Week 23: A Kingdom Divided, Israel
1st Kings 12:25-33, 2nd Chronicles 11:13-17
Review: June 1st through 4th
June 1st: Proverbs 17:1 to 19:29
June 2nd: Proverbs 20:1 to 22:16
June 3rd: Proverbs 22:17 to 24:34
June 4th: Song of Solomon (Songs) 1:1 to 8:14
A Shulamite is from Shulam or Shunem which is north of Jezreel in the Tribe of Issachar, southwest from the Sea of Galilee.
Overview from Chronological Bible Teaching,
Iva May and Stan May, PhD 2010
"In his later years, Solomon loves and marries many foreign women, even though it is forbidden for kings to do so. His wives turn his heart away from God, so God appears to him and promises him that his kingdom will be torn away from his son (Rehoboam). Meanwhile, He raises up adversaries against Solomon, including Jeroboam, a servant and mighty man of valor."
"At Solomon's death, his son, Rehoboam succeeds him as king of the consolidated kingdom. Rehoboam is a foolish leader who does not listen to the counsel of his elders. He seeks the counsel of his peers and acts with boastful pride. In response, Jeroboam leads a rebellion in which ten tribes follow him to establish their own nation, the northern kingdom of Israel. His leadership provides the metric by which all succeeding kings are measured, "He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin" (1 Kings 15:26, 34). To prevent Israel and Judah from reunification, Jeroboam creates and establishes a syncretistic religion for Israel to follow. He blends the God-established practices with the practices of the pagan religions. These continuing syncretistic religious practices invite the judgment of God--eventual captivity for the nation by the Assyrians. God promises, however, the He will give one tribe to Solomon's son (1 Kings 11:13)."
Lesson Objective from Chronological Bible Teaching, Iva May and Stan May, PhD 2010
"At the conclusion of this lesson students will understand the development, characteristics, and dangers of syncretistic religion."
New: June 5th through 11th
June 5th: 1st Kings 11:1-43, 2nd Chronicles 9:29-31, Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
Solomon had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. These women were also from the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. God said, "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods." 1st Kings 11:2
1. Sidonians' goddess Ashtoreth: fertility, sex, war
2. Ammonites' abomination Milcom: destroyer
3. Moabites abomination Chemosh: destroyer, subduer, fish-god
Israel's Neighbors: Hittites, Sidonians, Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites
1st Kings 11:4-8: Solomon builds high places for other gods.
1st Kings 11: 9-13: God says to Solomon that He will tear away the kingdom and give it to Solomon's servant (Jeroboam) and to Solomon's son (Rehoboam).
1. Hadad the Edomite was a descendant of the King of Edom when David and Joab (commander of the army) killed every male in Edom. Hadad fled to Egypt and returned after David and Joab were dead.
2. Rezon from Zobah reigned in Damascus and over Syria. He "abhorred" Israel.
3. Jeroboam was Solomon's servant and officer over all the labor force of the house of Joseph. He rebelled because Solomon built the Millo and repaired damages to the City of David. The Millo might have been a large structure but it's purpose is not really known. It could have been a citadel, fortress, or palace. It could have been a landfill. It could have been a combination of landfill and building. The King James version of 1st Kings 9:15 describes a levy that Solomon used to build the House of Yahweh, his house, Millo, wall of Jerusalem, and other structures.
1st Kings 9:15-28: Verse 22 reads, "But of the children of Israel Solomon made no forced laborers, because they were men of war and his servants: his officers, his captains, commanders of his chariots, and his cavalry." Verses 20 and 21 read, " All the people who were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivitites, and Jebusites, who were not of the children of Israel-- that is, their descendants who were left in the land after them, whom the children of Israel had not been able to destroy completely-- from these Solomon raised forced labor, as it is to this day.
Why was Jeroboam an enemy to Solomon?
Ahijah the Shilonite was a prophet that told Jeroboam to take 10 of 12 pieces of a torn garment. They represented 10 of 12 tribes given to Jeroboam by God, who took them from Solomon. 1st Kings 11: 29-39
Jeroboam fled to Egypt so that Solomon could not kill him.
