1 Kings 12 part 8
Last week as looked at Chapter 11 we saw what happens when a faithful man turns unfaithful to God and tonight we will see the results of Solomonís unfaithfulness under his sons reign in Chapter 12.
1 Kings 12:1 And
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all
It was time for Rehomboam
to become the new king in place of his father. Now as soon as Jeroboam found
out that Solomon was dead he returned from
1 Kings 12:6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, and he said, "How do you advise me to answer these people?"† 7 And they spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever."† 8 But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him.† 9 And he said to them, "What advice do you give? How should we answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, 'Lighten the yoke which your father put on us'?"† 10 Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, "Thus you should speak to this people who have spoken to you, saying, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter on us' -- thus you shall say to them: 'My little finger shall be thicker than my father's waist!† 11 'And now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!'
At first Rehoboam does the wisest thing he goes before the elders who served under his father. These men were experienced in what had been going in the last 40 years and they would certainly give the best advice but unfortunately Rehoboam rejected their advice and he decides to take the advice of those who were inexperienced. It would have been one thing if he had just decided to keep the burden the same but no these young adviser want him increase the burden many times over. You can visually see how much greater of a burden this would be by the statement made that his little finger would be thicker than his fathers waist. Then it also says he will uses scourges instead of whips to chastise his people.
It real shame that he decide to take the advice of these inexperienced men. Many mistakes been made in our society because of take advice from the inexperienced. This event helps shows us why the church today is set up with elders who are not novices to the word of God or the experiences of life. It is this wisdom that makes them great leaders and the best qualified to set the tone and direction for the church. Someone that lacks this wisdom with life and the word of God would no doubt lead the church far away from God and make many bad decisions just like these inexperienced advisors of Rehoboam.
1 Kings 12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had directed, saying, "Come back to me the third day."† 13 Then the king answered the people roughly, and rejected the advice which the elders had given him;† 14 and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!"† 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the LORD, that He might fulfill His word, which the LORD had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
Not only did Rehoboam tell these people how much greater a burden he was going to put on them he told them roughly.
Now the word roughly is defined this way. hard, cruel, severe, obstinate, fierce, intense, vehement, stubborn, stiff-necked or rigorous (of battle)
In others words with ever ounce of his being he made his statements and strong as possible could. He was trying show that he wasnít scared of the people and that he was stronger than they were. But as, we read this was all done so that the providence of God would come about. As writer stated even though Rheoboam came from one if the wisest men alive it certainly shows us that wisdom is not inherited.
1 Kings 12:16 Now
Here is where we see the 10 tribes of
1 Kings 12:21 And when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah with the tribe of Benjamin, one hundred and eighty thousand chosen men who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, that he might restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
Notice Rohoboam kingdom
consisted of both the tribe of
1 Kings 12:22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,† 23 "Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, saying,† 24 'Thus says the LORD: "You shall not go up nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me." ' " Therefore they obeyed the word of the LORD, and turned back, according to the word of the LORD.
We know very little about this man of God called Shemaiah but he someone who be allowed to speak to Rehomboam and give him a message from God. Surprisingly, Rehoboam takes this advice and does not attack the northern kingdom.
1 Kings 12:25 Then
Jeroboam built Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and dwelt there. Also he
went out from there and built Penuel.† 26
And Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom may return to the house
of David:† 27 "If these
people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then
the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah,
and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah."† 28 Therefore the king asked
advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, "It is too much
for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O
Now I want you to remember back in chapter 11 Jeroboam was
promised to be a mighty king with house that would endure if followed Godís
commands. However we quickly see that once he formed his new kingdom he started
doing things his way instead of Godís way. He really felt like if these people
had to go back to
Now think about how this sounds. Jeroboam had effectively mimicked those things that were set up by God but they were things done by his own way. This way it to people it would seem like true worship to God when in fact is was not. What does that remind you of today? Does this not sound like what the denominations† have done? Have they not made their worship to God mimic the true worship as described by the Bible? But what do they do they either add or take away from what the Bible says is true worship. This really isnít much different than what Jeroboam was doing. Now we will find out next week in chapter 13 and 14 that †Jeroboam will pay for what he has done and because of his rebellion against Godís Word it would lead to the demise of the entire northern kingdom.
We have learned several valuable lessons from this chapter.
We have seen that unfaithfulness to God will be dealt with just as we saw the
For the rest of this lesson I want to focus in on that last point which I said reminds me of denominations today. The denomination itself give the idea of division and that is exactly what a denomination is. It is a group of people who call themselves by a particular name which indicates their particular method of worship. So this makes them different in that aspect as compared to another denomination. So, anyway you look at this is a division. However the big thrust these day as you can read on in paper or see on TV is an encouragement to worship at the church of your choice. In other words this indicates that ever denomination will get you to heaven. But, this simply cannot be true.
The only way that you are going be pleasing to God is if you belong to the church mentioned in the Bible and that you worship Him according to His word. The Bible makes is easy for us to see that there is only 1 church and 1 way that is pleasing to God. I want you to notice what Jesus says in response to Peterís great confession of His deity.
Matthew 16:17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.† 18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Notice it was upon this confession of Jesus being deity that he would build His church. Jesus does not say churches plural put church singular. This is the same church that he purchased with His own blood according to Acts 20:28 and it is this one church that He is the savior of according Eph. 5:23.
Ephesians 5:23† For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
The word body and church are synonymously. We also learn that we are put into the one church/body at the point of baptism according to,
1 Corinthians 12:13 †For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. †
Paul also makes it clear that there is only one body/church in,
Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;† 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;† 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
This church/body must worship God in spirit and in truth as,
John 4:24 †"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
The spirit means from heart and the truth means according to Godís Word. John 17:17. Also notice what Paul wrote to the Philippians in,
Philippians 1:27 ††Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, †
The same we read that Jesus commanded Paul is stressing to these brethren because he want them to be of one spirit and one mind as the strive live their lives and worship God according to his perfect will found in Bibles.††
This is why we see over and over again stated within our Bibleís the importance of following Godís plan and not our own. One of the many strong passages that show us how important this is, is found in,
2 John 1:9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.†
Friends it doesnít get much clearly than that. You either abide by the doctrine of Christ or you do not have God. This means you cannot add or take away from what the Bible says about worshiping God, yet this is exactly what many denominations have done. They have added musical instruments, teach tithing, allow women to preach over men and women and allow them to be deacons and elders, they change the lord supper in to a quarterly or yearly event, they completely ignore the autonomy of each congregation and have earthly headquarters, and then they donít even teach the truth on what is required to become a child God and this is just to name a few. Besides all this denominations are condemned in the Bible in,
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.† 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you.† 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ."† 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?†
Paul makes easy for us to see that division is wrong which means have denominations is wrong not matter how closely they mimic the one church in the Bible. Many of these denominations even call themselves after another man or even after some action like repentance or baptism. Paul says this should not be the case because Christ was crucified for us and not anybody else. To name yourself after action like repentance or baptism or after some man give glory to that person or those actions that is why we should be careful that we call ourselves by something that will God the honor and Glory deserved to Him and the name church of Christ is certainly one of those names as mentioned in Romans 16:16.
So let always be careful as Christians not to get caught up in the false statement that there are many roads that lead to heaven and so you can choose the church of your choice. Instead Jesus tells this,
Matthew 7:13" Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.† 14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. †
So not only is there not many roads that lead to heaven there one narrow road that leads to heaven and only those who worship God in spirit and truth and that belong to the one body/church will make it to heaven.