Friday, 10th September 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
I Kings chapters 1 to 11 show the rise and fall of Israel. Solomon had the wisdom, but he was also foolish. God gave him such a great blessing and wealth but he didn’t treasure it. He walked from blessings to destruction, God’s favours departed from him and he was left with nothing. In I Kings 12, we see the fall of his next generation, and the fall of Israel.
Section One V1-15 Rebellious Rehoboam
After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king and went to Shechem. Both David and Solomon were anointed by God to become king in Shechem, but for Rehoboam, he went to Shechem because the Israelites wanted to make him king. There was no prophet, and no Word from God. Rehoboam listened to the people of Israel instead of God, he never sought God and he followed people. When Solomon was king, he used his own understanding to make decision, after he became the king the first thing he did was to marry the daughter of Pharaoh because he was afraid of Egypt. When Rehoboam became king, he also did not seek God, he forgot the promise of God for David and Solomon. I Kings 9:3, God said to Solomon: “I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built to put My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”
God gave promise and blessings to David and his decedents, but because of Solomon’s rebellious life, he worshiped other gods and did other things displeased God, therefore God’s favours left him. When Rehoboam also didn’t seek God, God allowed Israelites to betray the house of David in Shechem. The Israelites called Rehoboam to Schechem but they also called Jeroboam, they said in V4, “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.” Solomon actually appointed the Israelites as officials to manage the foreigners to do the labour work and build the temple, but Israelites told Rehoboam that Solomon made their yoke heavy.
The people followed and served Solomon all their lives, but they didn’t learn wisdom from Solomon, they wanted the king to serve them like a servant, V7 says, “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” Jeroboam didn’t listen to them, instead he listened to his friends, who he grew up with. Jeroboam and his peers also didn’t learn wisdom from Solomon, they only saw Solomon’s ‘doing’. Solomon had all the wisdom in the world but no one around him learnt his wisdom. What do we pass on to our next generations? Not what we say but how we live. Our lives will influence the people follow us.
A king without God’s presence has no peace in his heart. He could not seek God but lived in confusion. Jeroboam saw Solomon’s life of being hypercritical and willful. He didn’t seek God with humility, instead he chose to follow his freedom in the world and do the things he wanted to do instead of the things God wanted him to do.
Section Two V16-24 Rebellious Israelites
Not only the king rebelled against God, but the Israelites also rebelled against God. The Israelites forgot their identity as the people of God. God appointed king to rule and manage them, not to serve them. When the Israelites saw the king did not do what they wanted, they broke the relationship with the house of David. They no longer saw David as God’s anointed king but only as the son of Jesse. When we don’t receive what we want, do we turn away from God’s way like Israelites did?
V18 “Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was in charge of the revenue; but all Israel stoned him with stones, and he died. Therefore King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste to flee to Jerusalem.” The chariots were for battles but they became the king’s vehicle for escape. Solomon spent his lifetime strengthening his kingdom, he built up his city walls and brought chariots, but ironically when his son Rehoboam became the king, he fled in the chariots and hid in the city. The Israelites rebelled against Rehoboam except for the tribe of Judah.
Caleb was from the Tribe of Judah, he was a fighter and his decedents were also fighters. When Rehoboam gathered the army by his own flesh desires, the Tribe of Judah quickly gathered one hundred and eighty thousand warriors. Do we also act with our flesh desires? God will intervene when we act according to our own flesh desires, which displease Him. So God sent Shemaiah the man of God to talk to Rehoboam. God didn’t call Rehoboam the decedent of David but the son of Solomon, and he made him the king of Judah, instead of the king of Israel. People listened to God and did not go into battle with their own brothers. God actually gave Rehoboam a chance to return, but he didn’t listen.
Section Three V25-33 Rebellious Jeroboam
In I Kings 11:37-39, God said to Jeroboam, “So I will take you, and you shall reign over all your heart desires, and you shall be king over Israel. 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. And I will afflict the descendants of David because of this, but not forever.”
God’s Word came to Jeroboam, but he didn’t take it to his heart. Jeroboam was a talented and knowledgeable builder in Solomon’s time, but he used his talents to build Shechem and golden calves. He had the Word of God but he didn’t have peace in his heart. Instead he was in a doing mode. We want to have peace and healing from God, but if we don’t believe in God’s Word and instructions from our authority, instead continue to do what we think is important then we will never receive this peace.