Shishak was the king (not Pharoah?) of Egypt.
Rehoboam was Solomon's son that became king after Solomon's 40-year reign.
Key Truths from Chronological Bible Teaching,
Iva May and Stan May, PhD 2010
1. "When the light of Bible literacy grows dim in the hearts of leaders, they lead others down the path that leads to destruction."
2. "Leaders who despise the ways of the LORD develop false practices and justify their new ways by making them sound acceptably religious."
3. "People embrace leaders who allow them to follow the dictates of their own hearts."
4. "Syncretistic religions often embrace acceptable forms but give them new meanings."
June 6th: Ecclesiastes 1:12 to 6:12
Memory Verse: Ecclesiastes 3:14
"I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him."
June 7th and 8th
June 7th: Ecclesiastes 7:1 to 11:6
June 8th: Ecclesiastes 11:7 to 12:14, 1st Kings 12:1-33, 2nd Chronicles 10:1 to 11:17
Rehoboam (Solomon's son) went to Shechem to become king. All Israel and Jereboam (Solomon's servant) met him there. Jereboam and all Israel said to Rehoboam, "Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you." 1st Kings 12:1
Rehoboam consulted the elders and they told him to be a servant, serve the people, answer them, and speak good words to them. If he did this, Jereboam and all Israel would be his servants forever. Rehoboam rejected the elders' advice. 1st Kings 12:6,7
Rehoboam consulted the young men that grew up with him and they told Rehoboam to say, "My little finger shall be thicker than my father's waist! 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." 1st Kings 12: 12:8-11
All Israel said, "What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Now, see to your on house, O David!" 1st Kings 12:16
2nd Chronicles 10: 17-19
"But Rehoboam reigned over the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah." (Judah and Benjamin) "Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was in charge of revenue; but the children of Israel stoned him with stones, and he died. Therefore King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day."
Shemaiah was the man of God that told Rehoboam to not take the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to war with the other ten tribes of Israel. God let the kingdom split because of Solomon. 2nd Chronicles 11:1-4
Lesson Outline from Chronological Bible Teaching, Iva May and Stan May 2010
"God prepares Israel to enter the land of Canaan by giving them guidelines regarding worship and the priesthood. These commands are specific, and clear, and especially apply to the kingdom era with its temple worship."
Lesson Outline #1: Worship Regulations given by Moses - Deuteronomy 12:1-14
A. "Regulations regarding places of worship - "You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods. . .. you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes to put His name for His dwelling place; and you shall go" (12:2, 5). Six times in this passage God refers to a specific place designated by God (12:5, 6, 7, 11 (twice), 14)"
B. "Regulations regarding prescriptions of worship - "You shall not at all do as we are doing this day--every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes--" (12:8). God's Word establishes a divine standard and even requires Israel to create a reminder to follow the LORD instead of the dictates of their own hearts--the tassel of blue on the hem of their clothing (Numbers 15: 38-39)."
Jeroboam Makes Golden Calves
Read Out Loud 1st Kings 12:25-33
Lesson Outline #2: Worship Regulations Reformatted by Jeroboam - 1 Kings 12:25-33
A. "Jeroboam's motive behind his developing a syncretistic religion is revealed, '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.'"
B. "Jeroboam's method - Perhaps Jeroboam feels that the people will balk if he offers an entirely pagan religion, so he offers a blending of the two. Jeroboam follows a predictable pattern, which characterizes all syncretistic religions:"
1. "He redefines the Holy One - He makes two calves of gold and introduces them to the people, 'Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt' (12:28). Universalism is rampant today among those who believe the god of every religion is the same god but with another name. Syncretism is a religion of tolerance."
2. "He redefines the holy place of worship - He offers alternate places of worship, ' He set up one [golden calf] in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan' (12:29). Because he does not want Israelites to travel up to Jerusalem, he offers convenient worship centers at the northern and southern borders of his kingdom. Syncretism is a religion of convenience."
