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I Kings 16 – The Way of Jeroboam 列王纪上 16 – 行耶罗波安的路

Friday, 17th September 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Israel was divided into two, the southern kingdom and the northern kingdom. But even though Jeroboam had the promise of God, leading most of the tribes apart from Judah and Benjamin, he chose to not walk in the Way of God. All the wicked things Jeroboam did brought curses upon Israel and the kings of Israel.

Section One V1-14 Lost in Sin

At the beginning of this chapter, the Word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani, against Baasha. In chapter 15, we came to know that Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against Jeroboam and killed him. No authority on this earth was not from God, even though Baasha killed Jeroboam and became king, God reminded him that everything that happened was in God’s hands. Often, we try to do many things to come against our authority and our government, but we must know all authorities are from God. If we find our authority or our government are not acting righteous, then we must pray for them. Do not look at this world from the perspective of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for we are all sinners. God gave people opportunities to repent, He looked into the hearts of people. God said to Baasha “Inasmuch as I lifted you out of the dust and made you ruler over My people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and have made My people Israel sin, to provoke Me to anger with their sins, surely I will take away the posterity of Baasha and the posterity of his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.”

Jeroboam was king for 18 years and his son Nadab for two years. God gave Jeroboam’s household a chance but he and his son were not able to lead the people of Israel out of sin. Then Baasha took over and was king for 24 years, God also gave him a chance to return but he was lost in his sin and did wicked things just like the household of Jeroboam. Baasah took over from Jeroboam and got rid of his whole family, but in the end he walked on the same path of Jeroboam, built the idols and stopped people from going back to the Temple of the Lord. So Baasha rested with his fathers and was buried in Tirzah. Then Elah his son reigned in his place. Elah reigned for two years just like Nadab, then was betrayed by his own servant, Zimri, who killed all the household of Baasha; he did not leave him one male, neither of his relatives nor of his friends. The same pattern repeated from Jeroboam’s household to Baasha’s household.

Today are we walking in the Way of Jesus or the way of the devil? We have a choice and God is still reminding us today, when we don’t have the fear for the Lord, we will be lost in our sins. Both Baasha and Jeroboam were in foolishness, even when the prophets came to talk to them, but they still did not listen. They paid the heavy price that their households were wiped out from the earth. What can we bring to our next generations? God loves us and He wants our next generations to be blessed, if we don’t treasure this opportunity, then God’s favours will leave us.

Section Two V15-20 Stubbornness

Zimri was king for only seven days, because of the sins which he had committed in doing evil in the sight of the Lord, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he had committed to make Israel sin. When the Word of God came Baasha and his household, Zimri was there too and he would have known the sins of Baasha that provoked God’s anger. Yet Zimri didn’t change his way, he followed the same pattern and killed everyone related to Baasha. Therefore, God also did not allow him to continue his reign as the king of Israel. Zimri committed the same sins as Baasha and Jeroboam, this flow of stubbornness continued.

Section Three V21-34 The Fall of Generations

We can see the kings of Israel continued to sin, to betray, to kill and to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. Omri bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; then he built on the hill and called the name of the city which he built, Samaria, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill. Not only Omri did not allow the people of Israel to climb the mountain of the Lord, but he also built his own mountain for people to worship idols. Omri was king for 12 years and he let the people of Israel to focus on money and power instead of God. Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did worse than all who were before him. Again this followed the same pattern as Jeroboam, his flow of wickedness and stubbornness passed down to the generations.

Do we see money, fame, power, even our family or work as more important than God? Do we let other things become our idols and excuses for not serving God? All the money, fame, power, family and work can be blessings from God for us, because He gave them all to us, but if we see anything more than we see God, then they will become our idols. “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honour and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)

Everything we have is from God, but Omri did not see this, he had the opportunity to bring Israel back to God, but he did the opposite. He built his own hill and led Israel farther away from the Temple of God. Then his son Ahab reigned for 22 years and sinned against God. Ahab did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.

When we are prideful, we will sin against God before we even notice it! Ahab married a wife, who worshipped Baal and other carved images, who were able to bring riches and wealth. We tend to seek the easy way out, when there are opportunities to make money then we will be attracted to it. But we don’t realise that we are sinning against God and displeasing God. God gave us a clear path, the path of our Lord Jesus Christ, but the world also gives us the path of Jeroboam. What is our choice? Examine ourselves and choose the path, which blesses our lives and our future generations!

Worship: Oh Lord! 喔!主 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfDeEw82hAE

2021年9月17日 星期五

潘锡安牧师

以色列自所罗门后分裂成两个国家。南国犹大只有两个支派 – 犹大和便雅悯,当时的王亚撒愿意破除家族、环境中拜偶像的罪,效法大卫敬畏神,得到神的祝福。在北国以色列,他们有十个支派,第一个王耶罗波安虽有从神而来的应许,但他行神眼中看为恶的事。本章描述他所给北国以色列后面的王带下的水流。

