1 Kings 11:1-11 – Solomon’s disobedience
1 Kings 11:26-40 – Jeroboam’s rebellion against Solomon
1 Kings 11:38; 14:8 – Ahijah’s message
Rehoboam was the son of Solomon and took his father's place on the throne. In Egypt, Jeroboam heard of the death of Solomon and returned to Israel. In fulfillment of the words of the prophet Ahijah, ten tribes of Israel gave their allegiance to Jeroboam. The prophet had told Jeroboam, "Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you" (1 Kings 11:38).
Jeroboam did not follow after these words. 1 Kings 12:25-33 Instead, he set up two golden calves for the people to worship and serve as the gods who brought them out of the land of Egypt. He allowed priests to come from any tribe and he "ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month." He did more evil than all those who were before him and because of his actions, set the tone for the following kings of Israel.
Ahijah prophesied that God would "give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who sinned and who made Israel sin" (1 Kings 14:8-16). The influence of this one king would set the tone for the history of the Northern tribes of God's people.
Jeroboam's son, Nadab, (1 Kings 15:25-26) "became king over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin."
1 Kings 15:29-30 - Baasha would be the next king of Israel as he conspired against Nadab, killed him and "he killed all the house of Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam anyone that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according to the word of the LORD which He had spoken by His servant Ahijah the Shilonite, because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he had sinned and by which he had made Israel sin, because of his provocation with which he had provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger."
1 Kings 15:34; 16:7 - Baasha "did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin...And also the word of the LORD came by the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha and his house, because of all the evil that he did in the sight of the LORD in provoking Him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and because he killed them."
1 Kings 16:13 - Elah, the son of Baasha, reigned two years before he was murdered by Zimri (his own servant) and Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha "for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, by which they had sinned and by which they had made Israel sin, in provoking the LORD God of Israel to anger with their idols."
Zimri, 1 Kings 16:18-19 –“…died, because of the sins which he had sinned in doing evil in the sight of the LORD, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he had committed to make Israel sin."
Omri, 1 Kings 16:25-26 - "…did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all who were before him. For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin, provoking the LORD God of Israel to anger with their idols."
And then there was Ahab in 1 Kings 16:30-33, " Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him."
Ahaziah, 1 Kings 22:51-53 - "Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin; for he served Baal and worshiped him, and provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done."
Jehoram (Joram), 2 Kings. 3:1-3 - “He did what was evil in the LORD’S sight; he…clung to the sins that Jeroboam….had caused Israel to commit. He did not turn away from them.”
Jehu, 2 Kings 10:28-31 - “Jehu eliminated Baal worship from Israel, but he did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit…worshiping the golden calves that were in Bethel and Dan. Nevertheless, the Lord said to Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in My sight and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, four generations of your sons will sit on the throne of Israel’. Yet, Jehu was not careful to follow with all his heart the laws of the Lord God of Israel. He did not turn from the sins that Jeroboam had cause Israel to commit.” **
(** Although Jehu ‘reformed’ somewhat, still he did not have the approval of God. Reform is not enough!)
Jehoahaz, 2 Kings 13:2 - “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight and followed the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit; he did not turn away from them.”
Jehoash, 2 Kings 13:11 - “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He did not turn away from all the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit, but he walked in them.”
Jeroboam II, 2 Kings 14:24 - “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He did not turn away from all the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.”
Zechariah, 2 Kings 15:9 - “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight as his fathers had done. He did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had cause Israel to commit.” Murdered after only 6 months in power.
Shallum, 2 Kings 15:10 - 13-15, murdered Zechariah, and one month later was murdered by Menahem.
Menaham, 2 Kings 15:18 - “he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. Throughout his reign, he did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.”
Pekahiah, 2 Kings 15:24 - “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight and did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.”
Pekah, 2 Kings 15:28 - “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.”
Hoshea, 2 Kings 17:1 - “He did evil in the Lord’s sight, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him.”
2 Kings 17:6-18; 21-22 summarizes the history of Israel. Another interesting observation following the captivity is the practice of compromise. 2 Kings 17:24-41 tells of this. (COMPROMISE IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! Matt. 6:24)
The lesson in this sad history is the impact a life can have on so many. Jeroboam's works followed him after he died. The evil he lived in his life was not contained only while he lived but continued on for generations to come. Consider how many lives were lost because of his influence. Think of all the lives that were given over to evil because of his influence. The powerful influence of an evil life destroyed a great nation. While the influence of Jeroboam was felt for many generations, I want to make this observation:
- Jeroboam was a religious person - his changes were not a discouragement to religion, they encouraged it for they appealed to the comforts of the people. Notice his words in 1 Kings 12:28, “…it is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem to worship.”
This mindset opens a door that cannot be closed. When man assumes the role of decision making in religion, then he assumes a role of authority that belongs only to Christ. When man assumes this authority to decide what is best, or how to worship God, it only results in a moral decline.
So likewise today... There are so many deviations, and such diversity among denominationalism, and the “freedom” to do as one’s heart desires, continues to plunge man further into immorality.
Illustration: the 1930 motion picture industry code
As those of Jeroboam’s day didn’t know that Jeroboam’s innovations were wrong, so has the influence of denominational theology and philosophy resulted in innovations and reform.
The church that Jesus spoke of in Matt. 16:18 is identifiable by it's doctrine. Spiritual seed will produce after its kind as does physical seed (Luke 8:11).