Go, tell Jeroboam that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I raised you up from among the people and appointed you ruler over My people Israel.
I. PRIVILEGES INVOLVE RESPONSIBILITIES. Thus -
1. Special favour calls for special gratitude.
(1) Jeroboam was "exalted from among the people." He was "an Ephrathite of Zereda," an obscure place, mentioned once, and that only in connection with his birth (ch1 Kings. 11:26). The names of his parents also had remained in obscurity but for the figure he cut in history.
(2) He was made "prince" over the "people of God." This was a splendid distinction. A people is great, not through its number or the extent of its territories, but from its virtues (see Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Deuteronomy 26:18, 19). What an influence has that people exerted upon human destinies!
(3) The kingdom rent from the house of David was given to him. Jeroboam, then, was placed in succession to that David who had led the armies of Israel to victory! Also to that Solomon who had built the temple, and who, in the earlier part of his career, fined the world with the fame of surpassing wisdom!
2. The favored are compared with their peers.
(1) Jeroboam was a compeer to David. Both were need from humble station - David from the sheep, Jeroboam from the army (1 Kings 11:28). Both ascended the throne of Israel - founded dynasties.
(2) But how do they compare? "David kept the commandments of God" - followed Him "with all his heart." This did not Jeroboam. Melancholy record, he did nothing for God!
3. They are contrasted with their peers.
(1) Jeroboam "had done evil above all that were before him." More than Saul, who never worshipped idols. More than Solomon, who did not make Israel to sin.
(2) Jeroboam made "other gods; and" (or even) "molten images." Note: He intended his calves to represent the God of Israel; but the God of Israel Himself calls them "other gods." So are the images of Antichrist other gods though baptized with Christian names. This was worse than the idolatry of Solomon. The caricaturing of the true God is more offensive to Him than the worshipping of His creatures. Let the worshippers of barbarous pictures of the Holy Trinity, in which the Almighty is pourtrayed as a decrepit old man, and such like, seriously consider this.
(3) Jeroboam is described as having "cast" the God of Israel "behind his back." What a startling figure! How descriptive of the sin of those who now neglect God!
II. RESPONSIBILITIES ABUSED PROVOKE JUDGMENTS. Amongst these may he mentioned -
1. The bitter sense of wasted opportunity.
(1) Jeroboam is reminded that he once had the grand chance of making for himself a "sure house like David" (see 1 Kings 11:38). What golden opportunities may we not have wasted!
(2) That though the more glorious chance was missed and lost, he had then a gracious season of warnings, which also he let slip. (See events recorded ch. 13.) This respite improved might have averted, and would have mitigated, the severity of the judgments impending (compare 1 Kings 21:29).
2. The knowledge that the day of vengeance has set in.
(1) An admonition of such a day was implied in the earlier prophecy of Ahijah, in the judgments then denounced against the house of David for the sin of Solomon (1 Kings 11:30-38).
(2) This admonition was declared explicitly in the message of the man of God from Judah, and solemnly impressed by the signs attending and following (ch. 13.)
(3) Now Ahijah announces that these judgments are taking effect. But even now, had Jeroboam come to God in the spirit of repentance, though his sin is "unto death," yet might he save his soul. It is hard now to break a chain so riveted as that is by which he has bound himself. No repentante being evinced, the knell of doom sounds forth like the echoes of the closing door of Noah's ark, which announced mercy fled and wrath begun.
3. The severity of the sentence.
(1) The honour of the house of Jeroboam is to be brought down to ignominy.
(2) The carcases of members of this family are to be consumed by carrion feeders. Such are the swords of the wicked (compare Genesis 15:11; Jeremiah 34:18-20). Whether by the sword of Baasha, or literally, after that sword had done its part, the words of Ahijah came true (see 1 Kings 15:29). "The doom of the house of Jeroboam was a figure of that of the house of this man of sin (see Revelation 19:17, 18). God knows the proud afar off. But He gives grace to the humble. - J.A.M.