3. "He redefines the holy servants - He diminishes the priesthood requirements by opening up the office to anyone with a desire to serve in the capacity, 'He made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi' (12;33). Syncretism is a religion without conviction."
4. "He redefines the holy days - Jeroboam gives Israel's holy days new meanings, 'So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart' (12:33). Syncretism is a religion of imagination."
5. "He redefines the holy offerings - Jeroboam offers sacrifices and burns incense as in Jerusalem's temple, 'He ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense' (12:22). Syncretism is a religion of casual indifference."
Rehoboam built Bethlehem, cities, strongholds, and fortified Judah. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin were joined by the tribe of Levi from all of Israel along with those "as set their heart to seek the LORD God of Israel." 2nd Chronicles 11: 5-17
Read 1st Kings 13: 1-10
Lesson Outline #3: Worship Regulations Rebuked by God's Prophet - 1 Kings 13:1,2
"God sent an unnamed prophet to rebuke Jeroboam as he burns incense at the altar of his own making. This prophet speaks of the day when Judah's king, Josiah, will burn Jeroboam's priests on his altar and then destroy Jeroboam's altar."
"In essence, syncretistic religion appeals to those who desire ritual without responsibility, religion without morality, and form without power of the presence of God. God established parameters for worship in Deuteronomy, but Jeroboam craftily omits from all of his worship plans any reference to or reading/recitation of the Book of the Law."
"Tolerance (everyone doing what is right in his own eyes without reference to God and His prescribed standards recorded in the Bible) becomes the religion of Northern Israel, much like it is today in America's postmodern culture."
Abijah was the son of Jeroboam. 1st Kings 14:1
There were two Abijah(s). Both were sons of Jeroboam and Rehoboam.
Ahijah was the prophet that told Jeroboam's wife that her good son Abijah would die. 1st Kings 14: 5-18
Rehoboam also let Judah build and worhip idols. 1st Kings 14:22-24
Shishak, king of Egypt, took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the king's house when he led the Lubim, Sukkim, Ethiopians, and Egypt against Rehoboam. 2nd Chronicles 12:2-4
Abijam, (Abijah) Rehoboam's son, became king of Judah after Rehoboam died. 1st Kings 15:1-5
Abijah and Jeroboam fought but Abijah and Judah cried out to God went Jeroboam ambushed Judah. (Southern Judah 400,000 versus Northern Israel 800,000) God struck Jeroboam and all Israel that fought Abijah and Judah. (500,000 men of Israel were slain.) 2nd Chronicles 13:1-22
Asa was the son of Abijah and was king of Judah after Abijah. Asa did what was right in the sight of the Lord. 2nd Chronicles 14: 1-8
Nadab was the son of Jeroboam and the king of Israel after Jeroboam died. 1st Kings 15: 25-26
Baasha, the son of Ahijah of the house of Isaachar, killed Nadab and became king of Israel. 1st Kings 15:27-30
Kings (southern Israel, "Judah") David (all Israel), Solomon (all Israel), Rehoboam, Abijah (Abijam), Asa
KIngs (northern "Israel") Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha
Application - What does this lesson teach us about God? Man? Sin? Redemption?
May and May 2010
1. "All worship forms are not acceptable worship to God."
2. "Leaders who minimize God's Word create a ripe environment for syncretistic religion to develop."
3. "All cults and liberal religions redefine key biblical / religious terms so as to twist them to serve their own goals and ends."
Summary: May and May 2010
1. "God speaks by establishing guidelines to teach His people; His Work is eternally relevant and violation of that Work always brings destructive consequences."
2. "God acts by judging Jeroboam's religion not only in his days but by referring to Jeroboam's sin as the key explanation for the idolatry of succeeding generations in the Northern Kingdom."
3. "God reveals the terrible price of sin through the words of the prophet who rebukes the king at the altar."
