Tuesday, March 6, 2012

1 Kings 12 & 2 Chronicles 10 - A Divided Kingdom

LINK: 1 Kings 12 & 2 Chronicles 10 (read over the next two days)

Our review of last year from Adam - Solomon has concluded.

From now on, we will combine the history recorded in 2 Chronicles 10-36 with 1 Kings 11-22 & 2 Kings.    Our history will take us all the way to the return to captivity during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.  The story of Esther, the warnings of the prophets, and the remaining psalms are also included.

Make sure you download:

"Overview and Timeline of YEAR TWO" and get ready for a BUMPY ride!


BACKGROUND


Then I hated all my labor in which I toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 
And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool?
(Ecclesiastes 2:18–19)


These are the words of Solomon, and the man who came after him was his son, Rehoboam, who was also a fool. He listened to the advice of his young advisers, and it cost him the loyalty of the ten northern tribes of Israel who would divide from the two southern tribes of Judah. The northern tribes made Jeroboam, who had been in exile in Egypt, their king. Only the word of God through Shemaiah prevents a civil war from breaking out.

Even though all Jewish men were to travel to the temple three times a year (Deuteronomy 16:16), Jeroboam made two golden calves and set them up in Bethel (10 miles north of Jerusalem) and Dan (the northernmost city in Israel) in order to keep the people of Israel from going to Jerusalem and possibly losing their allegiance. Calves were idols that symbolized fertility and strength. He set up his own worship centers on the high places and appointed priests who were not Levites, which was forbidden. Bethel eventually developed a reputation as a wicked and idolatrous city (Hosea 4:15-17; Amos 5:4-6).

The division of the kingdom occurred in 931 B.C.

REFLECTION (written in 2008)

I told George that I was sad to have to get to the divided kingdom today. He said, "Yes, it is sort of like reading the story of the Titanic because you know how it is going to end up so you don't want people to get on that boat!"

Division is so sad. I heard about it tonight as a friend we have known for many years poured out his heart about how his church divided this past year. It went from about 800 people to 250. When he and the other members of his board went to try to reconcile, they were told by many to get off their property. He sees former members of his church in the local grocery store and they walk the other way. We encouraged him to seek out people to help do mediation and peacemaking, but he feels it is too late. We are so grieved.

I am also sad about the division I see (and have seen) in our country over the last several years. We are so divided. Can we come together ever again?

APPLICATION

Pray for unity in our country and churches.

As I have mentioned before this website is a great peacemaking resource:

Peacemaker Ministries

PRAYER

Lord, in light of the upcoming election, I pray for unity in our nation. I pray against division, and I pray for peace. I also want to pray for this heartbroken friend who grieves over the lack of peace in this city because of the division of his church. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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