Two Kings, Two Kingdoms

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), June 5

Image 14“Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O LORD, in the light of Your countenance” (Ps. 89:15).

Neither Jeroboam (Solomon’s former administrator) or Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) experiences God’s blessing. Both kings live for their own acclaim and reject the counsel of God.

Jeroboam
Years before Jeroboam became king, the prophet Ahijah informed him that he would rule over the house of Israel (1 Kings 11). God’s blessing upon his reign was conditional, “Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you” (11:38).

Jeroboam does not listen to God’s counsel but seeks advice from others. He establishes new worship forms and leads Israel away from God. Only when his son is at the point of death does he remember the prophet Ahijah. Jeroboam sends his wife to Ahijah to hear God’s word concerning the boy. Ahijah responds, “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” (14:8). The LORD promises disaster upon the house of Jeroboam and eventual captivity for the kingdom of Israel. Sadly, even the death of Jeroboam’s son does not change his heart toward God.

Rehoboam
Rehoboam fails on a number of fronts. He disregards the counsel of the elders and raises taxes. His excessive appetites rule him, so that he has eighteen wives and thirty concubines. Rehoboam also “forsook the law of the LORD” and led Judah into idolatry (2 Chron. 12:1). The LORD allows Shishak king of Egypt to attack Jerusalem and plunder the temple of its treasures. The king and Judah’s leaders humble themselves before the LORD. The LORD responds to their humility by promising to deliver them from the hand of Shishak, although they will remain under Shishak’s rule, “that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kings of the nations” (12:8).

Both kings think that they are smart enough to lead God’s people without God’s counsel. Neither depends upon the LORD or follows in the footsteps of David by obeying His commands, precepts, testimonies, and judgments. Both kings lead their people into idolatry.

God reveals His desire to bless His people throughout each era of the Bible, yet humanity appears hell-bent on disobedience and rebellion. All the eras communicate two major truths:

  • God is better to man than he deserves

  • Man is more rebellious than he imagines

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (1 Kings 11; Ecclesiastes 1):
Review Deuteronomy 17:14-20. What truth had Moses’ established regarding a king’s collecting wives? How have these unrighteous alliances affected Solomon and how does the LORD respond?