1 Kings 12:20-13:34, Acts 9:26-43, Psalm 132:1-18, Proverbs 17:6
Today is the 14th day of June, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is fantastic to be here with you today, as we gather once again around the Global Campfire and take the next step forward together. Today, is our 165th stop that we’ve taken, day-by-day, step-by-step, and we are well underway, obviously. But that happens one step at a time. And so, let’s dive in together. We will be moving back into the book of first Kings. Yesterday, we kind of we…we kind of started down the other side of the mountain. Solomon’s reign as ended, his son, Rehoboam is king but 10 of the tribes have rebelled against Rehoboam and we’ll pick up the story from there, first Kings chapter 12 verse 20 through 13 verse 34.
Okay so, contained in what we read today from the book of first Kings we have a…a very stark, very important lesson that applies to our lives today. So, certainly we’re reading and ancient retelling of a tumultuous time in ancient Israel, where the kingdom is divided, the kingdom has split into two kingdoms. And so, now we have 10 tribes in the north, the kingdom of Israel and then we have Benjamin and Judah in the south where Jerusalem is the kingdom of Judah. Still loyal to David’s line. And so, Rehoboam is there King but the northern 10 tribes have a new King named Jeroboam. So, we have two Kings ruling over what Solomon had ruled over. This is actually pretty important for us, right now to understand that because as we move forward we’re in the books of the kings and so we’re chronicling the different Kings and we’re gonna find that they overlap. So, there will be a king in Israel and a king in Judah and they are certainly not always friendly to one another. So, just understanding that after Solomon, the kingdom divided into two kingdoms: the kingdom of Judah and the kingdom of Israel. I will go a long way to helping us understand what’s going on as we continue through the chronicling of the kings. So, King Jeroboam was the king of Israel the king of the northern 10 tribes who have rebelled against Rehoboam in the South had been foretold by prophetic utterance that he would one day rule. Now, he is ruling but he is leading those 10 tribes directly, clearly and unreservedly into straight up idolatry. He believes that if the people in the north continue to travel into the land of Judah, to go up to Jerusalem, to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to the house where God has put his name, if they keep doing that their hearts will return to Jerusalem and to the Lord and to the king, which will mean that he will one day be done away with. And so, he creates idols, golden calves and he puts one in the city of Dan and he puts the other in the city of Bethel. This would’ve been the northern and southern boundaries of his kingdom, the kingdom of the 10 tribes the kingdom of Israel. Actually, the remnants of Jeroboam’s temple of idolatry remains in Dan until this day, you can still see where that was. The one in Bethel has been destroyed long time ago, there’s really not nothing there. So, here’s where it really gets interesting in our own lives. A prophet of God from Judah, so, a prophet of God from the southern kingdom of Judah, was instructed to cross the border into the northern kingdom of Israel, go to the city of Bethel, which is the southern border city, and curse this altar. And don’t drink anything. Don’t eat anything and don’t go back the way you came. Clear instructions to the prophet, who then obeys the Lord, crosses over goes to Bethel, goes to the temple. The king, King Jeroboam is there offering incense, the prophet curses the altar, the altar breaks open, ashes fly out, the king’s arm is frozen in place and then release like it’s a very dramatic scene and then the king wants this prophet to come back to the palace where he can be rewarded, where discussions can happen. But of course, the prophet says he can do that and he won’t do that, even if the king wants to give him half the kingdom, like he’s he can’t do it. He is eat nothing, he is to drink nothing. He is to return a different way than by the way that he came and so he departs and he’s on his way, in obedience, heading back to the southern kingdom of Judah where he lives. A prophet, an older man, an older prophet, who is now in the land of Israel hears about all this and goes and tells him that God has changed the plan, that a messenger has come to him and he is supposed to get the prophet and bring him home, where he can eat and drink and rest up. And the prophet that was sent to the altar, listens to the prophet telling him this and he follows him back to his house. Then that result is that he disobeyed God and he never made it back to the kingdom of Judah. This is a riveting lesson for us, one that every time we come by this way, I try to point out because it’s so deeply important. When we hear the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives, however, that happens for us, however, we understand how God speaks to us, when we know we have been given instructions from the Lord to do something. If somebody else comes alongside and says plans have changed, God told me to tell you, thus and so and it deviates from what we had believed in our hearts that God had told us to do and we turn and follow this other path, it appears that the road doesn’t go anywhere good. The interesting thing is that God could send someone to rescue us, or someone could come along that is ultimately deceiving us and we have to know what we truly believe God told us to do and obey that alone. Or we are invariably going to end up in a pile of trouble somewhere down the line and it’s interesting because we’re always wanting to know what God is saying and what God is doing, and we will run into people that we think and be an Oracle on behalf of God to speak to us what we can’t seem to find out for ourselves. And so, we can very, very easily find ourselves walking down a path in the name of the Lord, that the Lord didn’t have anything to do with and that is somewhat of a terrifying thought. And this isn’t about when we’re trying to discern something and we invite trusted people into our lives to listen and we’re just trying to work through what the Lord is leading so that we can understand the clarity of the path, that’s not what happened in the story. The prophet heard clearly from God and was clearly obeying what he had been instructed and was almost through with the mission, when he deviated from the path because somebody else came and said God told me to tell you this. So, what is the net net here, if we have clearly heard from God, then we should obey exactly what God has said, nothing more, nothing less. Otherwise, we could be putting ourselves in some sort of jeopardy and so often when we do that we’re mad, we’re shaking our fist at the heavens, why did you send me into this brick wall why what I was for always obeying you…you told me things that you sent messengers to tell me things and I’m obeying these things if what the Lord has told us is different than what somebody tells us that the Lord is saying, we better slow down and discern clearly and this is one of the reasons for this story being in the Bible to teach us this.
And so, Father, it is Your voice that we want to hear, it is Your counsel and instruction in comfort and love and companionship that we desire more than anything, to be in Your presence and to be aware of it because we are always in Your presence, to be aware of that, walking with You, fellowshipping with You. This is our deep heart desire. So, we are listening, listening for Your guidance, and it is certainly our intention to obey. Protect us, give us discerning hearts and minds that we might see traps that have inadvertently been laid for us, that could cause us to deviate from the path and land us where we do not want to be. Come, Holy Spirit, lead us into all truth, as Jesus promised. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And that’s it for today, I’m Brian, I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here, tomorrow.
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