LORD’S DAY, FEBRUARY 19
1 KINGS 12:25-33
"… the sinful kingdom…
I will destroy it from off the face of the earth…"
APOSTASY OF A KINGDOM
Solomon’s polygamy and imperialism gave rise to one sad consequence for Israel (1 Kings 11): the division of the kingdom. Because Solomon violated the laws of kingship (Deut 17:14-17; cf. 1 Kings 10:14, 26-29; 11:1-3), the LORD raised up adversaries (1 Kings 11:14, 23), the greatest of them being Jeroboam I, the son of Nebat. After the death of Solomon, the kingdom was divided into the Southern Kingdom under Rehoboam and the Northern Kingdom under Jeroboam.
For Jeroboam, the greatest challenge he faced was Jerusalem -- where three times a year, in accordance to God’s revealed plan, the Israelites had to go there to worship the LORD (Lev 23). Fearful that the people from the northern tribes might be drawn to the Southern Kingdom (Jerusalem was in the southern territory), Jeroboam adopted drastic measures to bring these influences to an end by revolutionizing the religion of the Northern Kingdom. This led to the kingdom’s apostasy.
The abominable religious practices instituted by Jeroboam in the north were an indirect result of the division of the united kingdom of Israel due to Solomon’s sins. Solomon should have learned from his father David who in Psalm 51 declared what it meant to be a man after God’s own heart. Solomon’s sins led to devastation for several generations.
As Christians we should be thankful for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who has already paid for all our sins. As children of God we have the assurance of the forgiveness of our sins by the shedding of His precious blood on the cross of Calvary. What Jesus has done for us assures us that we will never be cast away as apostates.
THOUGHT: Am I separating myself from apostates?
PRAYER: "Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart" (Ps 26:1-2).