The Divided Kingdom – Week 2 – Adversaries Abound

February 11, 2018

The Divided Kingdom – Week 2 – Adversaries Abound

The Divided Kingdom – Week 2 – Adversaries Abound

Turn in your Bibles to 1 Kings 11:14-43
Quick review
    So what are we going to be covering?
About 400 years are covered.  Israel being split in two to the end of the Old Tesement Period
Source materials
    Kings, Chronicles & Prophets
One of the Misunderstandings of Kings and Chronicles is that Kings was written to northern kingdom (Israel/Ephraim) and Chronicles was written to the southern kingdom (Judah).  The reason for this is the fact that Kings deals with the Kings in the north and the south, when Chronicles almost exclusively deals with the south.   This is not as much about the audience as the time frame.  Remember Kings was written while the nation was in exile, and the purpose of Kings was to explain how they had ended up in the exile.   In other words what did we do wrong to end up here?  Kings was meant to be corrective to those in the midst of a culture saturated with pagan thought, and struggling with how do we live righteous lives that honor God so we don’t end up in the same mess again.   Many of the messages we learn will have a tone of correction, and they will show how follow the way of man never leads to righteous or godly living.  Ultimately God will not bless that kind of life.
On the flip side, Chronicles was written to those brought out of captivity, It focuses mainly on the line of kings from David.  The reason for this was that it was intended to be corrective to those who did not know the ways of God because that knowledge was lost.  God through the writer was reminding His people how to live in the favor He wanted to give them.  It is intended to show how God faithfully calls His people to follow and love Him and if they do this he will pour out blessings that they won’t be able to contain. (Mal 3)
As we go through this we will see 2 very distinct things about the divided kingdom.
1. That the southern kingdom was 1 dynasty.  Every king that reigned was from the house and linage of David.  Think about that for 1 second.  There was no one who was king in the south that was not one of David’s descendants.   Why is that a big deal?   For almost 400 years, God continued to keep his promise and word, and even after that point He still is keeping it.  When Jesus came on the scene and was crucified he was called what?  The King of the Jews.  No one else has ever had that title since.   It shows us God’s providential hand in who He places in leadership.  Rom 13 tells us that God is the one who puts people in places of authority and it is His job to deal with them.  We are to submit to them as we submit to God.  If we do not we will receive judgement.  God has a way of working His plan through all kinds of messed up people.
The second distinct thing we see is the north did not follow this pattern.  Instead they had 9 different lines of kings,  The number nine in the Old Testament is oddly associated with complete judgement and destruction. There was not one king in the north that there is anything good said about Him, except the first one.  And His track record is not good either.  His name is Jeroboam son of Nebat.  There are actually a few kinds that have the same name so the son of Nebat helps to keep them straight for one another.  We will begin to see His story starting today and we will conclude it next week.
Last week we saw that because of Solomon’s choice to turn away from God and His way He was told the Kingdom would be torn apart out of the hands of his son.   Today we will look at how that happened and learn some powerful lessons in the process.
Lets read 1 Kings 11:14-43 and then we will go back and discuss some of the lessons we learn.
14 Then the Lord raised up against Solomon an adversary, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom. 15 Earlier 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. 16 Joab and all the Israelites stayed there for six months, until they had destroyed all the men in Edom. 17 But Hadad, still only a boy, fled to Egypt with some Edomite officials who had served his father. 18 They 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.
19 Pharaoh was so pleased with Hadad that he gave him a sister of his own wife, Queen Tahpenes, in marriage. 20 The 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.
21 While 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!”
23 And God raised up against Solomon another adversary, Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 When 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. 25 Rezon 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.
26 Also, 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.
27 Here 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. 28 Now 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.
29 About 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, 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 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. 32 But 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. 33 I 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. 35 I will take the kingdom from his son’s hands and give you ten tribes. 36 I 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. 37 However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 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.’”
40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt, to Shishak the king, and stayed there until Solomon’s death.  41 As 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? 42 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 43 Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.
God raised up the an adversary.  It is important to realize that many times we look at difficult people or situations and think that is from the enemy.  I believe we often give the enemy too much credit.  James reminds us:
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
So when we look at the difficulties of life the adversaries we face, we must understand that it may just be something that God is allowing for us to grow closer to Him, or it could be His way of driving us to repentance.
Lets look at the first to adversaries God brings up.
14 Then the Lord raised up against Solomon an adversary, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom. 15 Earlier 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. 16 Joab and all the Israelites stayed there for six months, until they had destroyed all the men in Edom. 17 But Hadad, still only a boy, fled to Egypt with some Edomite officials who had served his father. 18 They 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.
