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Jeroboam's Fatal Flaw

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Jeroboam's Fatal Flaw

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Jeroboam's Fatal Flaw

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Jeroboam was promised blessings IF he obeyed God. But he committed a “fatal flaw” along with many of his descendants. As we examine this let it be an object lesson for us and how we should live and lead our lives and not point the finger at how others should lead their lives.

Sermon Notes

Title: Jeroboam’s Fatal Flaw

 

Introduction:

 

A little girl asked her mother: How did the human race appear?  The mother answered: God made Adam and Eve and they had children and so was all mankind made.

 

Two days later she asks her father the same question.  The father answered: Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race was developed. The confused girl returns to her mother and says: Mom', how is it possible that you told me that the human race was created by God and Papa says they were developed from monkeys.

 

The mother answers: Well dear, it is very simple. I told you about the origin of my side of the family while your father told you about his side.

 

People are often interested in the origins of things.

 

We have just come out of another holiday season, Valentine’s Day which so many think is just too cute to miss.  Try to discuss the matter and all too often people might get upset or tune you out.  But their upset isn’t necessarily with you. It is rooted in hostility toward the bulk of the Bible, God’s Word called the Old Testament and much of the New Testament.

 

Also, last week was Ash Wednesday another seasonal event.  Last Fall I began to think of a subject following an invitation to a church’s harvest festival on Halloween.  This church does this to distance themselves from the wickedness of the Halloween season.  I appreciated their attempts to move in a positive direction, yet there is irony in the circumstance.  So many desire to do right yet do NOT understand what is commanded in the Bible.

 

This set in motion a series of thoughts about a king in the OT.  We will be looking at Jeroboam I who reigned in Israel as the first king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel about 926-909 BC.

 

SPS:  The title of my sermon is “Jeroboam’s Fatal Flaw”. Body:

1. Background with Solomon

 

First, we are all familiar with the story of Solomon and the events following his death.  Then Rehoboam and Jeroboam come on the scene.  Let’s lay the groundwork concerning Solomon’s failure  1 Kings 11:9-11 1 Kings 11:9-11 [9] And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared to him twice, [10] And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. [11] Why the LORD said to Solomon, For as much as this is done of you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely rend the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.
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10and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded.  11Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear (also “rend” or “cut out”) the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 

 

Solomon had a lot going for him, but he also had some terrible failures in his life!  (Some say Solomon lost salvation.  However, that judgment is up to God.  We often read of the wisdom of Solomon, but that wisdom is foolishness compared to God. - 1 Corinthians 3:19-20 1 Corinthians 3:19-20 [19] For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness. [20] And again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
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(wisdom of this world is foolishness), Jeremiah 4:22 Jeremiah 4:22For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are silly children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
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(man is wise to do evil), Jeremiah 9:23 Jeremiah 9:23Thus said the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
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(don’t glory in your own wisdom.
)

 

Continue in 1 Kings 11:26-29 1 Kings 11:26-29 [26] And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king. [27] And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father. [28] And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. [29] And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:
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26Then Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam (“he who contends for justice for the people”[1]) the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zereda, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king.  27And this is what caused him to rebel against the king: Solomon had built the Millo and repaired the damages to the City of David his father.  (This sounds like abit of subterfuge and deceit on the part of Jeroboam)  28The man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor; and Solomon, seeing that the young man was industrious (hard diligent worker, a leader of men), made him the officer over all the labor force of the house of Joseph.  29Now it happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the way; and he had clothed himself with a new garment, and the two were alone in the field.

 

Important Side Note:  Rehoboam and Jeroboam both had great potential for doing good, but both did evil in the sight of God.  First, Rehoboam did not listen to wise counsel and the wisdom of the elders.  The kings of Israel were to read the Scriptures available to them at that time and most likely understood where their ancestry was from.  (However, this being said we know too the Bible says to avoid “endless genealogies” in 1 Timothy 1:4 1 Timothy 1:4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
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.)  But Rehoboam listened to his cronies who titillated his fancy and most likely his desire for “Absolute POWER”.  Then Jeroboam also created evil and compounded evil. 

 

Remember, Proverbs - a friend does not always say everything you do is fine.  Families often fall short by defending the sins of the children –we read that in the news all the time.  They end up protecting evil and wickedness and they themselves end up compromising with sin.  (Last week we heard from Mr. Kramer of the need for “Truth Tellers”.)

