Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Hugh Promise, A Huge Opportunity Missed

Men of the Bible Series - Jeroboam said "I think that I will do it my way."

1 Kings 11:29 One day as Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh met him along the way. Ahijah was wearing a new cloak.

The two of them were alone in a field, 30 and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten of these pieces, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon, and I will give ten of the tribes to you! 32 But I will leave him one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.

37 And I will place you on the throne of Israel, and you will rule over all that your heart desires. 38 If you listen to what I tell you and follow my ways and do whatever I consider to be right, and if you obey my decrees and commands, as my servant David did, then I will always be with you. I will establish an enduring dynasty for you as I did for David, and I will give Israel to you.

1 Kings 12:26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “Unless I am careful, the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David. 27 When these people go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Temple of the Lord, they will again give their allegiance to King Rehoboam of Judah. They will kill me and make him their king instead.”

28 So on the advice of his counselors, the king made two gold calves. He said to the people, “It is too much trouble for you to worship in Jerusalem. Look, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!”

King Solomon blew it (1 Kings 11:33) by entertaining the religious practices of his hundreds of wives. God will not tolerate being in second place for too long and he told Solomon that he would take the kingdom away from his son. Instead of Rehoboam, the next king would be Jeroboam, just an average guy that was not of royal descent. Solomon was so furious that he tried to have Jeroboam killed so the future king had to go hide out in Egypt. (1 Kings 11:40)

It seems amazing from our point of view that Jeroboam would see how severely that God had dealt with Solomon for idolatry and yet he decided to use idolatry as a way of keeping his people from having to travel to Jerusalem to worship. God made a huge opportunity for Jeroboam, God promised: "I will always be with you. I will establish an enduring dynasty for you as I did for David" That's an incredible offer!

God has made amazing opportunities for us, check out a few of them in these scriptures: 2 Peter 1:4, Philippians 4:19 and 1 Corinthians 2:9. All that he requires of us is that we love him as the one true God, accept his Son as our sacrifice for our sins and that we strive to obey his word and live by its precepts.

I need to be "digging the word" each day so that I will be ready to take God up on his promises and opportunities that come my way. 

Lord help me to not take your promises and opportunities for granted.

You might like to read: Men of the Bible blog series.