I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you. But you were not like My servant David, who kept My commandments and followed Me with all his heart, doing only what was right in My eyes.
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.
David kept my commandments... thou hast gone and made thee other gods.
I. THERE ARE SOME WHO HAVE ALREADY CHOSEN THE SERVICE OF THE KINGDOMS OF THE COUNTLESS. We have many round about us who have deliberately chosen not to serve God, but to serve other masters.
1. Some choose to be the slaves of open sin.
2. There are many persons who are not the worshippers of vice, but they are the votaries of money-making. They are the slaves of the thirst for wealth.
3. There are some others who do not try to get much money, but they are lovers of fashion, lovers of society, admirers of the world.
4. Then there is another cult that has lately come up, which some have chosen, so that they have become the devotees of "culture."
5. I will only refer to one more class of those who have chosen the service of the kingdoms; these are the seekers of self-righteousness. This is an old-fashioned and very respectable deity whom many still worship.
II. SOME SEEM TO BE PINING TO GIVE UP THE SERVICE OF GOD, AND TO GO TO THE SERVICE OF THE KINGDOMS. It is a strange thing; but this evil is always breaking out even among the people of God.
1. Some want to change out of sheer love of change.
2. Some want to be off to their idols, because of the outward aspect of the new thing.
3. Sometimes men turn aside because of their loss of joy in the service of God. They are not serving the Lord as they used to do; they are doing but little for Him.
4. Then there are many who are led to want a change from the service of God by the flagging of others.
5. There are some who turn aside because religion now has brought them to a point where it entails some extra self-sacrifice.
III. THERE IS A GREAT CONTRAST BETWEEN THE SERVICE OF GOD AND ANY OTHER SERVICE.
1. If you are about to engage in the service of God, there is nothing demanded of you that will harm you. There Is no commandment of God which, if you keep it, will injure either your body or your soul.
2. Next, notice that there is nothing denied you, in the service of God, that would be a blessing to you. The promise is, "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly"
3. Once more observe that in the service of God strength will always be given according to your day.
4. And all the while that you are the servant of God, you have a sweet peace in reflecting upon what you have done. As George Herbert said, when he helped a poor woman with her load, and men wondered that the parson of the parish should carry a poor woman's basket for her, "The memory of this will make the bells ring in my heart at night," so the service of God makes the bells ring in our hearts.
5. Lastly, there is above all this a hope of the eternal reward which is so soon to come.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
PeopleAbijah, Abijam, Ahijah, David, Israelites, Jeroboam, Naamah, Nadab, Rehoboam, Shishak, Sodomites, Solomon, Tirzah
PlacesBethel, Egypt, Euphrates River, Jerusalem, Shiloh, Tirzah
TopicsCommandments, Commands, David, Followed, Force, Hast, Heart, Kept, Kingdom, Orders, Rend, Rent, Seed, Servant, Sight, Tore, Walked, Yet, You-yet
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 14:8
5015 heart, and Holy Spirit
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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