Take with you ten loaves of bread, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will become of the boy."
I. THAT THE SINNER MAY BE SURPRISED IN HIS SEASON OF JUDGMENTS.
1. That there are such seasons is evident.
(1) Witness the great deluge (Genesis 6:11-13). Also the rain of fire on the cities of the plain (Genesis 19:13). The overthrow of nations. Signal visitations upon notorious sinners (Exodus 9:18-15; 1 Samuel 28:15-19).
(2) Such were presages of the awful judgment to come (Matthew 24:37-89; 2 Peter 2:4-6; Jude 1:5-7; Revelation 18:4).
2. But all afflictions are not such retributions.
(1) Some are entailed upon us through the fall, and alike affect the penitent and impenitent (Genesis 3:16-18; Job 5:17; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
(2) Some come to us through the wickedness and blundering of those around us. Many suffer, irrespective of their character, as when a ship is wrecked through the drunkenness of the master.
(3) Some are appointed or permitted for disciplinary and educational purposes. These are often amongst our greatest blessings.
(4) Sometimes we suffer for the benefit of others - vicariously. When this is voluntary it is very Christ like (see Psalm 22:11; Colossians 1:24).
(5) Under all these we have a refuge in God (Psalm 9:9, 13; Psalm 46:1).
3. These may be confounded.
(1) Had Jeroboam known that the mercy of God had reached its limit, and that the season of retribution had set in, he might have spared his queen her journey to Shiloh.
(2) But what else could he have expected? Was he not obstinately wedded to his sins? Had he not before him the history of Saul? (1 Samuel 28:15-19.)
(3) Men still, in our day, presume upon the mercy of God to their destruction. Eminently the ease with those who defer repentance. Learn further -
II. THAT A SINNER MAY SEEK THE LORD TO NO GOOD PURPOSE. This happens -
1. When the end sought is unprofitable.
(1) Such was the case with Jeroboam. His inquiry should have been, not, "What shall become of the child?" but, "How may the anger of God be averted?" (Compare 2 Samuel 12:16, 17.) But he was not prepared to repent of his sin.
(9) His inquiry was one of curiosity as to the future. Similar curiosity was manifested by Saul under similar circumstances. It is unseemly for a sinner to pry into Divine mysteries rather than seek the salvation of his soul
2. When the spirit of the seeker is improper.
(1) He did not, indeed, seek his calves (compare 2 Kings 1:2). He rather sought Ahijah, because the spirit of prophecy was with him (ver. 2). But he had no such faith in his calves.
(2) Why, then, did he not renounce them? He had reasons of worldly policy against this (see 1 Kings 12:20-28). He was therefore a deceiver of the people. Hence he would have his queen disguise herself. So several of the Popes were known to have been infidels.
(3) So were he and his dupes doomed to perish together (see Matthew 15:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; 1 Timothy 4:1, 2).
3. When the manner of the search is unworthy.
(1) He paid a respect to the man of God. This was the meaning of his present (see 1 Samuel 9:7, 8). Hence such gifts are caned blessings (see Genesis 33:10, 11; Judges 1:15; 1 Samuel 25:17; 1 Samuel 30:26, marg.; 2 Kings 5:15).
(2) Even Jacob would eat of his son's venison before he proceeded to bless him (see Genesis 27:4, 19, 25, 31; see also 1 Kings 17:11).
(3) So are God's blessings and sacrifices offered to Him commonly associated (see Genesis 8:20-22; Genesis 9:1-17). All His blessings come to us through the sacrifice of Christ; and especially so when we, by faith, present Christ to Him.
(4) But here was no sacrifice; and the value of the gift was small What were a few loaves, a few cakes, and a cruse of honey as a gift from a king! (Compare 2 Kings 5:5; 2 Kings 8:9.) The meanness of his present was another reason why he would have his queen disguised. What an argument for early piety is here! Surrender to Christ before you are overtaken by a season of judgments. How admonitory is this subject to the effect that prayer should be true; that we should seek the right thing, in the right spirit, and in the right manner! - J.A.M.
Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam.
Homilist.Though this man lived fifty-eight years in this world, and for seventeen years occupied the throne, how little is said of him! Inspired historians pay no more attention to the life of kings than to the life of ordinary men.
I. THE POWER OF EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES. Whilst we are far enough from admitting that man is by necessity the creature of circumstances, we cannot gainsay the fact that they tend greatly to shape his character and determine his fortunes. Here we find them investing the most worthless man with worldly opulence and regal power. Some men amass wealth and climb to power by skillful and persevering industry. But here is a man born to it. His ancestors made his position for him. He was not the architect of his own fortune. This is the case with thousands to-day. Experience teaches that to get wealth and power in this way is as undesirable as it is unmeritorious. Many sons have had reason to curse the day when their fathers bequeathed them a fortune. Here is a man whom circumstances made a king, who had nothing kingly in his soul.
II. THE WEAKNESS OF EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
1. They did not give him wisdom and piety.
2. They did not give him social respect. We are so constituted that we can have no true moral respect for a man, however elevated his position, if he is destitute of moral worth. To true souls corrupt men on a throne are far more contemptible than if they lived in hovels of obscurity.Conclusion: —
1. That a man's external circumstances are no just criteria by which to judge his character. To regard them as such, has been the tendency of men in all ages.
2. That man's external circumstances do not necessarily shape his character. The circumstances into which the life of Rehoboam was thrown, did not by necessity make him the vile man and ruthless despot which he became. The fact is, there is a sovereign power in the soul, to subordinate external circumstances to its own interest. It can turn apparently the most adverse circumstances into blessings.
PeopleAbijah, Abijam, Ahijah, David, Israelites, Jeroboam, Naamah, Nadab, Rehoboam, Shishak, Sodomites, Solomon, Tirzah
PlacesBethel, Egypt, Euphrates River, Jerusalem, Shiloh, Tirzah
TopicsBecometh, Biscuits, Bottle, Boy, Bread, Cakes, Child, Cracknels, Crumbs, Cruse, Declare, Dry, Hast, Honey, Jar, Lad, Loaves, Pot, Ten, Youth
Outline1. Abijah being sick,
2. Jeroboam sends his wife, disguised, with presents to the prophet Ahijah
5. Ahijah forewarned by God, denounces God's judgment
17. Abijah dies, and is buried
19. Nadab succeeds Jeroboam
21. Rehoboam's wicked reign,
25. Shishak raids Jerusalem
29. Abijam succeeds Rehoboam
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Kings 14:3
LibrarySynopsis. --The Gradual Narrowing of the Miraculous Element in the Bible by Recent Discovery and Discussion. --The Alarm Thereby Excited in the Church. --The Fallacy Which
It is barely forty years since that beloved and fearless Christian scholar, Dean Stanley, spoke thus of the miracles recorded of the prophet Elisha: "His works stand alone in the Bible in their likeness to the acts of mediaeval saints. There alone in the Sacred History the gulf between Biblical and Ecclesiastical miracles almost disappears." It required some courage to say as much as this then, while the storm of persecution was raging against Bishop Colenso for his critical work on the Pentateuch. …
James Morris Whiton—Miracles and Supernatural Religion
Whether Contention is a Mortal Sin?
Whether Divination by Drawing Lots is Unlawful?
The Whole Heart
Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
The Prophet Joel.
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