Jeroboam had God’s favours but he didn’t think it was important. God gave him everything but he didn’t believe in it. He went around and ask other people for advices because he was afraid. When we are afraid, when we have doubts, we should come to God straight away and give Him our fears, change our ways and let God take over. Do not follow our flesh desires, do not try to solve our problems in a doing mode, but come before God, surrender everything Him.
Worship: My Heart Belongs to You 我心屬於你 https://youtu.be/-fLdDev9iqo
Prayer & Pursuit
God knows how our heart is, but do we know? Is our heart following God, following this world, or following the people around us? God loves us and He wants us to live in blessings. Let us pray and ask God to help us to return. God is still willing to talk to us today so we must return. Let our heart only belongs to Him.
前面第一章到十一章记载了在所罗门王统治下以色列的兴旺。所罗门有从神而来的智慧和祝福，但他没有珍惜，他的繁荣昌盛只维持了40年。所罗门王最后从祝福走向灭亡 – 就是失去神的祝福和同在，一无所有。
罗波安在父亲所罗门过世后就去到示剑要被以色列人立为王。罗波安去到示剑并不是因为去敬拜神，而是因为人在那里，他被人按立成王，当时也没有大祭司献祭，由此可看到罗波安听人的话而不是神的话。对比所罗门刚登基时就娶了法老的女儿以保护国家的安全，罗波安连这点聪明都没有，只会听人的话行事。在列王纪上 9：3-9 神对所罗门曾清楚讲明他所立的约的条件和祝福与咒诅的后果： “你向我所祷告祈求的，我都应允了。我已将你所建的这殿分别为圣，使我的名永远在其中，我的眼、我的心也必常在那里。 你若效法你父大卫，存诚实正直的心行在我面前，遵行我一切所吩咐你的，谨守我的律例、典章， 我就必坚固你的国位在以色列中直到永远，正如我应许你父大卫说：‘你的子孙必不断人坐以色列的国位。’ 倘若你们和你们的子孙转去不跟从我，不守我指示你们的诫命、律例，去侍奉敬拜别神， 我就必将以色列人从我赐给他们的地上剪除，并且我为己名所分别为圣的殿也必舍弃不顾，使以色列人在万民中做笑谈，被讥诮。 这殿虽然甚高，将来经过的人必惊讶、嗤笑，说：‘耶和华为何向这地和这殿如此行呢？’ 人必回答说：‘是因此地的人离弃领他们列祖出埃及地之耶和华他们的神，去亲近别神，侍奉敬拜他，所以耶和华使这一切灾祸临到他们。”神跟大卫和所罗门立的约延伸到第三代罗波安，但因为所罗门没有听从神，去拜别的神，做了很多违反摩西律法的事，于是神的祝福离开大卫家，离开罗波安。
V18 在罗波安所差去的人被以色列人打死后，罗波安就匆忙跑上父亲曾经从埃及买来的战车，逃回耶路撒冷 – 就是父亲所罗门修建城墙的地方。
在列王纪上11:37-39神曾对耶罗波安说：“我必拣选你，使你照心里一切所愿的，做王治理以色列。 你若听从我一切所吩咐你的，遵行我的道，行我眼中看为正的事，谨守我的律例、诫命，像我仆人大卫所行的，我就与你同在，为你立坚固的家，像我为大卫所立的一样，将以色列人赐给你。 我必因所罗门所行的使大卫后裔受患难，但不至于永远”。耶罗波安听到了神给他的应许，却没有听从神的话。耶罗波安本身是建筑行业的精英领袖，他独立称王之后所做的第一件事就像所罗门那样修建很多东西保护自己（V25)。耶罗波安没办法安静，尝试做自己的很多事情。耶稣基督所应许给我们的是平安，但我们是否只是在忙着想得到外在的好处？真正的平安是里面有神的同在。耶罗波安没有平安，就建造坚固的堡垒，又害怕自己的民离开他（V26-27）。他不相信神跟他说过要帮助他的话。