Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jeroboam Made Two Golden Calves At Dan And Bethel

1 Kings 12:1-33 NIV

Israel Rebels Against Rehoboam

1Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. 2When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. 3So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: 4“Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

5Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.

6Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.

7They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”

8But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”

10The young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist.11My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’ ”

12Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders,14he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” 15So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from The Lord, to fulfill The Word The Lord Had Spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.

16When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:

“What share do we have in David,
what part in Jesse’s son?
To your tents, Israel!
Look after your own house, David!”

So the Israelites went home. 17But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.

18King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

20When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David.

21When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered all Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon.

22But this WORD of GOD Came to Shemaiah the man of GOD: 23“Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, to all Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 

24‘This Is What The LORD Says:

Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the 

Israelites. Go home, every one of you, For This Is MY 

Doing.’ ”

So they obeyed The WORD of The LORD and went home again, As The LORD Had Ordered.

Golden Calves at Bethel and Dan

25Then Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built up Peniel.

26Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27If these people go up to offer sacrifices at The Temple of The LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.”

28 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, 

“It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” 

29One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. 

30And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other.

31Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites. 32He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made. 33On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings.

Jeroboam’s Golden Calves

Influenced by the words of the prophet Ahijah (1 Kings 11:29-39), Jeroboam began to form conspiracies with the view of becoming king of the ten tribes; but these were discovered, and he fled to Egypt, where he remained under the protection of pharaoh Shishak until the death of Solomon.

On the death of Solomon, Rehoboam assumed the throne. However, the ten northern tribes revolted against his rule and invited Jeroboam to become their king. The conduct of Rehoboam made the ten tribes favor the designs of Jeroboam, and he was accordingly proclaimed "king of the northern Israel.”

He rebuilt and fortified Shechem as the capital of his kingdom. He at once adopted means to perpetuate the division with the southern Kingdom of Judah. He erected at Dan and Bethel, the two extremities of his kingdom, "golden calves," which he set up as symbols of GOD, enjoining the people not any more to go up to worship at Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, but to bring their offerings to the shrines he had erected. Thus he became distinguished as the man "who made Israel to sin." This policy was followed by all the succeeding kings of Israel.

According to 1 Kings 13:1-6, while Jeroboam was engaged in offering incense at Bethel, a "man of GOD" warned him that "a son named Josiah will be born to the house of David" who would destroy the altar (referring to King Josiah of Judah who would rule approximately three hundred years later).

Attempting to arrest the prophet for his bold words of defiance, Jeroboam's hand was "dried up," and the altar before which he stood was rent asunder. At his urgent entreaty his "hand was restored him again" (1 Kings 13:1-6, compare 2 Kings 23:13-16); but the miracle made no abiding impression on him. This "man of GOD" who warned Jeroboam has been equated with a seer named Iddo.

Monday, April 27, 2015

JEHOVAH Became Angry With Solomon

1 Kings 11:1-43 NIV

Solomon’s Wives

1King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.

2They were from nations about which The LORD Had Told the Israelites,

“You must not intermarry with them, because they will 

surely turn your hearts after their gods.”

Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 

3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to The LORD his GOD, as the heart of David his father had been.5He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 

6So Solomon did evil in the Eyes of The LORD; he did not follow The LORD completely, as David his father had done.

7On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, 

and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 

8He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.

9 The LORD Became Angry with Solomon 

because his heart had turned away from 

The LORD, The GOD of Israel, WHO Had 

Appeared to him twice.

 10Although HE Had Forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep The LORD'S Command. 

11So The LORD Said to Solomon,

“Since this is your attitude and you have not kept MY Covenant and MY Decrees, Which I Commanded you, I Will Most Certainly Tear the kingdom away from you and Give it to one of your subordinates. 12Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I Will Not Do it during your lifetime. I Will Tear it out of the hand of your son. 13Yet I Will Not Tear the whole kingdom from him, but Will Give him one tribe for the sake of David MY servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I Have Chosen.”

Solomon’s Adversaries

14Then The LORD Raised Up against Solomon an adversary, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom. 

15Earlier when David was fighting with Edom, Joab the commander of the army, who had gone up to bury the dead, had struck down all the men in Edom. 16Joab and all the Israelites stayed there for six months, until they had destroyed all the men in Edom. 17But Hadad, still only a boy, fled to Egypt with some Edomite officials who had served his father. 18They set out from Midian and went to Paran. Then taking people from Paran with them, they went to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave Hadad a house and land and provided him with food.

19Pharaoh was so pleased with Hadad that he gave him a sister of his own wife, Queen Tahpenes, in marriage. 20The sister of Tahpenes bore him a son named Genubath, whom Tahpenes brought up in the royal palace. There Genubath lived with Pharaoh’s own children.

21While he was in Egypt, Hadad heard that David rested with his ancestors and that Joab the commander of the army was also dead. Then Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me go, that I may return to my own country.”

22“What have you lacked here that you want to go back to your own country?” Pharaoh asked.

“Nothing,” Hadad replied, “but do let me go!”

23And GOD Raised Up against Solomon another adversary, Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24When David destroyed Zobah’s army, Rezon gathered a band of men around him and became their leader; they went to Damascus, where they settled and took control. 25Rezon was Israel’s adversary as long as Solomon lived, adding to the trouble caused by Hadad. So Rezon ruled in Aram and was hostile toward Israel.

Jeroboam Rebels Against Solomon

26Also, Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against the king. He was one of Solomon’s officials, an Ephraimite from Zeredah, and his mother was a widow named Zeruah.

