READ: 1 Kings 14-15
BACKGROUND: These two chapters feature the antics of Jeroboam and Rehoboam, who basically split Israel in two. It may help to remember that Jeroboam (Northern kingdom) was a complete jerk, while Rehoboam (the Southern kingdom) was part of the royal line of Judah.
14:1: You may remember from Chapter 13, that even after some very clear warnings from God, Jeroboam refused to repent. Now when his son becomes ill, he finally seeks Godly wisdom.
14:5 – 9: Ahijah is blind…but he can see clearly! His words are another opportunity for Jeroboam to fall on his knees and repent. GOD is slow to anger! He gives multiple chances for us to turn back to him. Are we being careful not to put God “behind our back”?
14:10 – 16: Seemingly the only righteous member of Jeroboam’s family, the son dies. Mercifully, this son does not endure the violent death experienced by every other male in that family: they were eaten by dogs and birds.
14:21 – 29: Rehoboam has also turned from God. Now, he merely keeps up appearances by replacing the lost treasures of gold with cheap imitations. Does this sometimes describe our faith walk? Are we more interested in appearances than a genuine relationship?
15:9 – 15: Asa became king at the tender age of ten or eleven and his early years are marked by a zeal to rid Judah of pagan influence! How important for us to do the same.
15:16 – 22: After courageously facing so many trials and difficulties by trusting God, Asa instead begins to rely on his own ability and turns for help to a pagan nation. Most of us know from personal experience just how quickly we can go from faith to failure…and scripture never fails to give us a true picture of the human heart.
15:22 – 24: Sometimes the disease of our hearts results in physical suffering. Unwilling to repent, Asa’s body and his kingdom suffered.
15: 25 – 33: The kings of Israel (Northern Kingdom) leave God completely out of the picture and lead Israel into spiritual and moral depravity.
THINK: How would your life look if it was written up in scripture? Like Asa, have we started out strong, but ultimately lost our first love? Is this really ancient history, or a pretty accurate description of the temptation we all face to let the culture influence us far more than we are willing to influence the culture? Jesus words serve as a reminder and a warning to us: “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love…Repent and do the things you did at first!” Revelation 2:4
PRAY: That we might seek God first every day…and that he might have first place in our lives!