so that you may not seem to be the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh; see, Ahijah is there, the prophet who said I would be king over this people. 3 And take with you ten cakes of bread and dry cakes and a pot of honey, and go to him: he will give you word of what is to become of the child. 4 So Jeroboam's wife did so, and got up and went to Shiloh and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah was unable to see, because he was very old. 5 And the Lord had said to Ahijah, The wife of Jeroboam is coming to get news from you about her son, who is ill; give her such and such an answer; for she will make herself seem to be another woman. 6 Then Ahijah, hearing the sound of her footsteps coming in at the door, said, Come in, O wife of Jeroboam; why do you make yourself seem like another? for I am sent to you with bitter news. 7 Go, say to Jeroboam, These are the words of the Lord, the God of Israel: Though I took you from among the people, lifting you up to be a ruler over my people Israel, 8 And took the kingdom away by force from the seed of David and gave it to you, you have not been like my servant David, who kept my orders, and was true to me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. 9 But you have done evil more than any before you, and have made for yourself other gods, and images of metal, moving me to wrath, and turning your back on me. 10 So I will send evil on the line of Jeroboam, cutting off from his family every male child, those who are shut up and those who go free in Israel; the family of Jeroboam will be brushed away like a man brushing away waste till it is all gone. 11 Those of the family of Jeroboam who come to death in the town, will become food for the dogs; and those on whom death comes in the open country, will be food for the birds of the air; for the Lord has said it. 12 Up, then! go back to your house; and in the hour when your feet go into the town, the death of the child will take place. 13 And all Israel will put his body to rest, weeping over him, because he only of the family of Jeroboam will be put into his resting-place in the earth; for of all the family of Jeroboam, in him only has the Lord, the God of Israel, seen some good. 14 And the Lord will put up a king over Israel who will send destruction on the family of Jeroboam in that day; 15 And even now the hand of the Lord has come down on Israel, shaking it like a river-grass in the water; and, uprooting Israel from this good land, which he gave to their fathers, he will send them this way and that on the other side of the River; because they have made for themselves images, moving the Lord to wrath. 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins which Jeroboam has done and made Israel do. 17 Then Jeroboam's wife got up and went away and came to Tirzah; and when she came to the doorway of the house, death came to the child. 18 And all Israel put his body to rest, weeping over him, as the Lord had said by his servant Ahijah the prophet. 19 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he made war and how he became king, are recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. 20 And Jeroboam was king for twenty-two years, and was put to rest with his fathers, and Nadab his son became king in his place."

COMMENTS: When Abijah, the son of Jeroboam became ill, he sent his wife to Ahijah in Shiloh disguised to hide her identity from him as she asked about the outcome of the illness. She took some gifts of food when she went for her visit. Ahijah had become blind in his old age, but the LORD told him Jeroboam's wife was coming, and what to say when she arrived. As soon as Ahijah heard her footsteps at his door he identified her and told her to come in to receive his bitter news from the LORD even though she had tried to disguise herself. She apparently did not know the disguise had no value since Ahijah was blind, but even more so because the LORD had revealed her identity and purpose before she even entered the room. Ahijah told her to go back to Jeroboam and tell him the words from the LORD that though he had been lifted up to be ruler over Israel as the LORD took Israel by force from the seed of David and gave it to him; he has not served the LORD with a true heart to do what was right in the eyes of the LORD.

Jeroboam had done more evil than any before him as he made images of other gods to be worshipped, while completely turning his back on the LORD. Ahijah continued the message to Jeroboam's wife saying the LORD would turn evil upon Jeroboam as every male child in his family would violently and dishonorably die, leaving him not a single descendent. Ahijah sent her away with the sign that as soon as she entered her own house Abijah would die. He would be the only descendent to be buried and mourned over by Israel because the LORD had seen some good in him alone.

The LORD would set up a king over Israel who would bring this described destruction to the family of Jeroboam. The LORD would bring great trouble upon all Israel because they had made images to worship. The future of Israel was that the people would be scattered, including a carrying away across the river to the land of their enemies. The LORD would give Israel up because of the sin which Jeroboam had done and made Israel do. As soon as Jeroboam's wife came to the door of the house in Terzah, Abijah died just as the LORD had said through Ahijah the prophet. He was buried and Israel mourned for him. Jeroboam was king for twenty-two years, and was put to rest with his fathers, and Nadab his son became king in his place.


H - KING BAASHA KILLED ALL OF JEROBOAM'S OFFSPRING

1 Kings 15 "25 Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, became king over Israel in the second year that Asa was king of Judah; and he was king of Israel for two years. 26 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, copying the evil ways of his father, and the sin which he did and made Israel do. 27 And Baasha, the son of Ahijah, of the family of Issachar, made a secret design against him, attacking him at Gibbethon, a town of the Philistines; for Nadab and the armies of Israel were making war on Gibbethon. 28 In the third year of the rule of Asa, king of Judah, Baasha put him to death, and became king in his place. 29 And straight away when he became king, he sent destruction on all the offspring of Jeroboam; there was not one living person of all the family of Jeroboam whom he did not put to death, so the word of the Lord, which he said by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite, came about; 30 Because of the sins which Jeroboam did and made Israel do, moving the Lord, the God of Israel, to wrath. 31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? 32 And there was war between Asa and Baasha, king of Israel, all their days. 33 In the third year of the rule of Asa, king of Judah, Baasha, the son of Ahijah, became king over all Israel in Tirzah, and was king for twenty-four years. 34 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, copying the evil ways of Jeroboam and the sin which he made Israel do."