Why feignest thou thyself to be another?I. WICKEDNESS INVOLVES OTHERS, TRYING TO MAKE THEM ITS DUPES, ITS ALLIES, AND ITS SCAPEGOATS. Jeroboam proposed to hoodwink the Lord's prophet. Iniquity is a brag, but it is a great coward. It lays the plan, gets some one else to execute it — puts down the gunpowder train, gets some one else to touch it off — contrives mischief, gets some one else to work it — starts the lie, gets some one else to circulate it. Jeroboam plots the lie, contrives the imposition, and gets his wife to execute it. Stand off from all imposition and chicanery. Do not consent to be anybody's dupe, anybody's ally in wickedness, anybody's scapegoat.
II. ROYALTY SOMETIMES PASSES IN DISGUISE. The frock, the veil, the hood of the peasant woman hid the queenly character of this woman of Tirzah. Nobody suspected that she was a queen or a princess as she passed by; but she was just as much a queen as though she stood in the palace, her robes encrusted with diamonds. Glory veiled. Affluence hidden. A queen in mask. A princess in disguise. When you think of a queen you do not think of Catharine of Russia, or Maria Theresa of Germany, or Mary Queen of Scots. When you think of a queen you think of a plain woman who sat opposite your father at the table, or winked with him down the path of life arm in arm — sometimes to the thanksgiving banquet, sometimes to the grave, but always side by side, soothing your little sorrows and adjusting your little quarrels. "Mother, mother!" Ah! she was the queen. Your father knew it. You knew it. She was the queen, but the queen in disguise. The world did not recognise it.
III. HOW PEOPLE PUT ON MASKS, AND HOW THE LORD TEARS THEM OFF. It was a terrible moment in the history of this woman of Tirzah when the prophet accosted her, practically saying, "I know who you are; you cannot cheat me; you cannot impose upon me; why feignest thou thyself to be another?" She had a right to ask for the restoration of her son: she had no right to practise that falsehood. It is never right to do wrong.
IV. HOW PRECISE, AND ACCURATE, AND PARTICULAR, ARE GOD'S PROVIDENCES. Just at the moment that woman entered the city the child died. Just as it was prophesied, so it turned out, so it always turns out. The sickness comes, the death occurs; the nation is born, the despotism is overthrown at the appointed time. God drives the universe with a stiff rein. Events do not just happen so. Things do not go slipshod. In all the book of God's providences there is not one "if." God's providences are never caught in deshabille. To God there are no surprises, no disappointments, and no accidents. The most insignificant event flung out in the ages is the connecting link between two great chains — the chain of eternity past and the chain of eternity to come.
(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)
1. This occasional hearer was totally destitute of all true piety. Most occasional hearers are. Those who have true religion are not occasional hearers.
2. The second remark about these occasional hearers is, that when they do come, they very generally come because they are in trouble. When Jeroboam's wife came and spoke to the prophet, it was because the dear child was ill at home.
3. This woman would not have come but that her husband sent her on the ground that he had heard Ahijah preach before. It was this prophet who took Jeroboam's mantle and rent it in pieces, and told him he was to be king over the ten tribes. That message proved true; therefore Jeroboam had confidence in Ahijah.
4. They had one godly member of their family, and that brought them to see the prophet. Their child was sick and ill, and it was that which led them to inquire at the hands of the Lord.
5. But there is one sad reflection which should alarm the occasional hearer. Though Jeroboam's wife did come to the prophet that once, and heard tidings, yet she and her husband perished after all.
II. THE USELESS DISGUISE. Jeroboam's wife thought to herself, "If I go to see Ahijah, as he knows me to be the wife of Jeroboam, he is sure to speak angrily, and give me very bad news." Strange to tell, though the poor old gentleman was blind, she thought it necessary to put on a disguise. There was a Judas among the twelve; there was a Demas among the early disciples; and we must always expect to find chaff on God's floor mingled with the wheat. After the most searching ministry, there are still some who will wrap themselves about with a mantle of deception.
III. THE HEAVY TIDINGS. Sinner, unrepenting sinner, I have heavy tidings for thee. The wrath of God abideth on thee.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
PeopleAbijah, Abijam, Ahijah, David, Israelites, Jeroboam, Naamah, Nadab, Rehoboam, Shishak, Sodomites, Solomon, Tirzah
PlacesBethel, Egypt, Euphrates River, Jerusalem, Shiloh, Tirzah
TopicsAppoint, Exalted, Forasmuch, Jeroboam, Jerobo'am, Leader, Lifting, Midst, Prince, Raised, Ruler, Says, Though, Thus
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 14:7
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
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