A STUDY OF 1 KINGS: You Lose Every Time You Compete Against God 1 Kings 14

Dr. Jerry A. Collins  



Verse 1: At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam became sick. Here is the occasion which prompted the final demise of King Jeroboams rule in the northern kingdom. This is the son that Jeroboam had planned to take over the kingdom when he died. "Abijah" means ‘the Lord is my father”. This sickness is punishment to Jeroboam for his sin.

Verse 2: Jeroboam said to his wife, "Arise now, and disguise yourself. Probably for the avoidance of recognition by the people. Jeroboam did not want his subjects to know that he was consulting a prophet of the Lord. Especially after promoting idolatrous worship from one end of the land to the other. This was a familiar pattern for Jeroboam. In his time of need, he turned to the true God and men of God. He knew that idols could not help him in any true crisis. And go to Shiloh; behold, Ahijah the prophet is there. Jeroboam did not tell his wife to pray for their son, or to ask the prophet to pray. He wanted to use Ahijah the prophet as a fortuneteller instead of seeking him as a man of God. This same Ahijah had told Jeroboam he would be king of the ten tribes of Israel. Who spoke concerning me that I would be king over this people. The entire point of disguise is to deceive. Jeroboam is fearful that God is in this sickness meant to take his sons life due to Jeroboams sin.

Verse 3: Take ten loaves with you, some cakes and a jar of honey reflected the means of a common person, not royalty. The present that Jeroboam sent to the prophet was meager, not what a king's wife would bring. Yet, at the same time Jeroboam might be fearful, he also seems to treat this prophet with contempt sending just loaves and honey. She is to inquire whether her child will live or not? He will tell you what will happen to the boy. Hopefully, the deception will work even against a true prophet.   

Verse 4: We learn some additional detail about the prophet Ahijah, namely, that he could not see, for his eyes were dim because of his age. As it turned out, there was no non ulterior motive reason for the wife of Jeroboam to wear a disguise. Old age made Ahijah unable to see, or they "stood" fixed and immovable, as the eyes of blind men are. Or the nerves and muscles of his eyes stood within the holes thereof, so that he could not see objects.

Verse 5: Now the Lord had said to Ahijah, "Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to inquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. So, the conniving plan was revealed by the Lord to the prophet. The woman’s disguise and Ahijah’s blindness didn’t matter, because God told Ahijah the truth. God included when she arrives that she will pretend to be another woman. For dramatic effect the writer prefers to have us hear the message from Ahijah’s lips as he speaks to the king’s wife. So he blandly describes you shall say thus and thus to her.

PT—There are no secrets with God including secret sin. There is no darkness or deep shadow where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves (Job 34:21). It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness (Daniel 2:22). For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has {anything} been secret, but that it should come to light (Mark 4:22, Luke 8:17). Why are secret sins attractive to us? Why do we use deception? It is a lie from Satan the father of lies that we won’t be held accountable for these sins. And we convince ourselves no one knows we commit them, even God. How can we resist secret sins? Examine the thoughts of your heart. Be on the alert for temptations. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11), knowing that God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

Verse 6: While Jeroboams wife arrives Ahijah responds why do you pretend to be another woman? For I am sent to you with a harsh message [or heavy tidings], or hard things, such as would be very disagreeable to her and her husband. From this, the wife of Jeroboam learned two things. First, that the news was bad. Second, that though she thought she was sent to Ahijah by her husband, in truth Ahijah was sent by God with a message to her and Jeroboam.

An Application— God cannot be manipulated into agreeing with your scheming to get your way. God will intervene to accomplish whatever it is he has purposed to do and no amount of conniving, manipulation or opposition will assist in getting your way. Submission and obedience is the posture of a servant of the Lord.



Verse 7: God reminds Jeroboam of His prior commitment to him. Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over My people Israel. Unfortunately, Jeroboam scarcely proved to be one. The Lord is speaking through Ahijah. The Lord God is still over Jeroboam, even though he had done this terrible thing. It was the Lord who exalted him, and it would be the Lord who brought him down.

Verse 8: God continued with his previous display of support for Jeroboam. And tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you. The ten tribes that were torn away from Solomon, David's son, are the tribes that followed Jeroboam. David had loved God in his heart. It was the sin of idolatry that Solomon had gotten into that caused the tribes to be given to Jeroboam. Then God brought the hammer down. Yet you have not been like My servant David, who kept My commandments and who followed Me with all his heart, to do only that which was right in My sight. Not that he had not had time and opportunity to prove otherwise. In stark contrast, David was never guilty of idolatry, but always constantly and cordially attended the pure worship of God. And was careful to do everything in that according to the will of God, whatever else he might be deficient in.

