Don’t Let Your Past Define You

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 15:9-24.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 15:12-14 (NIV) 
12 He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his fathers had made. 
13 He even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole. Asa cut the pole down and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 
14 Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life. 

On verses 9-15:  These verses summarize the long 41 year reign of Asa king of Judah.  What I love most about Asa is that he deliberately chose not to follow the evil practices of the generations before him.  His father Abijah was an idol worshiper who did not follow the Lord.  His grandmother Maacah was as well.  Yet Asa did not allow his past to define his future.  He did not let his ancestors’ idolatry determine his relationship with God.  Rather Asa took deliberate steps to remove idolatry not just from his own life but from Judah as a whole.  Verse 14 says “Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life”.   

Blessed Because Someone Went Before You

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 15:1-8.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 15:3-4 (NIV) 
3 He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been. 
4 Nevertheless, for David’s sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong. 

On verses 1-8:  Here we read about Abijah son of Rehoboam and his 3 year reign as king of Judah.  The writer of 1 Kings saw little that was noteworthy about Abijah’s reign other than the fact that he committed all the same sins his father Rehoboam committed (v3).  In fact the only reason God allowed Abijah to continue reigning as king was for his great grandfather David’s sake (v4), because David had followed the Lord.  Because David obeyed, his great grandson Abijah was blessed long after David was gone.

The Dangers of Worshiping an Idol

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 14:21-31. Let’s go!

1 Kings 14:24-25 (NIV) 
24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. 
25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 

On verses 21-31:  These verses summarize the 17 year reign of Rehoboam, David’s grandson and Solomon’s son, over the tribe of Judah.  Judah (together with Benjamin) was the one tribe out of the tribes of Israel that the Lord did not tear away from the house of David.  While Rehoboam ruled over Judah, Judah did evil in the eyes of the Lord by worshiping idols (v22). There was rampant idolatry in the land of Judah (v22-24).  Right after this we read of how Shishak King of Egypt attacks King Rehoboam’s city of Jerusalem.  

Don’t Pretend In Front of God. Come Clean Before Him.

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 14:1-20. Let’s go!

1 Kings 14:6 (NIV) 
6 So when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this pretense? I have been sent to you with bad news. 

On verses 1-6:  Jeroboam’s son Abijah is sick, so Jeroboam tells his wife to disguise herself and consult the prophet Ahijah to find out what will happen to the boy.  Up in years, Ahijah was physically blind, but the Spirit of God helped him to discern that the woman coming to see him was Jeroboam’s wife.

What can we learn from this?   Here are three lessons I believe the Holy Spirit taught me from these verses:

Protect Yourself and Your Family Against the Lion’s Attack

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 13:23-34.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 13:23 (NIV) 
23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him.

On verses 23-32:  Earlier in verses 21 and 22, the older prophet gives the younger prophet a word from God that the younger prophet has defied God’s command by eating and drinking when God specifically told him not to eat and drink during his trip (v21-22).  Notice the younger prophet’s response in verse 23: there is no indication that the younger prophet repented or felt remorse for what he did.  It seems like he just got on his donkey and proceeded to go home as if everything was normal.  Notice what happens next to the younger prophet: “As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.” (v24)

Be Careful, Not Gullible

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 13:11-22.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 13:18-19 (NIV) 
18 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.'” (But he was lying to him.) 
19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house. 

On verses 11-19:  In these verses the man of God from Judah is on his way home when he is met by a “certain old prophet living in Bethel” (v11).  Having heard from his sons about the impressive feats this younger prophet from Judah was involved in, the old prophet finds this younger prophet and invites him to come to his house and eat.  Initially the younger prophet refuses, saying that God has told him not to eat or drink (v16-17).  But when the old prophet says that he too is a prophet and that an angel told him to bring the younger prophet back with him to eat and drink, the man from Judah goes with the old prophet and eats and drinks with him.  Little did the man from Judah know that the old prophet was lying.  

Faith in the Lord = Real Power

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 13:1-10.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 13:2 (NIV) 
2 He cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD: “O altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who now make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.'”

On verses 1-10:  King Jeroboam is now deeply entrenched in idolatry.  An unnamed prophet from Judah appears before Jeroboam while Jeroboam is offering an idolatrous sacrifice.  This unnamed prophet predicts that one day a young man named Josiah will be born to the house of David and “will sacrifice the priests who now make offerings here” (v2); in other words, the prophet predicts that this young man Josiah would put an end to idolatry in Israel.  Approximately 290 years after this prophecy is made, a young man Josiah is indeed born to the house of David, becomes king of Judah, and puts an end to idolatry in his land (See 2 kings 23).

Let Faith in God’s Promises, Not Fear, Empower Your Thinking

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 12:25-33.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 12:25 (NIV) 
25 Then Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built up Peniel. 

On verse 25:  Jeroboam goes to Shechem, the very place where Rehoboam had been crowned king, and then Peniel, building up his interests in both cities so as to help protect his kingdom.

1 Kings 12:26-27 (NIV) 
26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 
27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.” 

Be Quick to Learn and to Respond to God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 12:16-24.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 12:18-19 (NIV) 
18 King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 
19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

On verses 16-20:  Finding Rehoboam to be unresponsive to their demands, the Israelites, other than the tribe of Judah reject Rehoboam as their king.  Rehoboam tries sending Adoniram his messenger to appease the people, but the people kill Adoniram and nearly kill Rehoboam.  They appoint Jeroboam as their new king instead, in rebellion against the house of David.

Before You Make a Big Decision

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 12:1-15.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 12:1-5 (NIV) 
1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had gone there to make him king.
2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt.
3 So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:
4 “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5 Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.

On verses 1-5:  Israel is about to make Solomon’s son Rehoboam the next king of Israel.  While in Egypt, Jeroboam hears about this, returns to Israel and rallies all of Israel behind him, perhaps with promises that if he was made king instead of Rehoboam, he would make sure that the Israelites’ load is lighter.