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Made Easy


Jeroboam was the king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  God put him in charge of 10 tribes of Israel.   He was put in charge because Solomon had sinned by marrying foreign women who led him into idol worship.  As a punishment for his sins, God told Solomon he would rip his kingdom in two.  After the death of Solomon, and during the time of Jeroboam’s life, this ripping of Solomon’s kingdom into two happened.  Jeroboam became the king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel while Rehoboam became the king of Southern Kingdom of Judah.  Rehoboam reigned over 2 tribes, which were named “Benjamin” and “Judah.”  Unfortunately, Jeroboam’s story has a sad ending as he immediately became an idol worshipper and caused the Northern Kingdom of Israel to follow in his footsteps.

          In 1 Kings 11, we see God’s punishment upon King Solomon for marrying foreign wives and allowing them to influence him to become an idol worshipper.  The Bible says, “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. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. 11 So 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. 12 Nevertheless, 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. 13 Yet 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” (1 Kings 11:9-13 New International Version).  As you can see, God ripped away the kingdom from Solomon’s son Rehoboam and gave 10 tribes to Jeroboam as explained earlier.  This opened the door for Jeroboam to soon become king of the 10 tribes after Solomon’s death.

          Furthermore, we find out more about the life of Jeroboam in 1 Kings.  The Bible says he was one of the officers working for Solomon before he died (1 Kings 11:26).  He was over the laborers of the tribes of Joseph (1 Kings 11:27-28).  The Bible tells us that Jeroboam met a prophet called “Ahijah.”  Remember, a prophet was a preacher in the Old Testament day who would deliver a message from God to the hearer.  Ahijah was no exception.  He revealed to Jeroboam that God was going to rip away 10 of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel and allow him to become king over these 10 tribes.  God even told Jeroboam why He was taking away these tribes from Solomon.  It was because Solomon became an idol worshipper.  Solomon’s disobedience to the commands of God caused his blessing to be taken away from him!  Even more, God told Jeroboam that these 10 tribes would not be given unto him until the death of Solomon.  After Solomon’s death, God would take these 10 tribes from one of Solomon’s sons.  We know this son was Rehoboam. (1 Kings 11:29-37). 

Look at the promise God made to Jeroboam, which is written in 1 Kings 11:38-39 and reads, “38 If 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. 39 I will humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever” (New International Version).  As you can see, God was going to bless Jeroboam mightily with a kingdom that would endure if he would only obey the Word of God.  Do you think he did so?  Of course not!  As you will find out, he almost immediately disobeyed God in a mighty way!  Lastly, Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he escaped safely into Egypt out of harm’s way.

          Moving on to 1 Kings 12, we see King Rehoboam in charge of the entire 12 tribes of the children of Israel.  The Bible shows us that all the children of Israel and Jeroboam were there to ask him to lighten their burden of forced labor and taxation.  Rehoboam consulted with the elders in charge at the time and they advised him to lighten the load on the children of Israel.  However, Rehoboam did not listen.  Instead, he listened to his peers who were younger and they advised him to be harsher on the children of Israel.  As a result, 10 tribes of the children of Israel broke away from Rehoboam and made Jeroboam king.  Jeroboam’s new kingdom would be called “Israel” and Rehoboam’s kingdom would be called “Judah” (1 Kings 12:1-25).

Furthermore in 1 Kings 12, we see Jeroboam making a crucial mistake for political reasons.  Since he believed that if the 10 tribes would continue worshipping in Jerusalem, they would again become loyal to Rehoboam.  Remember, Jerusalem was the capital of Judah.  So, each time the children of Israel were going to worship, they would be going into Rehoboam’s territory and Jeroboam feared them returning to Judah.  So, in order to keep the loyalty of the 10 tribes, Jeroboam set up idols for them to worship.  They were golden calves.  He put them in two of his towns, which were Bethel and Dan.  That way, the 10 tribes would never have to leave his territory (1 Kings 12:25-33).  Later in Bible history, this idol worship would cause the 10 tribes to be destroyed by God.  Jeroboam’s false religion set them up for failure that would occur hundreds of years later.  God would use the Assyrian nation to conquer the 10 tribes and uproot them from their homeland for the sin of idolatry.  Jeroboam was a bad leader, because he was selfish.  He loved power more than pleasing God.  So, he compromised making God angry to make himself happy.  That will never work church!  Always put the Lord first.  In fact, if he would have kept God first, he would have never had to worry about losing the kingdom to someone else.  Remember, God had promised longevity to his kingdom if he would only obey Him!  Jeroboam has already crossed the line.  As a result, his kingdom will not last.  Keep God first as God can work anything out for you!  You do not need corruption for a blessing!  God owns everything and can bless you any time He wants and in any way He wants (James 1:17).  Obedience over selfishness should always be the rule of your and my life! 

          Moving forward, the mistakes that Jeroboam made are being made today.  The Bible says that we must all worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  To worship in the spirit means to give God our complete obedience, dedication, and focus when we are worshipping the Lord.  To worship in the truth means to worship only the way God has told us to do in the New Testament of the Bible.  Thus, anything outside of what God literally commanded is sin in His sight just like the golden calves were sin in His sight in Jeroboam’s time.  So, always know to follow God’s commandments strictly in order to be pleasing to Him in the worship service.  Otherwise, God will not accept our worship (Matthew 15:9).

