God will not be deceived for we will reap what we sow
Sad to see that on account of king Solomon’s backsliding, (because he was irresistibly drawn to marrying women coming from those Nations that God had warned him not to marry or establish friendly relations with, *1 Kings 11:1-10, as they would surely lure him away into worship their idols), God raised up enemies on 3 fronts, viz. Hadad, Rezon and Jeroboam to rebel against him, vs 14-39! Inspite of all this, Solomon did not humble himself and turn from his disobedience!
As a result, God told him that He would surely tear the kingdom away from him and give it to his servant. (except for the tribe of Judah, and not in Solomon’s lifetime, because of God’s covenant with David) *vs11-13. And this is exactly what the Lord did during the reign of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam* 1 Kings 12:15-24.
Nevertheless Jeroboam, whom God exalted to rule over the remaining 10 tribes of Israel, also became an idolator, in his great desire to build a name for himself!
He reasoned that the Davidic dynasty could regain the kingdom, if the people went up to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, and that they would kill him as a result, vs 26,27. So he made two golden calves and convinced the people that these could be worshipped instead of them going all the way to worship at the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem, and which God chose to be the authorised place of worship. He even appointed priests who were not Levites to officiate at these places and thus all Israel was led into sin, vs 25-33!
So here we see a classic example of how when a leader sins, people are led into sin too, because, invariably, they blindly follow the leader! A similar story is repeated in 1 Kings 13, wherein God sends a young prophet to speak against the altar on which king Jeroboam was offering incense, vs 1-3.
And just as normally happens, the king wanted to take the ‘rebellious’ prophet to task, but God intervened and caused the king’s hand to shrivel up! This turned the tables against the king who now sought the healing of his hand, and on receiving the same looked upon the prophet favourably, but yet, never turned away from his rebellious ways, vs 4-9!
The story ends sadly, when this powerful and wholehearted young prophet falls prey to the lies of an older prophet who deceives him into disobeying God’s Word, and so, eats and drinks in that place, vs 11-22! This results in the untimely death of the young prophet, vs 23-26! This clearly teaches us how we need to beware of backslidden kings or backslidden older prophets who lure us into disobeying God’s Word, just because they are disobedient too! There is absolutely no virtue in blindly obeying an authority when that authority contradicts God’s Word!
Yes, we may have to pay a high price in order to stand against their dictates, and it may even cost us our rights and reputation, however, it will be worth it all, when we find God backing us up in the end, with the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master!’
Let us be single minded and determine to obey God at all costs until the very end. It is better to die while obeying God, than live while disobeying Him! *The choice is ours and we must remember that God will not be deceived, for we will reap just what we sow! Let him who has an ear, hear! Amen.