Help from Pastor Jacob Cloer
"Week Twenty-three: A Kingdom Divided, Israel – 2 Kings 12:25-33; 2 Chronicles 11:13-17
(This week’s HELP is a long one, but this is a pivotal moment in the life of Israel. I pray that as you study, you will see how the seeds of the divided kingdom were sown long before it actual happened and that you will see how this divide effected all of Israel’s history.)
Solomon ended his life poorly. He had started well, but when Solomon got old, his wives turned his heart away from God. He wrote Proverbs 3:1-12 to his son Rehoboam but the promises of God were ignored. Rehoboam picked up where his father had left off. Our kids often do what we do and do it a little better. Solomon wrote that God has promised health, prosperity, and long life if Rehoboam would follow the commands, but Solomon did not do what he admonished his son to do.
2 Kings 12:1-24; 14:21-31 - The record of Rehoboam.
Rehoboam had been installed as king in Jerusalem (11:43) and now he travels to Shechem about 40 miles north to establish himself as king in the north. Shechem was a fortified city between two mountains with high places. This is where Joshua spoke his last words. This is where the bones of Joseph had been buried. It was like a capital city in the north with a lot a pagan shrines.
Jeroboam had been popular in this area. He had been a tax collector/administrator for Solomon and had started a rebellion. Solomon heard about it and was going to kill him so Jeroboam had fled to Egypt. Now that Solomon has died. Jeroboam has returned and he comes to Shechem to make a proposal to Rehoboam (12:4).
This historic moment reveals the heart of Rehoboam.
1) Rehoboam did not consult God. He could not make a decision. He had no convictions. He had not set his ‘non-negotiables’ for his life. What are you going to do when tempted or faced with a life changing decision?
2) Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men (12:5-11). They said if you will be a servant king you will have servants. If he would have sought God first, then the elders would have been a confirmation of God’s word. Seek first the kingdom of God. Let God sensitize your heart to godly counsel.
We prefer listening to those who agree with us. We go to our peers who think like we think. With them we get real macho. My pinky is bigger than my dad’s waist. I’ll replace whips with scorpions. This was not a soft answer that turns away wrath as his father had admonished. This is immaturity at its best. Rehoboam is a follower. He will do what others tell him to do.
3) He did not listen to the people (12:16). He had no compassion for those hurt by the recession. He sent out his henchman who knew how to handle rebellious slaves. Adoram was to be his scorpion. The people stoned him and Rehoboam hurried back to Jerusalem.
The land is divided. History is changed because of his foolishness.
Contrast Rehoboam with Jesus. Rehoboam pretended to have authority. Jesus embodied authority. Rehoboam refused to be a servant. Jesus took on the form of a servant. Rehoboam wanted to lay a heavy burden on the people. Jesus invites us to come to Him for rest, to take His yoke and find rest. Rehoboam lost the kingdom through disobedience. Jesus gained the kingdom through obedience.
12:21-24 Rehoboam musters up an army to fight Jeroboam, but God sends a prophet to intervene.
14:21-31 Rehoboam compromised with the world. He did not want to be intolerant or offensive.
Shishak was the father-in-law of Jeroboam. Had Jeroboam asked for his help to fight against Rehoboam? Had he told him about the gold shields?
2 Kings 11:26 – 15:26 The record of Jeroboam.
The prophet Ahijah tells Jeroboam he will be king of 10 tribes. God makes a promise to Jeroboam. God had His hand on him. Jeroboam listens to his heart and not God’s promise (12:33). It just seemed right to him. He had this burning in his bosom that confirmed what he was doing was right. The Levites that saw what was happening returned to Jerusalem. So Jeroboam appointed priests that were not Levites. He was afraid that other devout believers would return to Judah, so he tried to copy the sacrifices and festivals. He had not been brought up in the worship of The LORD so he was not aware of the importance of following God’s law accurately. He recreated the visible traditions, but did not see that they were a shadow of the reality of the Messiah.
He made golden calves like he had seen in Egypt. Aaron, the first priest of Israel had made a golden calf to represent their God. The founder of Israel’s religion had made a calf. It is part of our roots. Right?
