1 Kings 14: ‘The Stupidity of Stubbornness’
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It’s sad to see stubborn hearts that refuse to submit to God’s good rule.
In 1 Kings 14 we see the hard-hearted stubbornness of the king of God’s northern tribes, Jeroboam, as well as some stubbornness from his southern counterpart, as well.
It all starts with a crisis where we read in verse one that king Jeroboam’s son became very sick.
It reminds us of when the son born from King David’s adultery became very sick.
David asked for forgiveness and spent seven nights praying for his son’s healing.
But King Jeroboam stubbornly refused to repent, and instead chose to try and deceive God’s prophet, verse 2, “So Jeroboam told his wife, “Disguise yourself so that no one will recognize you as my wife. Then go to the prophet Ahijah at Shiloh…”
David prayed, but Jeroboam deceived.
The prophet Ahijah is the same guy who told Jeroboam that if he obeyed the Lord’s decrees and commands then he would have an enduring dynasty, chapter 11 verse 38.
But given his worship of golden calves and everything else, Jeroboam wanted to hide from God and his prophet.
But the Lord told the prophet that Jeroboam’s wife was coming.
How stupid it was to think that the king could deceive God!
When the woman arrived, the prophet told her, verse 6, “I have bad news for you”, and that she was to tell her husband, verse 8, "‘I ripped the kingdom away from the family of David and gave it to you. But you have not been like my servant David…”
And he tells the king, verse 9, “You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made other gods for yourself and have made me furious with your gold calves.”
We’re tempted to think that our sin doesn’t hurt anyone, and that God doesn’t really care about what we do.
But our sin hurts God… God is furious.
That’s why God took out his anger on his son, at the cross, in our place.
For without the cross, God’s anger would remain on us, as it did on Jeroboam, verse 10, “I will bring disaster on your dynasty and will destroy every one of your male descendants, slave and free alike, anywhere in Israel.”
And more specifically, the prophet tells the king’s wife, verse 12,“Go on home, and when you enter the city, the child will die.”
Judgement will likewise come to the whole nation, verse 15, for the Lord “will uproot the people of Israel from this good land that he gave their ancestors and will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River…”
Not long ago, God’s people gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the consecration of the temple, but soon the gathering will turn into a scattering as they’re sent off to exile.
The stubbornness of the king brought judgement to his dynasty.
But the king of the South was stubborn, too.
In verse 22 we read that, “During Rehoboam’s reign, the people of Judah did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, provoking his anger with their sin, for it was even worse than that of their ancestors.”
God was angry with them, too… and rightly so.
They stubbornly rejected God’s good word, and verse 24, they “imitated the detestable practices of the pagan nations the LORD had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites.”
Both King Jeroboam in the North and King Rehoboam in the South had stubbornly rejected God’s good word, and because of the sin of those messiahs, God’s judgement was upon his people.
It’s a fresh reminder of why we can be so full of praise for God’s true messiah, Jesus, the son of David, whose joyful obedience of his heavenly father brought forgiveness for us who obey his loving rule.
Raise up your great power, Lord, and come among us to save us; that, although through our sins we are grievously hindered in running the race that is set before us, your plentiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the sufficiency of your Son our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, Advent 4).
Pray with us today's prayer request:
The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Brazil, Miguel Uchoa, convened the 2nd General Synod of the Brazilian Province. As a sign of the expansion of the church, on the opening service (Aug 20), 6 new deacons and one priest of the Diocese of Recife will be ordained: Afonso Luz, Davison Meirelles, Juliane Uchoa, Marcela Coelho, Patrícia Leimig, Yury Pinto and Revd Henrique Muniz.
From de Diocese of Vitória another deaconess will be ordained as a priest: Revd Claudia Paes.
Please prayer for the expansion of this young Anglican Province.
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