Verse 9: God’s indicts Jeroboam. You also have done more evil than all who were before you. Saul was a bad man and a bad king. Solomon was a good king, but a bad man. Though both men were bad, Jeroboam was far worse. He became the measuring line for the bad kings of Israel to come. He had installed a paganize system of worship for the entire population of the northern kingdom. You have gone and made for yourself other gods and molten images to provoke Me to anger. This is specifically speaking of the two golden calves along with all the other idolatry. They not only made the golden calves, but worshipped them as well. And have cast Me behind your back. This was a powerful description of intense contempt towards God.

PT—It is the same figure of speech used to describe God’s forgiveness of our sins. He puts them behind His back, or in other words, He forgets them. That is good news when it describes God’s treatment of our sins (Isaiah 38:17), but it is tragically bad news when it describes a person’s treatment of God! This is the message of the Old Testament. Remember God and do not forget.

Verse 10: God’s judgment was to cut off Jeroboam’s descendants so he would not have a continuing dynasty. I am bringing calamity on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male person, both bond and free in Israel. God will not leave a dog of his, or rather a male (one’s that urinate against the wall). Jeroboam could have had a lasting dynasty, but he wasted the promise of God along with his unbelief, idolatry, and outright rejection of God. Furthermore, I will make a clean sweep of the house of Jeroboam, as one sweeps away dung until it is all gone. Signifying that Jeroboam's family was as loathsome and abominable to the Lord as dung is to men. And that he would make as clean a riddance of them as men do of dung when they sweep it out, and will not leave the least scrap behind. This was all an outrage to God.

An Application— Christianity was never meant to be syncretized with other faiths. It is an exclusive not inclusive faith. Jeroboam wanted his idolatry and David’s God too. While the word syncretism is not in the Bible, it is alluded to as a violation of the very first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Deuteronomy 5:7). ... Another way of phrasing this is, “You shall have no other gods BESIDES me.” In other words, faith in God cannot be syncretized with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christian Science, Catholicism. Today, that looks like the COEXIST acronym. That includes syncretizing teaching like evolution, genderism, homosexuality, or transgenderism, and all tentacles extending from such perverted understanding as to reality.

Verse 11: You would think that God had made Himself clear about the matter of Jeroboams dynastic aspirations, but not so. God further declares anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs will eat. Jeroboam’s descendants would not even enjoy burial. Wild animals would eat them. Dogs were scavengers in ancient Israel, not pets. Birds refers to vultures and ravens. And he who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat; for the Lord has spoken it. The offspring of Jeroboam would not receive burial in the family tomb; instead, their bodies would be ravaged by wild animals. The covenant curse (of Deut. 28:26), was applied to Jeroboam’s male descendants. There could be nothing more disgraceful.



Verses 12-13: The bad news was that the child would die. This would be an immediate judgment as she was entering the threshold of the house (v 17). Yet his death would be a demonstration of mercy, because at least he would be buried in honor and properly mourned. All Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he alone of Jeroboam’s family will come to the grave. Such great judgment was coming upon the house of Jeroboam that all would see that by comparison, this son was blessed in his death. His death at this time was really a divine blessing in view of what he would have experienced had he lived. It also appears that he had done something that had not gone unnoticed by the Lord. Because in him something good was found toward the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. We do not know what, but we know God notices when we do.

PT—We live for an audience of one. Well, that is actually what the Bible calls us to do. Therefore, we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Verses 14-15:  Moreover, the Lord will raise up for Himself a king over Israel who will cut off the house of Jeroboam this day and from now on. The king God raised up was Baasha the king who executed judgment upon the entire household of Jeroboam. It came about as soon as he was king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam any persons alive, until he had destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Ahijah the Shilonite (1 Kings 15:29). Judgment had already begun. The house of Jeroboam will be so far removed, there will be no memory. Ahijah announced God’s stern judgment on Israel for joining Jeroboam’s apostasy. God then compared Jeroboam’s northern kingdom of Israel as a reed is shaken in the water. Struck by the Lord, Israel would sway like a reed in a rushing river, a biblical metaphor for political instability (Matthew 11:7; Luke 7:24). One day, He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River. This would be the distant judgment that awaited the nation exiled by the Assyrians.