COMMENTS: The LORD allowed Jeroboam's son Nadab to become king over Israel, but he was just as evil as his father had been, and he led all Israel to continue to sin against the LORD. He reigned only two years until Baasha, the son of Ahijah, of the tribe of Issachar, plotted and killed him while he was in battle with the Philistines. Baasha became king and had all the offspring of Jeroboam killed without mercy, down to the very last person. this fulfilled the word of the LORD as spoken by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite. Jeroboam's sin and how he led all Israel to sin had moved the Lord, the God of Israel, to wrath. but during the twenty-four years that Baasha was king in Israel he also followed the pagan patterns established by Jeroboam and to the same degree.


I - THE PERSISTENT PATTERN OF THE SINS OF JEROBOAM

1 Kings 16 "23 In the thirty-first year of Asa, king of Judah, Omri became king over Israel, and he was king for twelve years; for six years he was ruling in Tirzah. 24 He got the hill Samaria from Shemer for the price of two talents of silver, and he made a town there, building it on the hill and naming it Samaria, after Shemer the owner of the hill. 25 And Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord, even worse than all those before him, 26 Copying all the evil ways of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, and all the sins he did and made Israel do, moving the Lord, the God of Israel, to wrath by their foolish ways."

2 Kings 14 "23 In the fifteenth year of the rule of Amaziah, son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel, became king in Samaria, ruling for forty-one years. 24 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, not turning away from the sin which Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, did and made Israel do."

2 Kings 17 "20 So the Lord would have nothing to do with all the offspring of Israel, and sent trouble on them, and gave them up into the hands of their attackers, till he had sent them away from before his face.) 21 For Israel was broken off from the family of David, and they made Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, king, who, driving them away from the laws of the Lord, made them do a great sin. 22 And the children of Israel went on with all the sins which Jeroboam did; they did not keep themselves from them; 23 Till the Lord put Israel away from before his face, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was taken away from their land to Assyria, to this day."

COMMENTS: The leadership of King Jeroboam for the ten tribes of Israel to worship idols was the persistent pattern with all the kings who reigned after him. The selected passages from 1 Kings chapter 16 and 2 Kings chapter 14 above are just two of the examples of northern kings who abandoned the LORD God to worship worthless idols, and they were likened to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. The LORD continued to send prophets before Israel, but they would not listen and return to the LORD. Finally all of the northern tribes were given over to their enemies and carried away into captivity. Jeroboam had been given such a wonderful promise of enduring blessings from the LORD through Ahijah the man of God, but he and those who followed him as king chose the vanity of idol worship instead of serving the only true God!

SUMMARY: After the reign of King David over a united Israel, The history of the kingdom in Judah, and especially for the ten tribes of the northern kingdom, became more dependent on the rule of man than on accepting service in and for the Kingdom of God. Because the northern kingdom never had a revival of worship of the LORD and removal of the false idols, that kingdom fell to complete captivity by their enemies. But many decades later Judah also fell. The LORD exercised his mercy throughout the centuries, but also his judgment was required by his nature. He is faithful to his word, and will surely establish his eternal kingdom for all who have fully trusted him as Savior and LORD.

David was a man after God's own heart because he trusted in the LORD. Psalm 18 "2 The Lord is my Rock, my walled town, and my saviour; my God, my Rock, in him will I put my faith; my breastplate, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 3 I will send up my cry to the Lord, who is to be praised; so will I be made safe from those who are against me." The everlasting "Son of David" is our eternal God and King. Isaiah 26 "3 The man whose heart is unmoved you will keep in peace, because his hope is in you. 4 Let your hope be in the Lord for ever: for the Lord Jah is an unchanging Rock." Without exception, every person needs the mercy of God to receive the gift of eternal life. Psalm 33 "18 See, the eye of the Lord is on those in whose hearts is the fear of him, on those whose hope is in his mercy; 19 To keep their souls from death; and to keep them living in time of need. 20 Our souls are waiting for the Lord; he is our help and our salvation. 21 For in him our hearts have joy; in his holy name is our hope."

--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

LORD, Before I began this study I had not realized that Jeroboam became the standard of evil for those who had reigned in the kingdom of Israel. He began such an abomination of idol worship as he set the blatant pattern of leadership for the ten tribes of Israel. After he became king as you had prepared for him, he ignored the grace and provision you had offered through Ahijah of Shiloh and turned to dependence upon his own plans. He ignored the miraculous signs given when your prophet came to him from Judah to condemn the pagan altar, and foretell that a future king from Judah would someday slay those who offered sacrifice upon it. Jeroboam failed to repent and turn to you when Ahijah told his wife what was ahead for all of his offspring.

Jeroboam was king for twenty-two years and he was put to rest with his fathers, before the devastating judgment was carried out on all of his family by the will of the LORD. Jeroboam’s life and the errant ways of all the leaders who followed him clearly demonstrate how far even the government and societies of the chosen children of Israel can abandon our God. Help me LORD to place my full faith in you and seek to serve you since your unsearchable grace has made me part of the remnant of believers that you hide under the shadow of your wings as members of your eternal kingdom. I want to give all praise to my Savior and King. Hallelujah, amen.

Published 15 December 2016