Prophecy Against Jeroboam
14 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, “Arise, and disguise yourself, that it not be known that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh. Behold, Ahijah the prophet is there, who said of me that I should be king over this people. Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what shall happen to the child.”
Jeroboam’s wife did so. She arose and went to Shiloh and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were dim because of his age. And the LORD said to Ahijah, “Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to inquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. Thus and thus shall you say to her.”
When she came, she pretended to be another woman. But when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another? For I am charged with unbearable news for you. Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: “Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back, therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat, for the LORD has spoken it.”’ Arise therefore, go to your house. When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the LORD, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. Moreover, the LORD will raise up for himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam today. And henceforth, the LORD will strike Israel as a reed is shaken in the water, and root up Israel out of this good land that he gave to their fathers and scatter them beyond the Euphrates, because they have made their Asherim, provoking the LORD to anger. And he will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and made Israel to sin.”
Then Jeroboam’s wife arose and departed and came to Tirzah. And as she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. And all Israel buried him and mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the prophet.
The Death of Jeroboam
Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. And the time that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years. And he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his place.
Rehoboam Reigns in Judah
Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city that the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite. And Judah did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins that they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. For they also built for themselves high places and pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, and there were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations that the LORD drove out before the people of Israel.
In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold that Solomon had made, and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house. And as often as the king went into the house of the LORD, the guard carried them and brought them back to the guardroom.
Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite. And Abijam his son reigned in his place.
1 Kings 14 Commentary
by Hank Workman
It’s the tale of 2 kings who flagrantly walked away from God and His commands. Consider how as the nation was already split in two – at this point both Rehoboam and Jeroboam were evil. Both nations were lost. The chapter gives a snapshot of the horrific disaster that came upon these kings. For Jeroboam, the Lord removed all blessings he had – he lost his son as his wife’s feet hit the threshold of their home. More disaster would follow as Jeroboam’s family would eventually be slaughtered. For Rehoboam, this man inherited a mighty kingdom. Everything he needed was given to him but obviously, he did not recognize it and literally he would be stripped of it. In fact, just 5 years after Solomon’s death – the temple and palace were ransacked by foreign enemies – the treasures carried off. All was gone.
So, what happened?
The reality was both of these men were selfish but greater a disaster was they turned away from God and began idol worship. Yes, Solomon had set the standard on this by the end of his life – both men followed suit. Their behavior affected their nations as God’s glory was removed. It is stunning and sobering.
In essence, it makes no sense that these men ran to idolatry. They neglected the Word of God coming through the prophets of warning. They took no notice to even their previous King David who struggled, yes – but was one who sought after God continually.
Idols and their worship though catered to the selfish nature of their hearts… much like modern-day idols do today. Their perception was worshiping this idol brought power. People wanted freedom in their choices and did not want any of the authority the priests and prophets brought, the voice of God. In essence, they wanted their religion to fit their lifestyle, not the other way around. Today – the struggle is great as well as people turn toward our modern-day idols where we don’t have to answer to someone else. We don’t want to bow in authority, in particular when it comes to the things of God.
Idol worship also played into their own sexuality and desires. It was a free pass to have sexual relationships with whomever they desired. If you dig into some of these gods and their ‘worship activities’ it would make you cringe as to what they did. But the reality was this was part of the human sensuousness that is within and simply the people acted out on it. As today – the struggle on this is real as well. People will bow to the idol of pleasure, seeking to do what they want at the expense of another or their very well being.
Along these same lines – the idol worship of then relegated the people toward their own animal instincts. Passion though was not just about their sexuality – it also was part of their power struggle politically and even economically. Oh, it’s not a far stretch to see the same true today. People stray toward their own form of idolatry because it’s what they’re passionate about. Good grief, passion is a huge thing people wrestle with today that are self-serving.
It is simply an interesting thing to consider these 3 points alone as we read the story of these kings. Many times may read something along these lines and think, “How in the world did they let that happen? What were they thinking?”
But you pull back the reality of the idol worship then and draw some lines – there are idols all over the place that we have made larger than God. It’s not in the form of alabaster or marble figures – it’s more deceptive. It’s our power in a situation, our finances, our wallet, our electronics or the latest thing out there.
All of this should be sobering. What or to whom are we giving more of our time and passion to who is not God? A tale of 2 kings? Oh indeed, a tale of our own lives if we are not careful to observe all God has asked of us and follow in His steps.
1 Kings 14 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
King Jeroboam decided it was time to seek the Lord, but only after his son was inflicted with sickness. In the past, the idol worship worked out just fine for him, but when he needed something more, he knew where to go. Jeroboam tells his wife to wear a disguise. Does this seem odd?
That evening they heard the LORD God walking in the garden, and they hid from him among the trees. 9 But the LORD God called out to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you, because I was naked.”Genesis 3:8-10 GNB
Hiding from God is something we all do when we know we are guilty. Just like Adam and Eve, Jeroboam and his wife were afraid to approach Him. Their shame was too much. This picture alone tells us so much about the king’s character. On top of rejecting God for most of his life, Jeroboam was also not honest. He preferred to scheme and manipulate God rather than own up to his sin and be honest with Him during his time of need.
Think about this. Jeroboam has traded in the truth of God for a lie. He actually believes that this prophet will be able to hear from God and predict the future (or intervene in some miraculous way) but not see through his wife’s disguise. Logically, it doesn’t even make sense. This is what happens in life when we suppress the truth… we get insanity.
One of the last verses of this chapter sums up exactly what has transpired since the downfall of Solomon’s kingdom.
During all this time Rehoboam and Jeroboam were constantly at war with each other.1 Kings 14:30 GNB
Not only were they at war with each other, but they were also at war with God. This is the storyline of their life that will live on for generations to come.