This would finally be fulfilled some 300 years later. God knew that the root of Jeroboam’s apostasy would eventually result in the bitter fruit of national exile in 2 Kings 17:23. All of this was because they have made their Asherim, provoking the Lord to anger. The “groves” (literally, Asherim), were sacred trees or poles set aside for the Canaanite goddess Asherah. The grove worship was yet another type of idolatrous worship condemned here. The people could have refused to worship the false gods of Jeroboam, but they did not. They were involved too. The punishment would reach to them all.

PT—God has His own timetable and here we see predictive prophecy once again as God puts His sovereignty on display.

Verse 16: He will give up Israel on account of the sins of Jeroboam. He did this by his devices and stratagems, by his example and edicts, and by the methods he took to prevent Israel from worshipping in Jerusalem as the Mosaic Law stipulated. Which he committed and with which he made Israel to sin. It appears that Israel sinned along with Jeroboam, and the LORD had condemned them along with Jeroboam. He sinned himself, and led others into his sin. They are all guilty.

Verses 17-20: With all said and done Jeroboam's wife arose and departed and came to Tirzah. Immediately upon arrival the child died. All Israel buried him and mourned for him. He is buried in an honorable manner, suitable to his rank and pedigree. Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he made war and how he reigned and then he rested with his fathers. 2 Chronicles 13:20 tells us that the Lord struck him, and he died not the common death of all men, but by some remarkable stroke: beside the loss of five hundred thousand of his men in one battle with Abijah king of Judah (2 Chronicles 13:17).

An Application— We reap what we sow. By nature, there are consequences built into the fabric of life. Jeroboam was given a golden opportunity to advance his reward by complying with God’s will. Instead, he foolishly, stupidly, and purposefully threw it away and launched a train wreck of consequences that

ruined his life and those of his people.



Verses 21-24: So, what about Rehoboam? We learn that his mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess. Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord. First, his mothers name is reported at the beginning and ending of his reign (v 31). That was to highlight the idolatrous influence she had in his development as a leader Naamah the Ammonitess. She being the instrument of drawing him into idolatry, which it is very probable she practiced in the days of Solomon (1 Kings 11:5). Second, Rehoboam facilitated his own idolatry in the south. They provoked Him to jealousy more than all that their fathers had done, with the sins which they committed. All of this done in the very city which the Lord had chosen from all the tribes of Israel to put His name there. Right under God’s nose. Signs of idolatrous practice were everywhere. For they also built for themselves high places and sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and beneath every luxuriant tree (verses 23-24). They even practiced sacred prostitution to promote fertility. There were also male cult prostitutes in the land (verse 24). Judah had begun the downward slide toward doom that Israel was in.

Verses 25-28: Then, sensing the vulnerability of the southern kingdom at this time, Shishak the king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. With the death of Solomon, the façade of stability between the tribes crumbled. The land returned to its unstable condition prior to the reigns of Saul and David. The north threw off the enforced control from Jerusalem. Once the land was weakened, Egypt would be in a much stronger position to extend her influence again over the region or reap some of the benefits of coastal and southern trade. Thus, Shishak took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house. Both 2 Chronicles and archeology confirm this account. The record in 2 Chronicles 12 gives many details that the writer of 1 Kings summarized. Solomon left great wealth to his son Rehoboam, both in the temple and in the palace. After only five years, that wealth was largely gone. He took everything, even taking all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.

So King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place. Rehoboam made in their stead shields of bronze, and with these pathetically tried to keep up former appearances. The replacement of gold with bronze is a perfect picture of the decline under the days of Rehoboam. The dynasty of David went from gold to bronze in five years. Under Rehoboam, the replacement bronze shields were kept in a protected guardroom until they were specifically needed for state occasions. He committed them to the care of the commanders of the guard who guarded the doorway of the king's house. It appears, that Rehoboam still went to the temple and worshipped, even though he was allowing the idol worship.

PT The chastisement of God came on Judah immediately. God wanted them to repent, and return to worship of the One True God. The reason Shishak thought he could win a war with them, is because the ten tribes had broken off from Judah.

Verses 29-31: Here is the summary of His reign and demise. There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. These two were very different. Rehoboam governed as a tyrant, started bad and humbled himself to God towards the end of his life (2 Chronicles 2:6-7). Jeroboam governed as a populist, started with great promise but ended terribly.



·         Instead of getting our way God wants you to learn to trust His way. Christianity is a religion of rescue. It is designed for the desperate.

·         A godly leader who leads understands that his need is total and not partial. So, that prompts dependence upon God, not independence from God.

·         What God is looking for is a man or woman who is willing to wholeheartedly trust God and His will and perform it fully. Cooperate don’t compete.