19 Pharaoh was so pleased with Hadad that he gave him a sister of his own wife, Queen Tahpenes, in marriage. 20 The 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.
21 While 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!”
One of the things I have learned to do in any Old Testament passage is to pay attention to names.  Sometimes there is a significant reason for the names that are included in scripture.
Hadad – pagan God of the storm, war
Edomite – Brother of Jacob who became Israel.
What we will see is that this problem of a divided kingdom is rooted all the way back to the time of the patriarchs.  This feud has been brewing for much longer than we could possibly imagine. The truth is our past matters.  Not because it defines us, but rather because if left undealt with the sins and problems of the past will resurface and cause problems in the present.  We cannot afford to sweep things under the rug and expect things to just go away.
23 And God raised up against Solomon another adversary, Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 When 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. 25 Rezon 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.
In fact these to stories remind us of that fact that God see it all and we must deal with things.  In fact the name here are significant as well…
Rezon – Vision/Seeing  – Eliadah – God is knowing
These stories we see here is a prime example of only dealing with the symptom or the outward issue but not digging in long enough to make sure it is completely wiped out.  Things hidden away tend to come back and haunt us at the most difficult times.
I believe there is also something else we learn from these adversaries.  The longer you let them hang around the stronger they become.  We must deal with things when they are small so they don’t become bigger.  This frankly is one of my biggest weaknesses.  Often I am not will to deal with a problem until it is big.  Not because I love big problems, but because I often what to show grace and the enemy uses that against me.
It is not unloving or even not showing grace to others when we call things out.  Jesus was full of grace and TRUTH.  We need to learn how to call each other out in grace by reminding each other of the Gospel.  If we are coming at it with a motive of loving the person and not wanting them to suffer with the consequences of their sin, it is one of the greatest things we can do for each other.
26 Also, 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. 27 Here 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. 28 Now 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.
Here we are introduced to the first king of Israel in the northern Kingdom.
Jeroboam – may the people be great,  insurrectionist, anti authority.
Industrious, hard worker, trusted ally.  Betrayer.
Zeredah – ambush; change of dominion
Zeruah – leprous; wasp; hornet; harlot
29 About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, and Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him(Jeroboam) on the way, wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone out in the country, 30 and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he(Jeroboam) was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 Then 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. 32 But 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. 33 I 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.
Ahijah – friend of Jehovah. From Shiloh. Major center of Jewish worship before Jerusalem’
This is all orchestrated by God.  God is going to use this broken person and give Him an opportunity to be used by God in a mighty way.
Once again we see God reinforce the reason for the dividing of the Kingdom.  It was because they had rebelled and walked away from follow God.  They began to worship Ashteroth, Molek, Chemosh.
Ashteroth – Goddess of War and Sex (Fertility) – Ishtar  (LIT. 2 horned -Cresent Moon)
In Ashtoreth’s worship services, male worshipers (committed sodomy) with priests and priestesses of the goddess. The priests and male prostitutes, who were consecrated to her cult were called qadesh, qedishim or sodomites. In addition, physical relations …between male and male worshipers and male and female worshipers was viewed as an offering to the goddess.
Chemosh – Human sacrifice.  possibly the moabite version of Baal
Molek – Represented by a golden bull, God of Child Sacrifice
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. 35 I will take the kingdom from his son’s hands and give you ten tribes. 36 I 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.
God is faithful to His promise.
God’s covenant with David included a promise of continuity of his dynasty: “When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. But I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul . . . Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me” (2 Sam. 7:15-16).
37 However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 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.’”
This is amazing to me!  God is so loving, so kind, so patient with us.  Here He promises a blessing for faithful obedience to Jeroboam.  Unfortunately as we will see next week he does not follow through.  God gives us so many chances to respond to Him but we make the choice to follow him or not.
40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt, to Shishak the king, and stayed there until Solomon’s death.  
Solomon’s last act was attempted murder. (just like Saul)
Jeroboam Fled to Egypt
41 As 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? 42 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 43 Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.
This was Solomon’s Epitaph – The sad part of the story of Solomon’s life is He was not celebrated in His death, instead there was no real fanfare.  All the good he did would be wiped away and ultimately he would be remember for the division of the kingdom.
Lessons:
Not every problem or adversary is from the enemy.
Our sins from the past (if swept under the rug) will resurface and God will use that as something to deal with in our lives.
    (Numbers 32:23) “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.
Deal with issues soon while they are small.
If we do not deal with our sin, God will bring judgement to us and those around us.
No matter what we have done God still wants to use us and bless us if we will obey Him.
It is not how you start, it is how you finish that will be remembered.

For more from this series you can CLICK HERE.

As soon as sermons are ready they are posted on our Facebook Page.  Please, consider liking our page