1 Kings 12
1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel came to Shechem to make him king. 2 And when Jeroboam ,the son of Nebat, who was still in Egypt, heard of it, (for he fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) 3 They sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spoke to Rehoboam saying, 4 Your father made our yoke grievous: now you make the grievous service of your father, his heavy yoke that he put on us, lighter, and we will serve you. 5 And he said to them, Leave for three days, then return to me. And the people departed. 6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before his father Solomon while he was still living, and said, How do you advise me to answer these people? 7 And they spoke to him saying, If you will be a servant to this people today, serve them and answer them, speaking good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.
- Solomon caused heavy work schedules and taxes. God had promised Jeroboam that he would be king over ten tribes of Israel at the death of Solomon.
- Jesus is the servant king. His yoke is easy and light.
- John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and went to God; 4 He rose up from supper, laid aside his garments, took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel he was wrapped in.
- Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and low in heart: and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
- Isaiah 26:12 LORD, you will ordain peace for us: for you also have worked all our works in us.
8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, that they had given him, and consulted with the young men that grew up with him, and that stood before him: 9 And he said to them, What counsel do you give that we answer this people, who have spoken to me saying, Make the yoke which your father put on us lighter? 10 And the young men that grew up with him spoke to him saying, Say this to the people that spoke to you saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us; say this to them, My little finger will be thicker than my father’s loins. 11 My father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed saying, Return to me the third day. 13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him; 14 And spoke to them as the young men counseled saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
God caused Rehoboam not to liste to the people in order to fulfill His judgment and promise
15 So the king did not listen to the people because it was from the LORD, that he might fulfill his word, that the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.16 So when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king saying, What part do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse: To your tents, O Israel: Now see to your own house, David. So Israel went to their tents.
- Judah was in the south. These people went north to their homes.
17 But the children of Israel that lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, and he died. So king Rehoboam hurried to get himself up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day. 20 And when all Israel heard that Jeroboam returned they sent and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: none followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
- Rehoboam went with the tax collector.
- The people stoned the tax collector so Rehoboam ran back to Jerusalem. God appoints kings.
- Daniel 2:21 And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets up kings: he gives wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
- Psalm 75:6 For promotion does not come from the east, or from the west, or from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he puts down one, and sets up another.
21 And when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 men that were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom back to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon.
God sent His word and stopped a war
22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah, the man of God, saying, 23 Speak to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people saying, 24 The LORD says this, Do not go up or fight against your brothers, the children of Israel: every man return to his house; for this thing is from me. They listened to the word of the LORD, and returned home, according to the word of the LORD. 25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt there; and went out from there, and built Penuel. 26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now the kingdom return to the house of David: 27 If this people go up to sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me, and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.
- Jeroboam didn’t believe God’s promise to Him given in 1 Kings 11:38 of a lasting dynasty if he followed the LORD and didn’t worship false gods.
28 So the king consulted, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up out of the land of Egypt. 29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even to Dan.
- Did these two golden calves bring them up out of Egypt?
- 1Corinthians 8:4…we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
31 And he made a house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, that were not of the sons of Levi. 32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast that is in Judah, and he offered on the altar. He did this is Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places that he had made. 33 So he offered on the altar that he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month that he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast to the children of Israel: and he offered on the altar, and burnt incense.
- God forbids idolatry for our good. Evil copies God.
- This worship led the people to eternal death.
- When God gave His law to Israel it included the stoning of anyone who made an idol— Deuteronomy 17:2-5.
- Dan was in the north of the territory that Jeroboam ruled.
- Bethel was in the south just before crossing over into Judah, the territory ruled by Rehoboam.
- God appointed the men of Levi to serve Him in worship because they had been zealous for the Lord their God.
- Jeroboam did the opposite. He took people with no integrity and made them priests for his idols.
- It often happens when God promotes someone that the position becomes more important than the One who gave it.
- It therefore becomes a false god to that person—an idol.
- Today many worship Jesus, but often a Jesus of their own making, not the Jesus of the Bible.
- Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 You will have no other gods but me.
- Exodus 34:14 For you will worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
1 Kings 13
God warned of coming judgment
1And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the word of the LORD to Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. 2 And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD and said, O altar, altar, the LORD says this; Behold, a child will be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you he will offer the priests of the high places that burn incense on you, and men’s bones will be burnt on you.
- The prophet said to the altar that the priests who were doing this false worship would themselves be sacrificed on this altar of evil.
- They were leading the people to eternal death.
