Day 160 (June 9): Prophet gives Jeroboam a message from God, prophet reveals Jeroboam’s son’s fate, summary of Rehoboam’s reign, Egypt invades Judah, Israel and Judah battle, Asa was loyal to God, Nadab set on Israel’s throne after Jeroboam, Baasha rules in Israel, Asa rallies Judah for God

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

1 Kings 13-14:24

2 Chronicles 12:13-14

2 Chronicles 11:18-12:12

1 Kings 14:25-28

2 Chronicles 12:15-16

1 Kings 14:29-31

1 Kings 15:1-5

2 Chronicles 13:1-22

 

1 Kings 15:6-8

2 Chronicles 14:1-8

1 Kings 15:9-15

1 Kings 14:19-20

1 Kings 15:25-26

1 Kings 15:27-34

2 Chronicles 14:9-15

2 Chronicles 15:1-19

Questions & Observations

Q. (1 Kings 13:18-19): Why would one prophet deceive another?

A. We don’t know exactly what prompted this deceit.  It is possible that the old prophet was maliciously trying to get the young prophet in trouble, or that he simply wanted to spend time with this man, so he lied to bring it about.  Either way, the deception did no excuse the man of God’s explicit order to not take food or drink, and he paid dearly for his poor decision.

Q. (13:22): Is not being buried with your ancestors an insult?

A. Yes.  It meant that you were not buried at home or not buried by your loved ones.

Q. (13:27-28): What is the significance of the lion and the donkey?

A. The lion and the donkey were a confirmation of the truth of God’s prophecies: the first about the royal family being killed off (fulfilled in 15:29), but also a confirmation that He had spoken judgment through the old prophet to the younger man of God.  The idea is that such a miracle should have convinced Jeroboam that he needed to repent and beg for God’s mercy, but he did not.

Q. (14:22-23): Here it says that there was wickedness under Rehoboam, but priests left Jeroboam so they could worship God.

A. That movement does not preclude wickedness in Judah.  What Jeroboam was doing was going a step further, and preventing the Levites and priests from doing their job intentionally.  Even with the priesthood working, the people were capable of wickedness Think of the Israelites in the wilderness during Exodus: They also had priests, but were still plenty sinful.

Q. (14:24): Was their adoption of the pagan nations’ practices because all of the nations were not destroyed when Joshua went to war to take over Canaan?

A. That’s one explanation.  The other is that there were still various Canaanite tribes living in the surrounding areas, and the king may have invited them to come and practice their from of pagan worship in Israel and Judah.

Q. (2 Chronicles 11:22): Just reading this automatically made me think of what kind of environment is stirred up when a king is on his way out and whom to groom to be king has to be decided.  The fact that one son is picked to be king among a lot of brothers fosters jealousy, discord and battles.  I remember way back when the Israelites wanted an earthly king because all of the other nations had one.  They didn’t need a king.  They already had a leader — God.  So, could sibling rivalry for the throne be one reason God warned against having a king?

A. There were lots of reasons, but surely that is one of them.  Sibling rivalry has basically haunted each generation from David’s family on down.

Q. (12:2): So, how does the Israelites’ unfaithfulness to God cause King Shishak of Egypt to attack Israel?

A. One of the things that God chooses to do to get Israel or Judah to repent is to raise up a foreign power that is mightier then His people.  Cornered, and without another way out, the people, including the king, are forced to see that they have sinned and repent.  We see this in Asa’s story as well (or rather, the opposite): for those who are faithful to the Lord, they are often given times of peace and prosperity, as David and Solomon both enjoyed at times in their lives.  Bottom line: an invading army is used by God to get the people to, once again, see their need for Him.

Q. (1 Kings 15:3-5): God’s love of David has pardoned a lot if his ancestors.

A. It surely did.

Q. (2 Chronicles 13:10-12): 1 Kings says Abijah committed the same sins as Rehoboam.  Now he says his people serve God.  Is he delusional?

A. I would say no.  This is a turning point for Abijah, who though having failed to this point, leads his people by example in turning to God, and reminding the lapsed people of Israel what it is they are doing by giving up God.  He is greatly rewarded for his turning.

Q. (2 Chronicles 14:1-8): I wonder after a line of ancestors who didn’t follow God how Asa came to follow Him?

A. It’s a good question, and I don’t have a great answer.  One of the most awesome things about God is that through His grace, our past does not have to be our future.  We are not bound to the same mistakes that our family members have made.  We can keep our marriage together even if previous generations have divorced.  We can stop the cycle of abuse from being passed down.  We can raise ourselves up to new heights via God’s might and mercy.

Though several generations of Asa’s ancestors had failed miserably, Asa kept his focus on pleasing God, and was rewarded for his faithfulness … at least for the moment.  Keep reading for a bit more on Asa.

Q. (1 Kings 15:25-26): Israel has been split for a while.  Are both sides still considered God’s chosen people?

A. Israel is pretty much a lost cause, as we will see.  The people are all still God’s, but the people of Israel are digging themselves a deep hole they won’t be able to get out of.

Day 159 (June 8): Solomon’s advice for young and old, Northern tribes revolt against Rehoboam, Shemiah warns Rehoboam to stand down against relatives, Jeroboam makes idols, Preists strengthen Judah

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14

1 Kings 12:1-20

2 Chronicles 10:1-19

1 Kings 12:21-24

2 Chronicles 11:1-4

1 Kings 12:25-33

2 Chronicles 11:5-17

Questions & Observations

Q. (Ecclesiastes 11:9): If only all young people would read this and adopt it!  But, he is again saying life without God is meaningless, right?

A. You got it.

Q. (12:8): Why does he call himself the Teacher?

A. The word chosen here can, in addition to teacher, mean leader or head of an assembly.  He referred to himself using that term back in chapter 1.  So it appears to mean something like professor or lecturer as we would use the terms today.

Q. (12:12-13): Is Solomon saying that you don’t need to know everything there is to know, just know God’s laws and abide by them?  This is a nice conclusion!

A. The last section was written by some unknown person, possibly an editor of the major parts of the text.  But you’ve read the conclusion correctly.

Q. (1 Kings 12:15): What would you say to those people who say this is predestination here?

A. I would say that there are clear elements of both free will (Rehoboam’s poor decision making) and predestination at work in this verse and story.  You can almost always point to elements of both of these views in events such as these: God directs the path, but people still have to make their own choices.  It’s never as cut and dry as, frankly, either side desires it to be.

Q. (1 Kings 12:21): Why did Benjamin join Judah?

A. It appears that Rehoboam’s influence as king went as far north as Bethel, which was the northern boundary of Benjamin’s territory.  Based upon our previous readings (11:31-32), the implication is that many of the tribe of Benjamin were loyal to the Northern Kingdom and the rebel king Jeroboam, but the territorial influence of the Davidic king (Rehoboam) meant that the territory and army of Benjamin stayed loyal to that king.

Q. (2 Chronicles 11:16-17): I think we talked about how people were more nomadic back then.  Here, the Levites who were under Jeroboam moved to Jerusalem so they could worship God under Rehoboam.  Today, if we have a bad leader, we just put up with it until the next election.  Most people wouldn’t take a big step and move.  But, I’m sure we have more to move now than they did back then.

A. Jeroboam was preventing them from fulfilling their God-given task as His priesthood, while anointing other (non-Levite) priests to preform his pagan rituals to these other gods.  It would have been a great affront to these priests, so it is not a surprise to me that they were eager to “get out of Dodge.”