Reading

  • 1 Kings 13:33-34; 14:1-18
  • 2 Chron. 11:5-12, 18-23
  • 1 Kings 14:22-24; 2 Chron. 12:1, 14
  • 2 Chron. 12:2-12
  • 1 Kings 14:30
  • 2 Chron. 12:13, 15a, 16
  • 1 Kings 15:1-2
  • 2 Chron. 13:2b-21
  • 1 Kings 15:3-5
  • 2 Chron. 13:22; 14:1a

Devotional

Despite the LORD's discipline of Jeroboam, he refused to change his evil ways. In time, Jeroboam's son got sick and he sent his wife, by disguise, to the old prophet Ahijah. GOD told Ahijah that Jeroboam's wife was coming, what she wanted, and what he was to say to her. Ahijah did as GOD said.

6 And so it was, when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another person? For I have been sent to you with bad news. 7 Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the LORD God of Israel: “Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you ruler over My people Israel, 8 and tore the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it to you; and yet you have not been as My servant David, who kept My commandments and who followed Me with all his heart, to do only what was right in My eyes; 9 but you have done more evil than all who were before you, for you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molded images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back— 10 therefore behold! I will bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male in Israel, bond and free; I will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as one takes away refuse until it is all gone. 11 The dogs shall eat whoever belongs to Jeroboam and dies in the city, and the birds of the air shall eat whoever dies in the field; for the LORD has spoken!”’ 12 Arise therefore, go to your own house. When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. 13 And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he is the only one of Jeroboam who shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something good toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

14 “Moreover the LORD will raise up for Himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam; this is the day. What? Even now! 15 For the LORD will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the River, because they have made their wooden images, provoking the LORD to anger. 16 And He will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who sinned and who made Israel sin.”
(1 Kings 14:6-16 NKJV)

As soon as Jeroboam's wife set foot in the house, the child died, just as GOD said it would.

Meanwhile, in Judah, Rehoboam fortified the cities of Judah and Benjamin. He married Mahalath, daughter of David's brother Eliab, and Maacah, daughter of David's son Absalom. He had 28 sons and 60 daughters. He and all the people did evil in the sight of the LORD, stirring up his anger more than all the generations before them. They set up idols throughout the land and engaged in all the hated practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them.

GOD sent the king of Egypt to punish Rehoboam. He went throughout the land of Judah as far as Jerusalem. Judah's leaders humbled themselves before GOD so He spared the city of Jerusalem from the Egyptian king. However, the Egyptian king took all the treasures of the LORD and the royal palace, including the gold shields Solomon had made. Rehoboam replaced them with bronze shields. Rehoboam reigned in Judah from age 41 to 58 when he died. There was constant battle between Rehoboam and Jeroboam—civil war.

Rehoboam's son Abijah took over as king of Judah. He reigned for three years. Judah and Israel faced off in a battle during Abijah's reign. Israel had 800,000 soldiers and Judah had 400,000, but Judah prevailed because they relied upon GOD, killing 500,000 Israelites. Abijah married fourteen wives and had 22 sons and 16 daughters. He walked in the sins of his father Rehoboam because his heart wasn't fully committed to GOD. However, because of David, GOD raised up one of Abijah's sons to succeed him as king.

We can clearly see the path the nations of Judah and Israel are on is leading to destruction. A consequence of sin is more sin. Solomon failed to serve GOD faithfully and so now the nation is split in two warring factions, neither of which have the leaders necessary to keep the people faithful to GOD. Good leadership is vital to any group. When the king did right, the people followed; but when he did evil, the people followed that too. Sadly, most people are followers, looking for a leader to show them the way. This is why our role as parents—and fathers particularly—is vital. If we lead our family to GOD then the chances are good that they will have hearts for Him and will walk in His ways. But if we fail to lead them correctly, they'll do what's right in their own eyes. Rarely is that choice right in the eyes of GOD.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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