August 11, 2019
Daybreak: 1 Kings 14:1-31
“And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings.” (1 Kings 14:6)
My father was an identical twin. When he and his brother were in school, as a joke they would sometimes switch desks. Their big challenge then was to remember to answer to the other twin’s name. Later, in the military during World War II, they repaired airplanes. When their company would be called together to receive information, one twin would go and the other would keep working. The twin who heard the information would keep the other informed. They could accomplish more that way — kind of like being in two places at once! On a particular day, the twin who reported to the company call came running back to the twin who was working. He said, “Come quick!” They were to receive a commendation that day for their labors, and one twin was about to miss it! Happily, they both made it back just in time to hear their names called.
A switch of identity for humorous or practical reasons is one matter. However, Jeroboam sent his wife to the prophet with the intent to deceive. Jeroboam knew that he had no credibility with either God or Ahijah. Although he had ignored God for a long time, he suddenly wanted answers that he realized only God could provide. Jeroboam tried to have his wife fool the blind prophet of God and obtain what he desired. The prophet Ahijah was physically blind but not spiritually blind, and God told him before Jeroboam’s wife reached him, who was coming and why.
Jeroboam and his wife could not fool God, nor can we. He knows our identity. He even knows how many hairs we have on our heads and what thoughts go through our minds. Our wisest course is to be open and honest with Him and then obey His instructions!
Jeroboam, who had fled to Egypt to escape the murderous intent of Solomon, came back and was given the kingship of ten tribes of Israel by God. Because he feared losing the following of the people, Jeroboam started his own brand of worship in defiance of God. When his son fell deathly sick, and because, even in his sinful state, he had the knowledge that God could heal, he told his wife to disguise herself and go to the prophet of the only true God. Her gifts were those a commoner would give, rather than gifts royalty would offer. Even though his eyesight was gone, the prophet Ahijah was told by God who was coming and what to say.
The prophet told Jeroboam’s wife that he had bad news for her, and pronounced the fate of their son and of all the family because of the sins of the king. Ahijah prophesied that the descendants of Jeroboam would be eaten by dogs (verse 11). At this time, Israelites did not keep dogs as pets. The dogs were scavengers in the streets, just as the vultures were scavengers outside the cities. It was a great humiliation for a Jewish person not to be buried properly. Baasha was the king who would “cut off the house of Jeroboam” (fulfilled in 1 Kings 15:27-30).
Ahijah’s prophecy regarding Israel’s future (verse 15) was fulfilled in 722 B.C. when Assyria overpowered them.
The Bible holds up David as the benchmark of spiritual quality for the kings of Judah. In contrast, Jeroboam is used as the standard measurement of depths of sin for the kings of Israel. This is the first time the Bible refers to Jeroboam as the one “who made Israel to sin.” That phrase is repeated eight other times in those exact words, and other references bring the total to at least twenty.
Verse 21 shifts the focus from the northern kingdom of Israel to the southern kingdom of Judah. Rehoboam’s mother was from Ammon and worshipped Molech (1 Kings 11:1,7). Solomon reigned forty years, and Rehoboam was forty-one when he was made king, which indicates that Solomon married foreign women before he became king.
The reference to sodomites means male prostitutes who were involved in heathen worship. This shows that the southern kingdom of Judah had also moved far from God.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The reigns of the kings of Judah and Israel
B. The reign of Jeroboam of Israel
4. The death of Jeroboam’s son (14:1-18)
a. The sickness of Jeroboam’s son (14:1-5)
b. The prophecy of Ahijah (14:6-16)
(1) Against the house of Jeroboam (14:6-11)
(2) Against Jeroboam’s son (14:12-14)
(3) Against Israel (14:15-16)
c. The death of Jeroboam’s son (14:17-18)
5. The reign and death of Jeroboam (14:19-20)
C. The reign of Rehoboam (14:21-31)
1. The evil of Rehoboam’s reign (14:21-24)
2. The harassment of Shishak (14:25-28)
3. The death of Rehoboam (14:29-31)
A Closer Look
- Why did Abijah’s death differ from the rest of the descendants of Jeroboam? How does this show God’s mercy and grace?
- Why do you think Rehoboam made brazen shields to replace the ones that had been taken away by Shishak?
- How can we keep our hearts open to God and be sure that we are listening for His directions?
We can never conceal anything or any thought from God. If we are living in obedience to Him, we want Him involved in every area of our lives.