一、在罪中迷失 V1-14

V1-4 本章一开始就说“耶和华的话临到”- 神对以色列王巴沙说话。神说他立巴沙为“以色列的君”- 并不是像他对耶罗波安那样事先应许要立他为王 。第15章27-28节 讲到巴沙是杀了当时的以色列王拿答,谋朝篡位。圣经说地上没有一个权柄不出于神,所以在这里神提醒巴沙,他能够做以色列的王不是靠自己的能力,而是有神的帮助。我们现代的人可能会常常攻击政府或我们的权柄,却没有看到政府或权柄都是出于神。如果他们很不好,我们要更多为他们祷告。我们不要用分辨善恶树的眼光看这个世界,因为我们每一个人都是罪人。我们外面虽然没有杀人放火,但神看的不是外表,而是我们的内心。神责备巴沙的罪,便宣告说让发生在耶罗波安家的刑罚都发生在巴沙家。在第15章33-34讲到巴沙如何的恶,神都看见了,所以他跟巴沙说话,给巴沙机会悔改。耶罗波安作王18年,他的儿子拿答也有从神而来的话,可惜他听不进去,只在以色列作王两年就被杀,全家的男丁都没有存留。大卫并非完美,但他愿意改变,就得到神的祝福。耶罗波安家不肯听神的教导,耶罗波安的王朝只持续了20年就结束了。神给巴沙作王24年(15:33),但巴沙在这24年中都没有珍惜神给他的机会,没有从耶罗波安因为偏离神而受咒诅学到教训,将整个以色列国继续带向堕落。

V5-7 巴沙虽然灭了耶罗波安的王朝,但他也走在耶罗波安的路(V7)。圣经同时又责备巴沙的恶行,“因他杀了耶罗波安的全家”,想要靠自己的力量消灭劲敌,巩固自己的势力。以色列因为耶罗波安的缘故没有办法回耶路撒冷敬拜神,他们的罪使他们与神隔绝。

V8-14 故事的发展跟当初耶罗波安王朝的覆灭是同样的套路。巴沙的儿子以拉也是在以色列作王两年后就被手下的臣子背叛、谋朝篡位,以致巴沙全家男丁都被杀死。我们今天选择的是死亡还是复活的道路?耶罗波安的道路就是在罪中迷失,他没有敬畏耶和华,就陷在完全的愚昧中。巴沙也步耶罗波安的后尘,不听神对他的警戒,最后家破人亡。我们无论是已婚未婚,都要知道我们下一代(包括肉身和属灵)的光景如何。神的话已经临到我们,审判一定会到来。我们是否看重我们的下一代?耶罗波安和巴沙都分别有神的话语却并不听从,以致他们的儿子拿答和以拉都分别只做王两年就被除灭。

二、冥顽不灵 V15-20

心利只做王7天,成为以色列国执政时间最短的一个王,但是“行耶和华眼中看为恶的事,行耶罗波安所行的,犯他使以色列人陷在罪里的那罪”(V19)。他作王时间很短,如何会行出那么大的恶事呢?这是因为当初先知耶户责备巴沙的时候,神不仅对巴沙个人说话,也是对“他的家”说话(V7)- 包括巴沙所带领的臣子。心利作为巴沙曾经的部下,他是知道神的话的,但他不仅杀了巴沙的儿子,连他家的亲戚朋友都一同杀死(V11)。心利可以看到巴沙的王朝像耶罗波安的王朝那样按着同一个模式被除灭,如耶和华所说的一样,可惜他冥顽不灵,不肯回转向神。他们都走在耶罗波安的水流里。

三、一代不如一代 V21-34

对比犹大王亚撒敬畏神,得到祝福,作王41年,同时期的以色列各王却离开神的同在,一代不如一代。

V23-26 “撒马利亚”的意思是“看这个山”。暗利不要去看耶路撒冷神的山,反而自己去买一座山,让以色列人都只看到这座山,为以色列种下恶果。暗利在位12年,让以色列国民只看重财富,“行耶和华眼中看为恶的事,比他以前的列王作恶更甚……以虚无的神惹耶和华以色列神的怒气”。”虚无的神”是指人手自己造出来的东西。我们是否看某些东西比神更大?我们的财富、健康、权力、情欲、工作、儿女是否被我们看得比神更大?这些事情本身可能并不是坏的,但我们对待他们的态度决定了他们的性质。神是我们的供应,我们不能将这些东西当成无法服事神的借口。我们若是敬畏耶和华,有谦卑温和,神就给我们“富有、尊荣和生命”(箴言22:4)。暗利作王的12年都没有回转,没有带以色列回到神的祝福中,反而带以色列十个支派离耶路撒冷的圣殿越来越远。

V29-30 “暗利的儿子亚哈在撒马利亚做以色列王二十二年……行耶和华眼中看为恶的事,比他以前的列王更甚”,这就是罪的恶果。

V31 每一代的以色列王都在犯“耶罗波安所犯的罪”。我们是否也在犯撒旦流传下来的罪,不顺服权柄,只想靠自己?亚哈对此罪“还以为轻,又娶了西顿王谒巴力的女儿耶洗别为妻,去侍奉敬拜巴力”。耶洗别的父亲名字“谒巴力”就是“我与巴力同在”的意思,“耶洗别”的名字意思是“颂扬巴力”或者“与巴力联合”。

V33 神为何对这些偶像发怒气?巴力和亚舍拉代表世上的财富、幸福。当人们拜这些假神的时候,说明他们不需要倚靠、敬畏真神,他们选择不跟从摩西的教导,而是选择在偶像庙里行淫乱的事,觉得只要花钱就好了。他们认为跟从神的道路太难了,而拜巴力和亚舍拉却很简单,每一年拜一拜就很轻易可以风调雨顺,因为这些偶像会听他们的操控。

我们选择的是哪一条路呢,我们希望我们的下一代怎样呢,是耶稣基督的道路,还是像耶罗波安等以色列王拜巴力和亚舍拉的路?我们应当审视自己的生命,为我们和我们的后代选一条真正蒙福的道路!

*追求和回应:

求主帮助我们选择跟随主,轻看我们身上的事,让我们看到的是主你摆在我们面前的道路!