Summary: God had to reprimand his people for not building his house. Their eyes were on their own selfish desire. This message is for a church in decline.
Last week we examined the life of Solomon. We discovered that he asked God for wisdom to govern his people but chose not to use it. So we read these sad words concerning the nation of Israel.
1 Kings 11:9-13 “The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command. So now the Lord said to him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants. But for the sake of your father, David, I will not do this while you are still alive. I will take the kingdom away from your son. And even so, I will not take away the entire kingdom; I will let him be king of one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, my chosen city.”
After Solomon’s death his son Rehoboam became king. The people pleaded with him to lighten the heavy load his father had placed on them. Remember from last week, Solomon received 25 tons of gold in taxes each year from all the tribes of Israel.
Rehoboam replied, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”
A revolt began to take place in all the tribes except for Judah.
Soon the word came that Jeroboam had returned from Egypt. Jeroboam was an official for Solomon. Ahijah, the prophet of Shiloh, met him and told him that God had chosen him to be king over all the tribes of Israel except for Judah. When Solomon heard about this he realized that Jeroboam would be the servant that God would give his kingdom to so he attempted to kill him. This forced Jeroboam to flee to Egypt. Upon Solomon’s death he returned. The 10 tribes of Israel proclaimed him their king so Israel was split into the northern and southern kingdoms.
Israel, the northern kingdom, would be ruled by 19 kings, each of them wicked and sinful. Two hundred and nine years after Solomon’s death, the Jews of Israel would be taken from their land into Assyria.
The southern kingdom, Judah, would have 20 kings, eight of which would be obedient to God. Three hundred and forty five years after the death of Solomon the Jews living in Judah would be banished to Babylon.
Twenty-three years before the event took place the prophet Jeremiah warned on this impending doom.
“This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.” (Jeremiah 25:11)
The prophet Isaiah spoke of the destruction of Judah 102 years before it occurred. He also spoke of one named Cyrus 129 years before he was born who command that Judah be restored 149 years before it happened.
“‘But I carry out the predictions of my prophets!
By them, I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’