 

2. Solomon’s Death and Enthroned Rehoboam

 

Remember, Solomon’s son Rehoboam was allowed to retain 2 tribes but he too allowed evil to continue.  The kingdom was thus rent or torn from the house of Solomon:  1 Kings 11:30-38 1 Kings 11:30-38 [30] And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: [31] And he said to Jeroboam, Take you ten pieces: for thus said the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to you: [32] (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:) [33] Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in my eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father. [34] However, I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes: [35] But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it to you, even ten tribes. [36] And to his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light always before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there. [37] And I will take you, and you shall reign according to all that your soul desires, and shall be king over Israel. [38] And it shall be, if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with you, and build you a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you.
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30Then Ahijah took hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it into twelve pieces  (This has implications far into the future, even to our present day- the end of the age.)  31And he said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will tear (or rend as a cloth as some translations say) the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you  32(but he shall have one tribe for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel),  33because they have forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, (Ashteroth (Assyrian), [2]  also called Astarte (Phoenician) or Eostre [3] = Easter) Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and keep My statutes and My judgments, as did his father David.  34However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, because I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of My servant David, whom I chose because he kept My commandments and My statutes.  35But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand and give it to you—ten tribes.  36And to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there.  37So I will take you, and you shall reign over all your heart desires, and you shall be king over Israel.

 

Now for special emphasis look at verse 38 “Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house,….”

 

Jeroboam was promised blessings IF he obeyed God.  But he committed a “fatal flaw” along with many of his descendants.

 

Remember this very Important Side Note:  God does not sanction rebellion.  Think about the example of David and Saul and how David was ordained to be king, but had to wait about 20-30years- wait for God’s timing.  (From Mr. Greider’s message a month ago.)

 

Side note reminder:  Romans 3:10 Romans 3:10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
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declares: 
“There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.   How similar to today when people, politicians and others take on the trappings of religion to further their cause and for self gain.

 

3. Jeroboam’s Fatal Flaw

 

Let’s focus a bit more on Jeroboam’s fatal flaw.  As we do though let it be an object lesson for us and how we should live and lead our lives and not point the finger at how others should lead their lives.

 

Jeroboam was promised blessings, IF he obeyed God!  He disobeyed and went into false worship, leading the Nation into disarray:  He was full of pride, disobedient, self serving, justified self for power and self gain.  He vacillated when he should have remained strong and steadfast.  He rushed to do something, when he should have waited on God.  He justified self even as people today justify themselves and the sins of their own children, families and friends.

 

Read from notes:  1 Kings 12:25-31 1 Kings 12:25-31 [25] Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelled therein; and went out from there, and built Penuel. [26] And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: [27] 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 to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. [28] Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said to them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. [29] And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. [30] And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even to Dan. [31] And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
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25Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and dwelt there. Also he went out from there and built Penuel. 26And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom may return to the house of David:  27If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, (People today would love to tear the remaining heart of Christianity out of this Nation- even has it happened in many atheistic nations and others in the recent past Century.)  Then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me (A bit overstated since he already was promised blessings for obedience- perhaps this was a test of his sincerity and obedience.) and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28Therefore the king asked advice (of the wrong people and compromised with evil), made two calves of gold, and said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!” 29And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.  30Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan.  31He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi.”  (Too many organizations make priests or ministers of those God never called and these false shepherds lead people astray - away from God!)

 

In the NT we read this warning:  2 Peter 2:15 2 Peter 2:15Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
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They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

 

Turn back to 1 Kings 13:33 1 Kings 13:33After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.
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33After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, (Thus stacking the deck in his favor –with a bunch of “yes” men.) he consecrated him,… .

 

Because of the wickedness of Rehoboam, people had enough and justified themselves in causing division through Jeroboam.  (Recorded in:  1 Kgs 12:6-11, 19)

 

4.   Jeroboam Creates His Own Harvest Festival- Wrong Time-Wrong Place:

 

We read there is nothing new under the sun.  Galatians 4:8 Galatians 4:8However, then, when you knew not God, you did service to them which by nature are no gods.
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8But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.  9But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?  10You observe days and months and seasons and years.

 

Remember, Jeroboam created a Feast on the 15th day of the 8th month rather than follow the Laws of God, the 15th day of the 7th month.  In other words some would dare say they can worship God any time and anyplace they choose, but we are limited to certain legalistic days or only in a place like Jerusalem.  (Heard in FL, AZ this year and times past.)  (I am also reminded of the Feast in Acapulco following the hurricane.  Some of another church just opted to do a Feast a month later because of fear or inconvenience.)

