If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their Lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. – 1Kgs. 12:27 KJV
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Today’s devotion is a follow-up to the devotion titled “Serve To Be Served”. The refusal of King Rehoboam to accept the counsel of the advisers of his father activated the plan of God to tear ten tribes from the lineage of David leaving his family to superintend over only the lineage of Judah. The people immediately decided on Jeroboam to lead the new kingdom which was to be later known as the Northern Kingdom of Israel with its capital city in Samaria.
Jeroboam will probably not be surprised at his choice by the people, not because he merits it as there was never a time that the kingship was allotted to Ephraim which was his lineage. However, he had been placed in charge of the labour force of the house of Joseph by King Solomon due to his diligence – 1Kgs. 12:28. He had also received a prophecy from Prophet Ahijah who had told him of the plan of the Almighty God to tear ten tribes away from the family of David, due to the act of idolatry of King Solomon, and hand their control over to him as king. It was therefore obvious that this was a decision that was made in his favour, not because of any special action by him but simply because the Lord decided to show him favour. He was also aware that the reason for that move by the Almighty God was because of the act of idolatry that King Solomon had been involved in – 1Kgs. 11:29-39.
It was therefore most surprising that it was such a man who will voluntarily get involved with acts of idolatry, especially after all the warnings he received to avoid acting contrary to the instructions of the Lord.. He had thought to himself that the people may be tempted to revert to King Rehoboam, should they have to go to the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the Lord and he will be the loser so, he decided after consultations to:
- Create and set up idols in Bethel and Dan, which he introduced to the people as the god that brought them out of Egypt – 1Kgs. 12:28-30.
- He dedicated shrines and appointed priests from all sorts of people to minister at these shrines when he was very much aware that spiritual activities of that nature were the exclusive duties of the Levites as ordained by the Lord – 1Kgs. 12:31.
- He instituted his own festival to be held on the same day that the Feast of Tabernacles was to be held in Jerusalem all in order to discourage the people from going to Jerusalem, as the Lord had directed – 1Kgs. 12:32-33.
All these atrocities did not go down well with the Lord as expected, who sent a prophet from Judah to deliver His judgement to King Jeroboam which was that all the priests of the high place in Bethel will be sacrificed on that same altar by someone from that same lineage of David whom he so much fears may win back the heart of the people, and as a sign, that altar in Bethel will be split into two and its ashes will spill out. He eventually lost all the glory that was to come to him as the first, and God appointed king of the Israelites of the Northern kingdom. He instead ended up with the reputation of being the most wicked king in the history of the kings of Israel.
Many there are today who have lost the glory of their position because of the feeling of insecurity that they are entertaining with regards to fear of losing such positions that the Lord has placed them. They suddenly forget that they never worked for what they are desperately trying to keep. Positions of wealth, authority, influence, etc., are held on to in a manner that disregards the thoughts of the God that granted them the Grace. The truth is that in whatever position of advantage that one may find oneself, it should never be forgotten that the race of life is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all – Eccl. 9:11. The same God that provided those advantages on a platter of favour has the ability to preserve it from any undesirable attack. All that needs to be done is to remain in his Will and commandments and the rest is for him to handle.
Live a secured life in the Lord. It is true that there may be people who out of envy or other selfish reasons will want to bring you down but you are better leaving the issue of your security with the Lord. That is the only way you will be able to retain that favour that He gave you without you losing His grace. May God continue to shower His grace on us all in Jesus name. Amen.