Study Notes

1Kings 14:1-31


Jeroboam is now the king of Israel, which is the ten tribes that rebelled against Solomon's son, King Rehoboam. The Lord promised to prosper him if he would walk in righteousness, but as we saw in our last study, he went the way of evil and brought idolatry into the land.

14:1-3 Jeroboam Sends His Wife To Abijah

Jeroboam's son Ab-ee-YAW fell sick. It was bad enough to make his parents believe that he might die. Jeroboam decided to send his wife to Akh-ee-YAW, the prophet that God used years before to tell Jeroboam about His plan to bring judgment on Solomon's house, and that he would one day be king over ten tribes of Israel. Jeroboam figured that the prophet would be able to tell her whether or not the boy would live.

But he wanted her to put on a disguise. After all, Akh-ee-YAW's prophecy to him last time spoke of the reason that the nation would be taken from Solomon's descendants:

1Kgs. 11:33 because they have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Kem-OSHE the god of Moab, and Mil-KOME the god of the sons of Ammon...

The command to Jeroboam was,

1Kgs. 11:38 ...if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.

Jeroboam had gone the way of the people whom God judged. He had not walked uprightly before the Lord. He knew that if he or his wife came to him, that he would communicate the heart of God to them.

14:4-5 One Step Ahead

What neither Jeroboam nor his wife knew was that the Lord had already told Akh-ee-YAW that she was coming, and would be disguised. (I find it funny that by this time, Akh-ee-YAW was blind. Putting on a costume to fool a blind person is pretty pointless, don't you think?)

Now, the Lord had not only told him she was coming, but also what he should say to her.

14:6-14 A Disconcerting Greeting, A Disturbing Message

When Jeroboam's wife was outside the door, Akh-ee-YAW said, "Come on in, Jeroboam's wife! Why are you wearing a disguise?" That had to be more than a little disconcerting! But what must have been even more difficult to hear was the prophesy of judgment that came after that.

Akh-ee-YAW prophesies that the Lord will bring calamity on his house because of his wickedness and idolatry. The word is brutal - the people of Jeroboam's house will die in the streets and the fields - food for scavengers.

We will see this prophecy fulfilled in chapter 15, when a rebellion against Jeroboam's son brings about the deaths of the entire family of Jeroboam.

Something Good Was Found

The only one that will not die in this manner is his son, who lies ill. He will die, but not as the others. The Lord said,

1Kgs. 14:13 "And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he alone of Jeroboam's {family} shall come to the grave, because in him something good was found toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

Jeroboam's son will die, but not as a judgment. The Lord said that something good was found in him. Saints, I want us to notice this and remember it. In this life, death is a constant. We will all experience death - unfortunately, even the death of our children. But the death of a child does not mean the judgment of God. So many Christians feel condemned when they lose a child to miscarriage, SIDS, cancer, or disease and the church comes to the conclusion, "must be the judgment of God. You didn't have enough faith. You had unconfessed sin." Listen to me: God is not making a statement to us every time someone dies. Death is a given in this life, and the Scripture tells us that Job said to the Lord regarding man,

Job 14:5 "Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with Thee, and his limits Thou hast set so that he cannot pass.

God has set the number of our days. And when someone's number comes up, we cannot say with certainty, "Oh, that was the judgment of God." For all we know, it was God's mercy. If Jeroboam's son, who had something good in himself toward the Lord, had lived, then the rebellion in chapter 15 would have left his dead body in the field or street as well. By sending him to the grave early, God was showing His mercy for Jeroboam's son.

14:15-16 Israel Will Be Scattered

The picture God is painting in describing a reed shaken in the water and then uprooted is the future of the nation of Israel. There will be constant instability in the kingly line of Israel, and then finally they will be scattered - carried away in the Babylonian captivity.

14:17-19 In The Book Of The Chronicles

Jeroboam's wife returned to the city of Teer-TSAW, knowing that the prophet had said,

1Kgs. 14:12 "...When your feet enter the city the child will die."

Sure enough, the child died according to the Word of the Lord. He was buried and mourned for by all the people.

Now, the author of Kings makes reference to Jeroboam's acts being recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Don't confuse this book with the books of First and Second Chronicles. The Chronicles books are the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. The Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel has been lost in history.

14:20 Nadab Becomes King Of Israel

Jeroboam's son Naw-DAWB became king after his father died, but his reign will last just 2 years before a rebellion will end in his death.

14:21-24 Judah's Wickedness

Meanwhile, in the southern kingdom of Judah, Rehoboam is king. You remember him from our last study as King Solomon's son - the man who caused the division of the nation by answering the people's plea for leniency with a promise to increase their burden and bondage.

His mother was one of Solomon's 700 foreign wives, Nah-am-AW, an Ammonite.

Rehoboam's kingdom of Judah wasn't doing any more right in God's eyes than Jeroboam's kingdom of Israel. They were continuing in the sins of idolatry and immorality. They were acting just as horribly as the nations that God had driven out of this land to bring the children of Israel into it.

14:25-29 Shishak Takes Away

Shee-SHAK, the king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem and stole the treasures of the king's house and the temple, including the gold shields that Solomon made. Remember back in chapter 10, we read,

1Kgs. 10:16-17 And King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold, using 600 {shekels of} gold on each large shield. And {he made} 300 shields of beaten gold, using three minas of gold on each shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.

Rehoboam replaced these with bronze shields, but they were not left out. When Rehoboam would enter the temple, the guards would carry them, but afterwards, then they would be put away again.

Notice that when the gold shields were taken, they were replaced by the less expensive, less valuable bronze ones. Then Rehoboam kept them under guard, fearfully worrying that these two would be stolen. They were only brought out for the time that Rehoboam would be at the temple.

There is a picture here that I believe is important for us to see. The shield in the Bible is typoligical of faith. Remember that Paul said,

Eph. 6:16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

Rehoboam's father Solomon had left a legacy, an inheritance of golden shields to his son. This is a picture of the faith that is handed down to children by godly parents.

But then, because of Rehoboam's wickedness, the king of Egypt came in and stole the shields. Egypt in the Scriptures is a type of the world. Shee-SHAK's name means, "greedy of fine linen."

This is a picture of worldly sin, as Jesus described it,

Mark 4:19 ...the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things...

The Egyptian king attacked and stole the shields. When we allow worldly sin into our lives, it doesn't matter what kind of godly heritage we have been raised with, or what kind of foundation we've been built on - our faith is stolen away.

But losing faith because of sin is an embarrassment. We don't want people to know that it's gone. And so we replace our golden shields with bronze ones. Our pure and valuable faith for a cheap imitation that only gets brought out when we go to the house of God.

Is that where you're at today? Putting on a show, displaying faith that is only brought out when coming to church? The rest of the time, it's hidden away in a closet?

Your shields can be gold again. Jesus said,

Rev. 3:18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich...

How can we buy refined gold from Jesus? Restoration of faith is always preceded by confession of sin. The Lord doesn't want to gold plate your bronze shields. He wants to replace them. Admit to the Lord where your faith is really at. Tell Him how much you desire to return to the days when your faith was like a golden shield.

14:30-31 Abijam Becomes King Of Judah

As the story of the Kings continues, we see that Rehoboam dies and his son Ab-ee-YAWM takes his place. We'll see what kind of king he becomes in our next study.

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