27Here is the account of how he rebelled against the king: Solomon had built the terraces and had filled in the gap in the wall of the city of David his father. 28Now Jeroboam was a man of standing, and when Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the tribes of Joseph.

29About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, and Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him on the way, wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone out in the country, 30and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 

31Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, 

For This Is What The LORD, The GOD of Israel, Says: 

‘See, I AM Going To Tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s 

hand and give you ten tribes. 

32But for the sake of MY servant David and the City of Jerusalem, which I Have Chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe. 33I Will Do This because they have forsaken ME and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molek the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in obedience to ME, nor done what is right in My Eyes, nor kept MY Decrees and Laws as David, Solomon’s father, did.

34“ ‘But I Will Not Take the whole kingdom out of Solomon’s hand; I Have Made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of David MY servant, whom I Chose and who obeyed MY Commands and Decrees. 35I Will Take the kingdom from his son’s hands and Give you ten tribes. 36I Will Give one tribe to his son so that David My servant may always have a lamp before ME in Jerusalem, the city where I Chose To Put MY Name.37However, as for you, I Will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 38If you do whatever I Command you and walk in obedience to ME and do what is right in MY Eyes by obeying MY Decrees and Commands, as David MY servant did, I Will Be with you. I Will Build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I Built for David and Will give Israel to you. 39I Will Humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever.’ ”

40Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt, to Shishak the king, and stayed there until Solomon’s death.

Solomon’s Death

41As for the other events of Solomon’s reign—all he did and the wisdom he displayed—are they not written in the book of the annals of Solomon? 42Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years.43Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.

Solomon’s Apostasy

There is not a more melancholy and astonishing instance of human depravity in the sacred Scriptures, than that here recorded.

Solomon became a public worshiper of abominable idols! Probably he by degrees gave way to pride and luxury, and thus lost his zeal for true wisdom. Nothing forms in itself a security against the deceitfulness and depravity of the human heart. Nor will old age cure the heart of any evil propensity. If our sinful passions are not crucified and mortified by the Grace of GOD, they never will die of themselves, but will last even when opportunities to gratify them are taken away.

Let anyone who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall. We see how weak we are of ourselves without the Grace of GOD.  Let us therefore live in constant dependence on HIS Grace. Let us watch and be sober: ours is a dangerous warfare, and in an enemy's country, while our worst foes are the traitors in our own hearts.

Solomon's reign was as long as his father's, but his life was not so. Sin shortened his days. If the world, with all its advantages, could satisfy the soul, and afford real joy, Solomon would have found it so. But he was disappointed in all, and to warn us, has left this record of all earthly enjoyments, 

Vanity, Vanity, All is Vanity!

The New Testament declares that One Greater Than Solomon Is Come To Reign over us, and to Possess the throne of HIS father David. May we not see something of CHRIST'S Excellency faintly represented to us in this figure?

Luke 11:31

“The queen of Sheba will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now Someone Greater Than Solomon Is here--but you refuse to listen.”

Solomon In All His Glory Was Not Dressed As Beautifully As These Lilies Are In The Field

1 Kings 10:1-29 NIV

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

1When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to The Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. 2Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. 3Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. 4When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, 5the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at The Temple of The LORDshe was overwhelmed.

6She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 7But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. 8How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!  

9 Praise Be To The LORD your GOD, WHO Has Delighted In you and Placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of The LORD'S Eternal Love for Israel, HE Has Made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.

10And she gave the king 120 talentsb of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

11(Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwoodc and precious stones. 12The king used the almugwood to make supportsd for the Temple of The Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.)

13King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.

Solomon’s Splendor

14The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents,e 15not including the revenues from merchants and traders and from all the Arabian kings and the governors of the territories.

16King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekelsf of gold went into each shield. 17He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold, with three minasg of gold in each shield. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.

18Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. 19The throne had six steps, and its back had a rounded top. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. 20Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom. 

21All King Solomon’s goblets were gold, and all the household articles in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s days. 22The king had a fleet of trading shipsh at sea along with the ships of Hiram. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.

23King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 24The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 25Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.

26Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses,i which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 27The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. 28Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kuej —the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price. 29They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty.k They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.

The Queen of Sheba

(J. Macaulay, M. A.)

In this history, there are various points of view in which the Queen of Sheba appears as a type and representation of the Church, as we know that Solomon is in many respects a striking type of CHRIST. We have illustrations of GOD's Dealings with His people, and of the workings of Divine Grace, in the following particulars relating to the Queen of Sheba.

I. THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD'S ELECTION, AND THE FREENESS OF HIS COVENANT MERCY AND GRACE, are set forth in her being brought to the knowledge of the truth and being taught and led by The SPIRIT of GOD. The Calling of GOD Is Not Confined To any time or place or people. Rahab of Jericho, Ruth the Moabitess, Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, the King of Nineveh, and other interesting characters may be cited, along with this Queen of Sheba, to whom GOD Came in the Sovereignty and freeness of His Grace.

II. WE SEE IN THIS HISTORY HOW THE PURPOSES OF GOD ARE SURE TO BE ACCOMPLISHED AND FULFILLED. In the lives of saints and holy men of old, whether in the Scriptures or in private biographies, many such wonderful leadings of Providence can be admired. Every child of GOD can tell of such in his own experience.

III. WE OBSERVE IN THE EXPERIENCE OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA THE ORDINARY WORKINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN THE HEART. Hard questions arise when the mind thinks at all about spiritual things, and recur all through the Christian's experience.