The ripple effect – Your decisions can have a negative impact or they can have a positive impact.  Your obedience to the Lord’s word determines the ripple effect.

A Kingdom Divided (Torn in Two)

1 Kings 12-16

As we continue our journey through the Bible we continue to see the ripple effect of obedience and disobedience.  In our 5 chapters in the book of 1 Kings today we see this over and over.

The only reason there was a north and a south was because of Solomon’s disobedience.

God’s Kingdom was torn in two, ripped from Solomon’s son and given to another.

1 Kings 11:9  The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10  Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command. 11  So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 12  Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13  Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

  1. Disobedience has consequences

Solomon turned his back on God and worshipped idols – that is why the Kingdom was torn in two.

But because of David’s righteousness God did not give the whole kingdom to another family.

So we see the positive and negative ripple effect in one event.

I read a great quote this week – “It is a great deal easier to do what God gives us to do – no matter how hard that is – than to face the responsibilities of not doing it.”

Don’t you think Solomon would have rather obeyed God than having the Kingdom torn out of his son’s hands?

Doesn’t break your heart when you do something that hurts your kids?

As we learned last week Solomon asked for wisdom so he could lead God’s great nation.  God grated him wisdom but Solomon refused to keep God’s commands.

God have given us the greatest wisdom in His word – all we have to do is read it and obey.

How are you doing keeping God’s commands?

Get in the word and know what God expects of you.

When you sin there will be a negative ripple effect in your life and it will ripple down to your children and grandchildren.

It was true in Solomon’s life.  It was true in his son Rehoboam’s life and it was true in Jeroboam’s life.

Jeroboam was given 10 tribes of Israel to rule – He was the fulfillment of Solomon’s punishment.

Can you imagine the blessing, knowing God choose you to rule His people – what an honor.

1 Kings 11:31  Then he [Ahijah] said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes. … 33  I will do this because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molech the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon’s father, did.

Jeroboam knew why he was receiving the kingdom.

So you would think he would be careful to obey the Lord when he ruled.

That is not what he did at all.

The people rebelled against Rehoboam, Solomon’s son because he answered them harshly.

They wanted relief from heavy labor and heavy taxation.  (The first TEA party)

But Rehoboam refused to listen to wise counsel.  His heavy hand brought about the Lord’s punishment.

Jeroboam was named King in the north and began to rule.  He fortified the city and then made idols to worship.

It had been a while since the prophet told him he would be king.  Because when Solomon found out he tried to kill Jeroboam but he fled to Egypt (1 Kings 11:40).

(Solomon thought he could thwart God’s will??)

No matter how much time had passed how could Jeroboam forget what God had told him through the prophet?

1 Kings 12:26  Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27  If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.” 28  After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

The first mistake is always thinking to yourself – instead of remembering what God said.

God made him a promise but Jeroboam did not believe God to fulfill his promise he thought he would help God out.

Have you ever done that – You think your plan is better than God’s – How did that work out for you?

“It is a great deal easier to do what God gives us to do – no matter how hard that is – than to face the responsibilities of not doing it.”

Jeroboam did seek counsel but he got bad advice.  Be careful who you get your counsel from.

Are they godly?  Does their advice agree with God’s word?

Plenty of people will give you their opinion and lead you in the wrong direction.

Because Jeroboam’s arrogance and rebellion he lead all of Israel (the 10 northern tribes) into idol worship.

His sin had a huge ripple effect on the nation and its future.

Jeroboam’s sin was so bad that the priest fled. (He acted as High Priest and created his own holy Festival)

2 Chronicles 11:14  The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property, and came to Judah and Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the LORD.

Maybe they should have stayed and tried to teach the people the right way to God even at the risk of their own lives.  But I can’t fault them for fleeing either.

God sent a young prophet to warn Jeroboam but he did not listen.

1 Kings 13:33  Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places.

Listen to the warning and see what you would have done.

1 Kings 13:2  He [the prophet] cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD: “O altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who now make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.'” 4  When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back.

God was present – Jeroboam cried for mercy and the Lord healed his hand but he still didn’t repent of his evil.

Would you have repented of your evil ways and been faithful to God?

Let me give you a New Testament test

Colossians 3:5  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. …8  But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9  Do not lie to each other,

Are you living the life of the flesh?  God’s wrath is coming

If we don’t repent we are no better than Jeroboam

Let’s live for God

Colossians 3:12  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

We won’t be perfect but we had better be growing in these character traits.

  1. God knows the future

Why should we obey God?  Because God is God – Because He is King of kings and Lord of lords.

We should obey because He created us to love Him.  He sustains us and is giving us a future.

God has a plan and will execute that plan.

We saw that with Solomon – we heard God’s announcement and saw the fulfillment.

We just heard the young prophet’s announcement let’s look at the fulfillment.

Jeroboam reigned from 930 BC to 910 BC – the promised King Josiah from the family of David would not reign until 640 BC, nearly 300 years later.  God has a plan – He gives a warning – He makes a promise and He fulfills His word, whether it is 300 years, 500 years or 2,000 years.  God is not slow in keeping His promises, He is patient wanting people to repent (2 Peter 3:9).

Josiah fulfills the word of the Lord

2 Kings 23:15  Even the altar at Bethel, the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin–even that altar and high place he demolished. He burned the high place and ground it to powder, and burned the Asherah pole also. 16  Then Josiah looked around, and when he saw the tombs that were there on the hillside, he had the bones removed from them and burned on the altar to defile it, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by the man of God who foretold these things.

In chapter 16 of 1 Kings we see another promise of God fulfilled.

1 Kings 16:34  In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.

This curse is recorded in Joshua over 500 years earlier.

Joshua 6:26  At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: “At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates.”

(Jericho had been a city, 2 Samuel 10:5, in time of David but it was not a fortified, walled city)

I want us to see God’s character and power.  If we comprehend that God knows the future maybe we will be motivated to obey Him.  God is worthy of our trust.

  1. You can trust God

Follow His word and trust His outcome.

Matthew 6:33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

John 14:23  Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.

Are you trusting the Lord?

Are you obeying His teachings?

There is a positive ripple effect when you trust and obey.

There is a negative ripple effect when you rebel.

So will you serve the Lord and have the ripple effect of righteousness?

It is time we all commit to faithfully serving the Lord – serve Him wholeheartedly

First you need to repent – turn from your evil ways (turn from your ways and follow God).

Don’t be hardhearted like Jeroboam.

Hear the warning and come to Jesus

Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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