 

However, in 3 places it directly speaks of the 7th month and 15th day.  (Ref: Leviticus 23:6-9 Leviticus 23:6-9 [6] And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread. [7] In the first day you shall have an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein. [8] But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein. [9] And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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, Numbers 29:12 Numbers 29:12And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have an holy convocation; you shall do no servile work, and you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days:
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, Ezekiel 45:25 Ezekiel 45:25In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil.
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.  Repeat those!!)

 

5.  Sons of Jeroboam - Families Repeat Error of Fathers

 

The tragedy of Jeroboam’s fatal flaw is it does not go away at his death, but repeats on into future generations.  Even Jezebel ends up in the family lineage when taken in marriage by Ahab the son of Jeroboam II.  It was a horribly wicked alliance.

 

Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 50:6 Jeremiah 50:6My people has been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.
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  “My people have been lost sheep.  Their shepherds have led them astray; They have turned them away on the mountains.  They have gone from mountain to hill; They have forgotten their resting place.

 

Too often there is a false faith of our fathers – I had at least one person tell me recently, “This is what I learned at an early age.” ,  in defense of their unrighteousness!

These were the Feast of the Lord.  It takes a humble heart; it takes courage to do the right thing!  Did Rehoboam do wrong?  Absolutely!  But this did not give Jeroboam the right to do his own thing at his own time, despite any adversity or inconvenience he may have felt.  Life may be a mess but WE are not to teach “spiritual junk food” just to smooth things over and hinder the conversion of others.

 

6. Hearken to Me

 

How would we avoid such issues and stumbling blocks?  The Bible is self correcting, no matter the translation.  No need to call into every doctrine at a whim.  Be patient and God WILL lead you to all truth.  Don’t cause dissension and become part of Jeroboam’s “fatal Flaw”.  A person can be correct in many ways but be rebellious to what God would have us to do.

 

Jeroboam became an example of evil kings in Israel because he built temples in Dan and Bethel with golden calves representing God's presence. What appeared to be good politics diverted people from worshiping at Jerusalem, God's chosen place! [4]

 

What do people normally do?  We read this in, Psalms 81:11-13 Psalms 81:11-13 [11] But my people would not listen to my voice; and Israel would none of me. [12] So I gave them up to their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. [13] Oh that my people had listened to me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
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    “But My people would not heed My voice, And Israel would have none of Me. 12  So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, To walk in their own counsels.  13  “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways!

 

 

Conclusion:

 

In conclusion, we need to remember not to fall into the same trap as Jeroboam with his fatal flaw.  Jeroboam in his vanity and pride did things his own way on his own time not waiting on God to pour out blessings on him.  We, too, can sometimes forget and try to do things our way.  Or even follow in the sinning ways of family members, or friends.

 

At the beginning we spoke about a little girl and her family heritageWe might ask ourselves, “Do we follow the ways of Jeroboam and a heritage of darkness or Jesus Christ and a heritage of light and truth?”

 

We can not of ourselves do anything good and need to be vigilant, repent and be baptized.

 

Remember this, in the depth of intrigue and betrayal King David a man after God’s own heart went astray at times, but repented.  He had this to say in Psalms 119:66-69 Psalms 119:66-69 [66] Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed your commandments. [67] Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept your word. [68] You are good, and do good; teach me your statutes. [69] The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep your precepts with my whole heart.
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66  Teach me Your law good judgment and knowledge,  For I believe Your commandments.  67  Before I was afflicted I went astray,  But now I keep Your word.  68  You are good, and do good;  Teach me Your statutes.  69  The proud have forged a lie against me,  But I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart. 

 

Earlier I references Jeremiah 9:23 Jeremiah 9:23Thus said the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
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which reads:
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches… .”

 

Finally, remember these words of Christ’s John 10:27-29 John 10:27-29 [27] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: [28] And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. [29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
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, especially as we approach the Passover 
27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

 

I would add, we have got to cling to this promise in the midst of adversity, struggle and trials.

 

[1] http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T3379

[2] http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=astartes

[3] http://www.google.com/search?q=ashtoreth+astarte+eostre&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=utf8&oe=utf8

[4] http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T3379