          In 1 Kings 13, we see God deliver a message of judgment to King Jeroboam due to his idolatry.  The Bible says that God sent a prophet who told him that a man named Josiah would defile the altars of the idols Jeroboam made with human bones.  These human bones would come from the idol’s priests.  God was showing his displeasure with Jeroboam’s idols and even names the person who would be responsible in destroying the altar of worship of these idols.  So, as you can see, God would work directly against Jeroboam’s false religion (1 Kings 13:1-2). In fact, this means that God would destroy the religion and judge the priests in charge of it.  Furthermore, we see the man of God revealing God’s curse against Jeroboam’s altar in verses 3-4.  In fact, the prophet gave a sign that the altar would be broken and the ashes upon it would be poured out (1 Kings 13:3).  Obviously, Jeroboam did not like this prophecy from the man of God.  So, he tried to grab the prophet to have him arrested.  However, when Jeroboam reached out his hand to grab the prophet, it shriveled up as a punishment from God!  Also, just as God’s word foretold, the altar split apart and the ashes were poured out (1 Kings 13:4-5)!  Jeroboam asked the man of God to pray for him so he could be healed.  The prophet prayed and the hand was returned to normal (1 Kings 13:6).  Jeroboam wanted the prophet to remain with him, but the prophet absolutely refused to stay even though Jeroboam offered him a meal and a gift.  He refused, because God commanded him not to stay with Jeroboam (1 Kings 13:7-10).

So far, the prophet seemed to be victorious in this story, but unfortunately, he would fall.  The Bible says that on the way home, the man of God met another old prophet from Bethel.  This old prophet asked the man of God to come home with him and share a meal.  However, the man of God refused to do so, because he was commanded by God not to eat or drink water in Bethel or return home to Judah the same way he came (1 Kings 13:11-17).  However, the Bible says, “18 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.) 19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house” (1 Kings 13:18-19 New International Version).

What did the man of God from Judah do wrong?  Well, he accepted the old prophet’s words without consulting with God.  The lesson learned is that when two people are saying two different things and claiming that God said it, the only way to confirm the truth is to go to God, Himself.  We do that today by going to the Bible.  As they say, the Bible is “cast in stone.”  That is, the Bible is the truth of God’s Word and cannot be changed.  So, if something being said to you is not in the Bible, then it is not truth.  If it is not truth, then the false words should never be followed.  Otherwise, we are sinning in the process. Don’t believe everything someone says.  Verify it as Bible truth before you agree with it!

Unfortunately for the man of God from Judah, God would punish him.  That punishment would be with death.  A lion mauled him to death.  By a miracle, his body was left on the side of the road.  The lion who mauled him and the donkey he was riding on were standing by his dead body (1 Kings 13:20-25).

What do we learn from the death of the man of God from Judah?  Well, we learn that when God commands something, he means business.  In other words, He requires obedience out of us in order to save us (James 2:20; Matthew 7:21-23).  You see, the man of God knew the truth, but did not obey it.  Thus, he brought on the punishment to himself.  The same thing is true for us when it comes to the salvation of our souls.  When you know the truth, you cannot depart from it and expect heaven to be your home.  There are three ways of departing from God.  The first is where one stops believing in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of our souls (Hebrews 3:12; 10:39).  When we stop believing, we are not saved.  The second is to engage in un-repented sin (Acts 8:22).  In other words, when we are purposely rebellious to God and refuse to change, then we are no longer saved (James 2:20).  The third way is to start following man’s religious commandments and not the truth of God’s Word (Matthew 15:9; Titus 1:10-11; Galatians 1:8-9).  Unfortunately, there are a lot of men in the world proclaiming to have been sent by God, but are not.  They tell lies in the name of God that cause people to become disobedient to the things God has really commanded (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Mark 7:13).  Sometimes, they fool even those who know the truth and sway them from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  We call these types of preachers, “false teachers.”  We call what they teach, “false doctrine.”  Thus, you must know the Bible yourself to be saved and continue obeying the truth to remain saved!  Let no one sway you from your true obedience to God.  Otherwise, it just may cost you your soul!

Moving on to 1 Kings 14, we see that Jeroboam’s son became sick.  He sent his wife to Ahijah.  Ahijah was a prophet from God.  She came in disguise so that she would not be recognized as Jeroboam’s wife when she met Ahijah.  Jeroboam expected an answer from Ahijah regarding whether or not his son would recover from his sickness (1 Kings 14:1-4).  God made Ahijah wise to the game Jeroboam and his wife were playing before the wife arrived.  When she arrived, Ahijah addressed her as Jeroboam’s wife.  Her trick did not work.  From the beginning of their meeting, Ahijah knew who she was (1 Kings 14:5-6)!  Here are the Words from God that Ahijah told her from 1 Kings 14:7-16 (New International Version):


7…I raised you up from among the people and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 8 I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. 9 You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger and turned your back on me. 10 “‘Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. 11 Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country. The Lord has spoken!’ 12 “As for you, go back home. When you set foot in your city, the boy will die. 13 All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only one belonging to Jeroboam who will be buried, because he is the only one in the house of Jeroboam in whom the Lord, the God of Israel, has found anything good. 14 “The Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel who will cut off the family of Jeroboam. Even now this is beginning to happen. 15 And the Lord will strike Israel, so that it will be like a reed swaying in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that he gave to their ancestors and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they aroused the Lord’s anger by making Asherah poles.  16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and has caused Israel to commit.”


          In conclusion, as God said, the baby died.   Also, as the Lord said, a new king would come in and reign over the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  This means that the decedents of Jeroboam were removed from the throne forever.  This happened when Jeroboam’s son, Nadab was king.  He and all of the family of Jeroboam were killed by Baasha (1 Kings 15:25-31).  Then, Baasha became the king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  Thus, because of wickedness, God took away the blessing of the kingdom from Jeroboam and his family.  Remember, the same thing holds true for Christians today.  We must continue to obey God or we can lose the greatest blessing of all (Revelation 2:10).  That greatest blessing is salvation if we willfully continue to remain in sinful ways and will not change so God will forgive us (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:7-10). 

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