- Death would be their reward for it.
- God gave Jeroboam ten of the tribes of Israel to rule over.
- God promised Jeroboam that if he obeyed God and walked in His ways that God would make Jeroboam a dynasty that lasted like David’s, that is, forever (1 Kings 11, 12).
- Jeroboam made two idols, golden calves.
- He placed one in Dan in the northernmost part of the area that Jeroboam ruled and one in the south part.
- Exodus 20:32You will have no other gods but me.
- Psalm 96:52For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Galatians 6:72Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.
- Deuteronomy 32:42He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
3 And he gave a sign the same day saying, This is the sign that the LORD has spoken; Behold, the altar will be torn, and the ashes on it will be poured out. 4 And when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which he had called out against the altar in Bethel, he put out his hand from the altar saying, Seize him. And his hand, which he put out against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. 5 The altar also was torn, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.
God restored king Jeroboam’s hand
6 And the king said to the man of God, Entreat the face of the LORD your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God asked the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before. 7 And the king said to the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give your a reward. 8 And the man of God said to the king, If you will give me half your house, I will not go in with you, neither will I eat food nor drink water in this place:
- Eating with someone gave your approval of them.
- 1Corinthians 5:11… if any man that is called a brother is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; do not eat with such a one.
9 It was charged me by the word of the LORD saying, Eat no food, drink no water, nor return again by the same way that you came. 10 So he went another way, and did not return by the way that he came to Bethel. 11 Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his son came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken to the king, they told them to their father. 12 And their father said to them, Which way did he go? For his sons had seen what way the man of God that came from Judah went. 13 And he said to his sons, Saddle the ass for me So they saddled the ass for him: and he rode on it, 14 And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said to him, Are you the man of God that came from Judah? And he said, I am. 15 Then he said to him, Come home with me, and eat food. 16 And he said, I may not return with you or go in with you: neither will I eat food or drink water with you in this place: 17 For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Eat no food nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.
- These commands of God would safeguard the prophet against poisoning or ambush.
18 He said to him, I am a prophet also, as you are; and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD saying, Bring him back with you to your house, to eat food and drink water. But he lied to him. 19 So he went back with him, and ate food in his house, and drank water.
- In the Garden of Eden the man knew what God said but did what the woman said.
- Here, the prophet knew what God said, but listened to what the other prophet said.
- When words are conflicting, take time to ask and then listen to God again.
- The right answer is the answer that brings peace to your heart. Listen to God only.
- Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean to your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
- Psalm 48:14 this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
- Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…
20 And as they sat at the table the word of the LORD came to the prophet that brought him back: 21 And he cried to the man of God that came from Judah, saying, The LORD says this, Because as you have disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and have not kept the commandment that the LORD your God commanded you, 22 But came back, and have eaten food and drunk water in the place that the LORD said to you, Eat no food, and drink no water; your carcass will not come to the grave of your fathers. 23 And after he had eaten food, and after he had drunk, he saddled the ass, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 And when he left, a lion met him by the way, and killed him: and his carcass was thrown down in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcass. 25 And behold, men passed by, and saw the carcass cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcass: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. 26 And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard of it, he said, It is the man of God who was disobedient to the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD has delivered him to the lion, which has torn him, and killed him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke to him.
- 1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
27 So he spoke to his sons saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him. 28 And he went and found his carcass thrown in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcass: the lion had not eaten the carcass, or torn the ass. 29 And the prophet took up the carcass of the man of God, laid it on the ass, and brought it back. The old prophet came to the city to mourn and to bury him. 30 He laid his carcass in his own grave; and they mourned over him saying, Alas my brother! 31 And after he had buried him, he spoke to his sons saying, When I am dead, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones: 32 For the saying that he called out by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places that are in the cities of Samaria will surely come to pass.
- Amos 3:8 The lion has roared, who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken, who can but prophesy?
33 After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but made the lowest of the people priests of the high places again: whoever desired, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. 34 This thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.
- Remember there are only two sources: God and evil.
- In the Garden of Eden, when the man and woman turned from the LORD, they were following evil.
- That is the pattern. There is no safe or unsinful middle of the road. We are either following God or Satan.
- By worshipping idols you cut off your own lineage from the earth.
- Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that does not gather with me scatters.
SUMMARY: I Kings 12-13
- God fulfilled His promise by causing Rehoboam not to listen
- God sent His word and it stopped a war
- The LORD warned of coming judgment
- He restored Jeroboam's withered hand