Summary: These 2 sides of God are: God’s wrath and God’s grace. And in our study today, we will look the lives of 2 individuals (David and Jeroboam)in whose lives we see these 2 sides of God clearly illustrated. (1 Kings - pt 2)
"TWO SIDES OF GOD"
TEXT: I KINGS 11-15
If I were to hold up a coin and show you that one side had on it George Washington and that the other side had on it Our National seal. And then if I were to say that the coin has 2 sides to it -- and the side you are facing -- is what determines which side of the coin you see.
That is not too difficult to understand is it, that a coin has 2 sides?
Today, as we continue our study in I Kings we will look at some specific passages that we find in chapter 11 -15, passages that vividly illustrate two sides of God.
Now what these two sides of God are; are 2 of God’s qualities, 2 of His characteristics or natures, Qualities that many people (people in and out of Christ) have a hard time understanding.
These 2 sides of God are: GOD’S WRATH AND GOD’S GRACE. And as we study in first Kings today, as we look the lives of 2 individuals, as we talk about David and Jeroboam.... We will see these 2 sides of God clearly illustrated....
And as we learn about God’s grace and wrath we will want to ask ourselves this question, which side are we facing right now? God’s wrath or God’s Grace?
I. JEROBAOM WAS FACING GOD’S WRATH, AND WE LEARN FROM HIM -- "THAT WE’D BEST NOT MESS WITH GOD.."
Remember last week we mentioned that Jeroboam was rebelling against King Solomon. And we read where a prophet of God came to him and told him that God was going to rip the Kingdom out of Solomon’s hands and give him ten tribes.
Let’s pick up some of the reading in chapter 11 beginning at verse 31.... [31-33, 37-38]
God told Jerobaom that he would give him ten tribes and that if he continued to walk in the ways of God, that God would build him an enduring dynasty, like the one he had built for David. Sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn’t it?
Listen to what verse 40 of chapter 11 says, "SOLOMON TRIED TO KILL JEROBAOM, BUT JEROBOAM FLED TO EGYPT, TO SHISHAK THE KING, AND STAYED THERE UNTIL SOLOMON’S DEATH..."
Why did Solomon try to kill Jerobaom? Well for one reason Jeroboam was rebelling against him, and perhaps another reason is that Solomon had heard about what the prophet of God said to Jeroboam -- that Jeroboam was going to get ten tribes and that he (Solomon) was going down ... and perhaps Solomon thought that if he got rid of Jeroboam that he would get rid of his problem....God’s soon coming wrath.
But it didn’t work out that way.... Solomon dies and Jeroboam becomes King of the Northern tribes... You see, that was not the way to stop God’s wrath... was it? Trying to circumvent or out smart God... Brothers and sisters there is only one way to remove the danger of God’s wrath in our lives and David will teach us that later.
As Chapter 12 of Kings opens, Solomon is dead... And his son Rheoboam is the new King. And with Solomon dead Jeroboam hops on a camel headed northeast and returns to Israel from Egypt, and he leads a delegation from the northern tribes to Jerusalem to make a request of the new King, Rheoboam.
Apparently Solomon’s extensive building projects had put a heavy load on the tribes of the north .. heavy labor and heavy taxes. And so this delegation from the north requested that Rheoboam lighten the heavy burden that his father had placed on them and in turn they would serve him.
Now at least at this moment Rheoboam was smart -- he knew that to make a decision right then on the spot was a no win situation... To say yes to their demands would mean that he took his throne conditionally and would therefore never be able to really rule over the northern tribes, yet to say no right away would led to an immediate rebellion. So Rheobaom said that he needed three days to think things through.... (To take time to think when a big decision needs to be made is a smart way to go -- many times rash decisions led us into deep and troubled waters).
But unfortunately for Rheobaom this is where his smartness ends...
Rheoboam even though he had ask for 3 days to think things through -- had already made up his own mind what he wanted to do. But he went through he motions of asking advice from first of all the elders that had served his father.... And they told him that the request of Jeroboam and the northern tribes was reasonable and that if he gave then what they wanted that they would always be his servants. they said it was in his best interests to grant their request.