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Israel and Judah Go Downhill 

First Kings 14

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • November 13, In the year of our Lord, 2016

  1. First Kings 14.1–3 | Jeroboam Sends for Ahijah

    1 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam became sick. 2 And Jeroboam said to his wife, “Please arise, and disguise yourself, that they may not recognize you as the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh. Indeed, Ahijah the prophet is there, who told me that I would be king over this people. 3 Also take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him; he will tell you what will become of the child.”

    1. Why did Jeroboam not turn to his golden calves?
    2. Could it be that he knew them to be false, since he had made them?
    3. Could it also be that he knew the God of Israel was the true and living God?
  2. First Kings 14.4–16 | A Prophecy Against Jeroboam

    4 And Jeroboam’s wife did so; she arose and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were glazed by reason of his age. 5 Now the LORD had said to Ahijah, “Here is the wife of Jeroboam, coming to ask you something about her son, for he is sick. Thus and thus you shall say to her; for it will be, when she comes in, that she will pretend to be another woman.” 6 And so it was, when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another person? For I have been sent to you with bad news. 7 Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the LORD God of Israel: “Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you ruler over My people Israel, 8 and tore the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it to you; and yet you have not been as My servant David, who kept My commandments and who followed Me with all his heart, to do only what was right in My eyes; 9 but you have done more evil than all who were before you, for you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molded images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back— 10 therefore behold! I will bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male in Israel, bond and free; I will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as one takes away refuse until it is all gone. 11 The dogs shall eat whoever belongs to Jeroboam and dies in the city, and the birds of the air shall eat whoever dies in the field; for the LORD has spoken!”’ 12 Arise therefore, go to your own house. When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. 13 And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he is the only one of Jeroboam who shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something good toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. 14 Moreover the LORD will raise up for Himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam; this is the day. What? Even now! 15 For the LORD will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the River, because they have made their wooden images, provoking the LORD to anger. 16 And He will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who sinned and who made Israel sin.”

    1. Why would Abijah, the son of Jeroboam, die and be buried?
      1. Only in him was something found good toward the Lord.
      2. Thus, the death of Abijah was actually a good thing, because
        1. this way he would avoid the troubles headed for the house of Jeroboam.
        2. See Isaiah 57.1.
        3. Could this also explain why the church is shrinking?
    2. Verse 16 shows the power of a leader to lead people,
      1. in this case, into sin.
      2. For this reason, we must be firmly planted in the Lord.
  3. First Kings 14.17–18 | The Death of Jeroboam’s Son

    17 Then Jeroboam’s wife arose and departed, and came to Tirzah. When she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. 18 And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through His servant Ahijah the prophet.

    1. As verse 13 said, all Israel would mourn for him,
      1. seeing good in him for Yahweh God,
      2. although most of Israel worshiped idols at the time!
    2. Never discount the life you lead, for
      1. people notice and
      2. your life may or may not convert them,
        1. nevertheless people will recognize you for the good they see in you.
  4. First Kings 14.19–20 | The Death of Jeroboam

    19 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he made war and how he reigned, indeed they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 20 The period that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years. So he rested with his fathers. Then Nadab his son reigned in his place.

    1. The Bible showed us enough of Jeroboam as king
      1. that we can see his sin, and
      2. how he set the northern kingdom on the path of sin.
    2. If the Lord wrote of your life, what would He have written down?
  5. First Kings 14.21–24 | Judah Plunges into Evil

    21 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king. He reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. His mother’s name was Naamah, an Ammonitess. 22 Now Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. 23 For they also built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. 24 And there were also perverted persons in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.

    1. Who died first: Jeroboam or Rehoboam?
      1. They both started reigning at about the same time.
      2. How long did Jeroboam reign? 22 years.
      3. How long did Rehoboam reign? 17 years.
        1. Simply because an episode follows another one in a book,
        2. does not mean it follows chronologically.
    2. Who was Rehoboam’s mother?
      1. We often note the women in the genealogy of Christ,
      2. such as Ruth, a Moabitess, but
        1. consider Rehoboam, a man who was half Israelite, and
        2. that he appears to have led or at least allowed Judah to go into evil.
    3. What was the evil of Judah?
      1. They sinned more than their fathers.
      2. They erected idols.
      3. They allowed “perverted persons” (NKJV), “male cult prostitutes in the land” (NASV, ESV), “male shrine prostitutes” (NIV), or “sodomites” (KJV).
      4. They did all abominations that the Canaanites had done.
  6. First Kings 14.25–28 | The Lord Sends Egypt Against Judah

    25 It happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26 And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house; he took away everything. He also took away all the gold shields which Solomon had made. 27 Then King Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who guarded the doorway of the king’s house. 28 And whenever the king entered the house of the LORD, the guards carried them, then brought them back into the guardroom.

    1. The Lord had freed Israel from Egypt, and then
      1. He used Egypt again to punish Judah.
      2. Pharaoh took the gold shields of Solomon.
    2. With what did Rehoboam replace them?
  7. First Kings 14.29–31 | The Death of Rehoboam

    29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 30 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days. 31 So Rehoboam rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. His mother’s name was Naamah, an Ammonitess. Then Abijam his son reigned in his place.

    1. Another sad occurrence during the reign of Rehoboam
      1. is that he and Jeroboam fought constantly.
    2. Yet, he still received honor in death
      1. by being buried with his fathers, and
      2. by being buried in the city of David.