1922.) 1 Kings 14

“Jeroboam and Rehoboam” by Jack Pittman

1 Kings 14   (NIV)

Ahijah’s Prophecy Against Jeroboam

1 At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, 2 and Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go, disguise yourself, so you won’t be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Then go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet is there—the one who told me I would be king over this people.

Again we see that Jeroboam has no faith in his golden calves. Instead, in times of sickness and need he turns to the God of Israel. So he leads his nation to worship “gods” that he knows are false!

3 Take ten loaves of bread with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.” 4 So Jeroboam’s wife did what he said and went to Ahijah’s house in Shiloh.

Now Ahijah could not see; his sight was gone because of his age. 5 But the LORD had told Ahijah, “Jeroboam’s wife is coming to ask you about her son, for he is ill, and you are to give her such and such an answer. When she arrives, she will pretend to be someone else.”

6 So when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this pretense? I have been sent to you with bad news. 7 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. 8 I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. 9 You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger and turned your back on me.

10 “‘Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. 11 Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country. The LORD has spoken!’

We will see this prophecy fulfilled in the next chapter.

12 “As for you, go back home. When you set foot in your city, the boy will die. 13 All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only one belonging to Jeroboam who will be buried, because he is the only one in the house of Jeroboam in whom the LORD, the God of Israel, has found anything good.

We will see this prophecy fulfilled in just a few verses.

14 “The LORD will raise up for himself a king over Israel who will cut off the family of Jeroboam. Even now this is beginning to happen. 15 And the LORD will strike Israel, so that it will be like a reed swaying in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that he gave to their ancestors and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they aroused the LORD’s anger by making Asherah poles. 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and has caused Israel to commit.”

We will see this prophecy fulfilled in the book of 2 Kings.

17 Then Jeroboam’s wife got up and left and went to Tirzah. As soon as she stepped over the threshold of the house, the boy died. 18 They buried him, and all Israel mourned for him, as the LORD had said through his servant the prophet Ahijah.

“Visitation” by Mariotto Albertinelli, 1503 (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy)

The quick fulfillment of one prophecy serves to indicate that the remaining prophecies will also come true. Another example:  The angel Gabriel comes to Mary and tells her she will bear the Son of God, and that her cousin Elizabeth is pregnant. When Mary visits Elizabeth and sees that she is no longer barren, Mary can be certain that her child is in fact the Messiah.

19 The other events of Jeroboam’s reign, his wars and how he ruled, are written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel. 20 He reigned for twenty-two years and then rested with his ancestors. And Nadab his son succeeded him as king.

Trivia for you! A Jeroboam (pictured above) is the name for a size of wine bottle, used for Champagne and Burgundy, that holds 3 liters, which is four times the amount of a standard wine bottle. (It is also known as a Double Magnum.) A Rehoboam is slightly larger, holding 4.5 liters.

Rehoboam King of Judah

21 Rehoboam son of Solomon was king in Judah. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel in which to put his Name. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite.

22 Judah did evil in the eyes of the LORD. By the sins they committed they stirred up his jealous anger more than those who were before them had done. 23 They also set up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.

25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem.

Egypt and Israel had been allies in Solomon’s day; the king had married Pharaoh’s daughter. How quickly things change!

26 He carried off the treasures of the temple of the LORD and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made.

Some scholars theorize that Rehoboam gave Shishkak the treasures as a ransom to spare the city of Jerusalem. Regardless of how it happened, the treasures are now gone.

27 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned these to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace.

a bronze shield from 1200-900 BCE, recovered from the River Thames

The gold is replaced with bronze. The precious is replaced with the usual. The valuable is replaced with the ordinary.

That’s how Rehoboam did it. Now let’s see how I do it. I am too busy for personal devotions and a golden hour with the Lord, but I have time to watch an hour of television. I am too occupied to call a friend who is in a tough situation and pray with him or her to God on his golden throne, but I have time to check my email and Facebook and watch a couple things on youtube. I can’t find the energy to write that encouraging letter/make that hospital visit/volunteer for that ministry/pray for things beyond my own little world, but I can complain about how busy and stressed I am. Oh, I am pretty good at replacing gold with bronze.

28 Whenever the king went to the LORD’s temple, the guards bore the shields, and afterward they returned them to the guardroom.

29 As for the other events of Rehoboam’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?

The “book of the annals of the kings” of both Israel and Judah are unknown to us now. Perhaps they were the official court records. Or perhaps they were accounts of the reigns of the various kings compiled by prophets. Clearly the writer refers to them to attest to the veracity of his report.

30 There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 31 And Rehoboam rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite.

So the blame goes back, in part, to Solomon and his unwise marriages to foreign women.

And Abijah his son succeeded him as king.

_________________________

Music:

Not a very cheerful chapter.  So let’s listen to something uplifting — a lovely and encouraging song by one of my favorite artists.  HERE  Twila Paris praises the Lord in “I Can Do All Things.” The promise is sure in Christ!

_________________________

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Pittman.    http://www.jptoonist.com/portfolio/Jeroboam-Rehoboam.htm
worshiping the golden calf.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/goldencalfworshipers.gif
Albertinelli.    http://www.wga.hu/art/a/albertin/visitat.jpg
Jeroboam bottle.   http://www.weimax.com/food&wine_115.htm
Egypt-Israel flags.   http://www.crossed-flag-pins.com/Friendship-Pins/Egypt/Flag-Pins-Egypt-Israel.jpg
bronze shield.    http://www.sheshen-eceni.co.uk/images/thames%20bronze%20shield%201200_900BC%20no2.jpg
Solomon and some of his wives.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/solomonwives1.jpg
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