The Divided Kingdom – Week 3 – The Great Divide

February 18, 2018

The Divided Kingdom – Week 3 – The Great Divide

The Divided Kingdom – Week 3 – The Great Divide

Turn in your Bibles to 1 Kings 12:1-24. 2 Chronicles 10:1-11:4
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
Last week we saw that 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.  So we should deal with issues soon while they are small. But God still has a plan for us. It is not how you start, it is how you finish that will be remembered.
This week we will begin to look at what I call the great divide.  Here we will see the straw that broke the camels back.  The stupid decision that Rehoboam the son of Solomon made that led to the division on the kingdom.
Before we get there.  Let me show you a piece of the timeline.
Remember we are looking at the divided kingdom.  The way that Kings approaches this subject is they will flip back and forth between the southern and the northern kingdoms.  He will tell one story then say meanwhile… in the other part of the the kingdom.  Kind of like a soap opera. Never watched them myself but I remember my mom watching them. I prefer man soap operas (Marval Comics)  So last week we were introduced to Jeroboam… may the people be great King 1 line 1 of the northern kingdom.  Today we focus on Rehoboam …  who sets the people at liberty.  And we will see that He does exactly the opposite of the good idea of that but inevitably fulfills that in all the wrong ways.
Ray is the south Son of Solomon (SK1)
Jerry (NK1L1) is in the north, instituted by God with a promise of blessing for obedience.
Lets read:
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. 3 So 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.”
5 Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
6 Then 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.
7 They 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.”
8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9 He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
10 The 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. 11 My 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.’”
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14 he 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.” 15 So 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.
16 When 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. 17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
18 King 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.
20 When 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.
21 When 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.
22 But 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.
Minus a couple of words this is the exact same account found in 2 Chronicles 10:1-11:4.  It is almost word for word the same.  So we will not read Chronicles this time.  But I encourage you to make a footnote or a marker to Chronicles 10 in your Bible.
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. 
Rehoboam thought it was a done deal.  He had no thought that he would have any opposition. He was raised as the only son of King Solomon. The Bible gives us no indication that Solomon had any other sons.  No doubt he was raised with the very finest of things and given anything he desired.  We can only imagine that he had a a huge sense of entitlement.  Just like today entitlement breeds contempt.
  • The Higher the entitlement the lower the level of respect.
As believers we can fall into this same trap.  Thinking we deserve something because we follow or serve God.  This is a dangerous mindset to fall into.  Scripture tells us what we deserve… It is death.  The only one who did not derserve death was Jesus and Phil 2 says that He became obedient to the Father, even to death on the cross.  Let us not ever loose the truth that we deserve nothing in fact we deserve death.  It is only the grace of God that we receive anything from Him.
Also in a very real sense I think Ray was resting on his dads laurals.
Knowing of God is not the same as following god (His fathers relationship with God was not His relationship with God)
2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. 3 So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:
Remember Jerry was given a prophecy but Solomon tried to stop God’s plan by trying to kill him.  Now He returns to lead the people.
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.” 5 Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
I want you to notice they did not come bearing arms ready for an insurrection.  Instead they came to discuss terms for following Ray as king.
We will actually see that God is gracious and gives us so many opportunities to make the right choices.  It is His nature to give us what we need to succeed but we must make the most of what God gives us to do what he has called us to do.  In fact I see 4 things that God gives Ray in this moment.
Gods gifts to him: People were open for dialogue, He had time to consider, He had good counselors, He had friends
6 Then 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.
7 They 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.”
8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 
Two thoughts:
  • Don’t ask for counsel unless you intend on heeding it.
  • We need to be careful when we think we are more mature than we truly are.  Experience and time can teach us things we would not learn any other way.
9 He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
Ray had already made up his mind. He related to these guys and he already saw them as those on His side.
  • Don’t surround yourself with people who stroke your ego.
10 The 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. 11 My 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.’”
This is a fascinating picture… we often think that Solomons Kingdom was perfect but here we see the curtain pulled back and we realize that Solomon in the later part of his reign looked more like Pharoah than He did David.  Notice he levied heavy taxes on them,  He forced labor and slavery, He whipped people with scourges.
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14 he 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.” 
  • Who you listen to matters
  • Bravado is born from insecurity.
15 So 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.
16 When 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. 17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
This chant or response the people give is the exact chant that is found 2 Samuel 20:1. Where David has to unite the kingdom after Absolom tried to over throw him and died in the process.  Here we see the battle lines drawn of Judah and Israel.
This next verse is in my opionon some of the saddest part of the whole story.
18 King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. 
  • What He couldn’t accomplish with bravado, he tried with business as usual.
  • We can become so blinded to the truth because of our own pride and arrogance
  • To ignore a problem, is what leads to death.
King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem.
  • Instead of be broken over the death of the person he sent, He runs away.
  • What he couldn’t accomplish with bravado and business as usual,  he then runs from.
  • This demonstrates how easy it is to break up what belongs together than to restore what is broken.  home, church, friendship, country, kingdoms
  • Jesus says blessed are the peacemakers.
19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
20 When 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.
21 When 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.
Last ditch effort:  WAR
22 But this word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God: 
  • Prophet (but GOD)  notice up until now there was no mention of God.  not for counsel or wisdom, not for direction, no prayer –  no power)
  • Shemaiah – Obeys the Lord
  • The word of God is always the answer.  And it always calls us to repentance and obedience.
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.
  • The one who does not listen, finally listens to God.
  • Living for self always leads to destruction
Communion:
Jesus came to die for our disobedience, for our pride, for our insecurity, for our warring. But He calls us to put those things aside. to die to self.  To take up or cross and follow Him.
1 Cor 12
17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat…
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 

 


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