1 Kings 14
-This chapter completes the reigns of both Jeroboam in Israel and Rehoboam in Judah. The end is not good for either king as they both allow for idolatry and a departure from the Living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The appeal of power, pleasure, passion for worldly things, and the praise and popularity of men all contributed to their downfall and stirred the LORD to anger. The prophet Ahijah, who was now older and blinded by his old age, once again shows up in the saga of Jeroboam’s son’ illness and the sending of his wife to get a word from the LORD. The word of prophecy is not good as the LORD reveals that He has all knowledge and reveals everything to His prophets despite human deception and intrigue (1 Kings 14:1-6). Ahijah predicts several things of importance. First, Jeroboam’s exultation came from the LORD, but he did not act as David in faithfulness and obedience. Jeroboam did more evil, the prophet related, than all who were before him (this includes Saul and the time of the Judges). He had gone and made other gods and molten images to provoke the LORD to anger by casting God behind his back (in other words, Jeroboam turned away from God). Therefore, his son would die and the kingdom would be cut off from his family. Calamity was prophesied for his royal household and his family would be swept away from power even though Israel (as in the northern kingdom of Israel) would mourn over his son’s death (1 Kings 14:7-14). Second, the LORD will strike Israel “as a reed is shaken in the water” and He will “uproot” Israel from their good land which He gave to their fathers scattering them beyond the Euphrates River (this occurred under the conquering by the Assyrians in 722 BC). God will give up on Israel on account of the sins of Jeroboam, which he committed and with which he made Israel sin (1 Kings 14:15-16). These predictions played out according to the word of God with exact accuracy. This became the legacy of a man who did not fear God and turned away from what the LORD had done for him.
-Rehoboam, who reigned in Judah as the son of Solomon and grandson of King David did not fare much better. He allowed Judah to do evil in the sight of the LORD provoking Him to jealousy more than all that their (Judah’s) fathers had done with their corruption in sin (1 Kings 14:22). They built for themselves high places and sacred pillars and Asherim (a wooden female cultic deity) on every high hill and beneath every luxuriant tree (1 Kings 14:23). He also allowed male cult prostitutes in the land, who did all the abominations of the nations which the LORD dispossessed before the sons of Israel (1 Kings 14:24). Because of all this wickedness, the LORD allowed success from a foreign invasion. Shishak, the king of Egypt, came up against Jerusalem and was apparently paid off so as not to destroy it. He took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house, everything, including Solomon’s golden shields (1 Kings 14:25-26). King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace these shields as the glory of the kingdom of Israel quickly faded during this time (1 Kings 14:27-28). There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually until their deaths at about the same time in history (1 Kings 14:30).
-*Application* What a sad turn of events so quickly after the promise of the kingdom in David’s time and the beginning of Solomon’s rule. Just as we see the decline in the nation of Israel and the break-up of all that was good and promising under their leadership, we can experience the same in our personal lives and our culture. God’s blessing cannot reside on those who turn away from Him and His ways. A downward spiral is inevitable for those who practice wickedness and spurn the truth of the narrow path of righteousness that Christ Jesus lays out for us. Don’t fall away and become an apostate in the eyes of God. This is never His desire for any of us (2 Chronicles 30:8-9, Proverbs 3:7-8, Hosea 14:1-4).
Verses to Memorize: 1 Kings 14:16, 22