While worshipping at his self-made altar, an unnamed man of God appeared. He predicts that a future king will burn the bones of those burning incense on this altar (2). He names the king by name. Josiah is born 290 years later and brings a revival to the land.
The prophet then predicts a sign to confirm that he is a true prophet from God. Jeroboam told his guards to arrest the prophet. The arm shriveled and the altar split. Ashes were scattered.
The king did not like what was being said. He was the king. He was the priest. No stranger could tell him how to worship. The biggest horror for those standing there was probably the scattered ashes. Scattered ashes were a curse.
How do I respond to the word of God? Then when God confirms His word, what am I most concerned about?
God restores his hand. Why didn’t He shrivel the other hand too? The king was very religious, but he had no power or relationship with the true God. He tries to bribe the man of God, but the man of God had been given specific instructions. The instructions seemed arbitrary, but he knew exactly what he was supposed to do.
There was an old prophet. He found the man of God sitting under an oak tree. He had followed God’s word to the letter.
He is tempted to disobey again. God had told this young prophet to just go home. I wonder if this older prophet was jealous of the younger prophet. Maybe God had not spoken to him for a while. Maybe he had never healed a man’s arm.
The old prophet lied. It was just a “little lie”. Now should the young prophet go with the known word of God or should he go with his heart? Jeremiah says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. The young man was intimidated by the old prophet’s lie. Joseph Smith also said he heard from an angel. Mormonism says you will know the book of Mormon is true because of a burning in your bosom. Your heart will know.
The old prophet hears a true word from God. Radical obedience is required. When you know what to do and do not do it, it is sin. God takes sin very seriously. Why did the young prophet have to die? So you would know that God requires obedience. Sincerity does not make it right.
Trust the word of the Lord. Don’t trust your heart. Solomon went with his heart and it messed him up. Jeroboam went with his heart and it messed him up. The man of God goes with his heart and dies.
God can change your heart. He can create in us a clean heart.
The old prophet recognized that a great man of God had died. Maybe he is shocked by the wickedness of his own actions. Did he know his lie would cause the young prophet’s death? He now had great respect for the young prophet and wants to be buried with him. He must have known he was going to die. But the word of God lasts forever. It does not fade away. The word of God stands spoken. The truth will happen as God has said.
Jeroboam had heard God’s word. He had seen God’s power. But signs and wonders will never convince you of God. He did not change his ways. He did not repent. When his son got sick he remembered the prophet of God who had given him the 10 pieces of cloth. Why doesn’t he go? Why doesn’t he ask for the boy’s healing? The prophet had healed his arm. He could heal the boy. He just sends his wife to go get some information.
He doesn’t go because he knows where the real power is, but he does not want to submit to it. To ask something from another is to say I am needy.
Information about God or from God will not lead to salvation. Fortune tellers give information.
14:6 “Why are you pretending to be a common farmer’s wife?” I wonder what she was planning to say. Now she feels a little stupid.
14:9 The Lord responds, “You have cast Me behind your back.”
14:10-16 God’s anger comes down on Jeroboam.
14:13 Something good was seen in the boy by God and God took him to heaven. He was not used for child sacrifice.
14:16 God will give Israel over to their sin. There is a point where God quits convicting you of sin. The Spirit of God will not always strive with man. When you can no longer tell the difference between good and evil, you are in trouble.
Jeroboam’s son Nadab continued in the ways of his father. Deception is no excuse for disobedience of a direct command from God. Don’t be deceived. There are people who will lie to you. Maybe they lie to you because they don’t like you. Maybe they lie to you because they think it will be good for you. Your own heart can lead you away from God’s clear commands.
Don’t accept 2nd hand information about how to please God. There is only one way. Don’t believe counselors who make suggestions against the clear teachings of God’s word.
Seek first the Word of God. Identify clear Bible teachings that will guide your decision.
Go to wise, godly counselors. Their counsel will confirm the Word. When you sin, quickly repent. Honor God as God."
Homework: Memory Verse:
"I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him."