The Lord Makes a Promise
26Jeroboam was from the town of Zeredah in Ephraim. His father Nebat had died, but his mother Zeruah was still alive. Jeroboam was one of Solomon's officials, but even he rebelled against Solomon. 27Here is how it happened:
While Solomon's workers were filling in the land on the east side of Jerusalem and repairing the city walls, 28Solomon noticed that Jeroboam was a hard worker. So he put Jeroboam in charge of the work force from Manasseh and Ephraim.
29-30One day when Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, he met Ahijah, a prophet from Shiloh. No one else was anywhere around. Suddenly, Ahijah took off his new coat and ripped it into twelve pieces. 31Then he said:
Jeroboam, take ten pieces of this coat and listen to what the Lord God of Israel says to you. “Jeroboam, I am the Lord God, and I am about to take Solomon's kingdom from him and give you ten tribes to rule. 32But Solomon will still rule one tribe, since he is the son of David my servant, and Jerusalem is my chosen city.
33“Solomon and the Israelites are not like their ancestor David. They will not listen to me, obey me, or do what is right. They have turned from me to worship Astarte the goddess of Sidon, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of Ammon.
34“Solomon is David's son, and David was my chosen leader, who did what I commanded. So I will let Solomon be king until he dies. 35Then I will give you ten tribes to rule, 36but Solomon's son will still rule one tribe. This way, my servant David will always have a descendant ruling in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to be worshiped.
37“You will be king of Israel and will rule every nation you want. 38I'll help you if you obey me. And if you do what I say, as my servant David did, I will always let someone from your family rule in Israel, just as someone from David's family will always rule in Judah. The nation of Israel will be yours.
39“I will punish the descendants of David, but not forever.”
40When Solomon learned what the Lord had told Jeroboam, Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam. But he escaped to King Shishak of Egypt and stayed there until Solomon died.
(2 Chronicles 9.29-31)
41Everything else Solomon did while he was king is written in the book about him and his wisdom. 42After he had ruled 40 years from Jerusalem, 43he died and was buried there in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam then became king.
The Lord had set before Solomon the path of blessing and the path of disfavour. Solomon did not choose the path of blessing, and God put his plan into action before Solomon’s death. God had foreseen that Jeroboam would be king over ten of the tribes of Israel. He now sent the prophet Ahijah to prepare Jeroboam.
Solomon tried to put Jeroboam to death, but nothing could go against the will of the almighty God.
King Solomon who had received everything from God – blessings way beyond his imagination – became unfaithful to him. Nevertheless God remained faithful to Solomon, for he cannot break his word. God always acts with total integrity and is always worthy of trust.
We remember that God had promised David that a king would be on his throne forever.
Therefore, he could not give Jeroboam all the tribes of Israel, so he kept two for Solomon’s son.
The kingdom of David’s grandson would be smaller but would still remain his.
I remember talking with Prince Charles of England, this country’s future king. Listening to him, I realized that the wealth, fame and power this man had did not satisfy him. He knew that there was more to this life than what was his. I later understood that kings cannot save anyone. Only Jesus, the King of kings, can save.
Solomon could not save himself. He turned away from the One who could save him.
Let’s not follow his poor example, but rather the example of his father, who by faith, saw the One who became the Saviour on a cross, a cross on which was written: “King of the Jews”.
God of compassion, help me to live my life according to your kingdom, even if it started wrong. You know everything and can do everything. We pray for you to guide us in the path of your ultimate blessing until the end. In the name of your son Jesus we pray. Amen