Jeroboam’s Failure
15 March 2020 PM – 1 Kings 12:20 – Kings20 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Jeroboam was the first king of the northern tribes of Israel. He made a good start, but quickly turned away from God.

Transition: As we look at Jeroboam’s reign as king over Israel, I find three lessons for us that will keep us from failing as he failed.

The first lesson for us is to …

1.        Know God’s Will

a.         Jeroboam knew God’s will for his life
1)         Jeroboam was mighty man, industrious and a good leader (1Ki 11:28); therefore, Solomon placed him over the charge (i.e., burden) of the 10 northern tribes.
2)         Solomon’s harshness irritated him and in this position of the forced labour, he sided with the people against Solomon (1Ki 11:26-27).
3)         God then send the prophet Ahijah to tell Jeroboam that he would be king over the 10 northern tribes (1Ki 11:29-34).
a)         God would give those 10 tribes to him (1Ki 11:37).
b)         God promised to bless him if he would obey (1Ki 11:38). Thus, Jeroboam clearly knew God’s will for his life.
4)         When news of this reached Solomon, Jeroboam had to flee for his life to Egypt (1Ki 11:40).
b.         We too must know God’s will for our lives.
1)         God no longer sends prophets to reveal God’s will to us. How then can we know God’s will?
2)         I have shared these points before, but let me go over again Seven Steps in Finding God’s Will for your Life.
a)         Communion with God daily. You will miss God’s will if you do not stay close to God every day.
b)         Crucifixion of self. To find God’s will you must surrender YOUR will.
c)         Continual desire or conviction. God often places a desire or conviction to follow a particular path in the heart of those who are seeking His will.
d)         Congruity with the Bible. Remember that God will never lead you contrary to the Bible. If your desire is not biblical, it is NOT from God.
e)         Counsel from godly men. As you sense that God may be leading you in a particular direction, seek godly counsel.
f)          Confident inner peace. After following the first five steps, look for an inner peace regarding the direction you think may be the will of God.
g)         Circumstances. This is last because it is least important. Do not place circumstances at the top of your list. Circumstances can be the devil’s lure to get you off track.
The second lesson for us is to …

2.        Trust God’s Word
a.         Jeroboam did not trust God’s Word
1)         Note again what God’s promise to him (1Ki 11:38).
2)         He was crowned king as God had said (1Ki 12:20).
3)         He trusted reason rather than God’s word (1Ki 12:26-27).
a)         From a human perspective, we can see his reasoning.
b)         From God’s perspective, God was able to keep his people loyal to him if he had led them to be loyal to God.
4)         He created two golden calves and placed one in Bethel (his southern border) and the other in Dan (his northern border) (1Ki 12:28-29).
5)         This lack of trust in God and wickedly encouraging idolatry was his major downfall (1Ki 13:34).
a)         He forfeited God being with him (1Ki 11:38).
b)         He forfeited God’s blessing on his kingdom.
c)         He forfeited his family heritage on the throne.
6)         If you search “Israel to sin” and “made Israel sin” you will find that 22 times God tells us that Jeroboam made Israel to sin. He led the northern tribes into wicked idol worship.
b.         We must trust God’s word even in trials
1)         We must know God’s Word. The better you know this Book, but easier it will be to make godly decisions in life.
2)         The devil will use troubles and trials in your life and mine to try to get us to distrust God’s Word. He has been using that tactic for 6,000 years, since he first tempted Eve to question God’s Word. (Genesis 3:1) “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
a)         When your marriage hits a bump, the devil will tempt you to question God’s word on the permanency of marriage.
b)         When finances are tight, Satan will tempt you to question God’s promise to bless those who give tithes and offerings.
c)         When God challenges you to serve Him, the devil will tempt you to think that serving God is too difficult.
d)         When sickness or the coronavirus attacks your family, the devil will tempt you to blame God instead of trusting God and accepting His will.
3)         Just as Jeroboam’s choice to set up the golden calves caused all Israel to sin, we also influence others. Others are following us. We are not on an island by ourselves. Our choices and actions will affect our spouse, our children, our friends, our church family, our neighbours and the unsaved world. If you fall away from God, those who could have heard the Gospel from your lips may never hear.
O  Trust God’s Word. Do not rebel against it.

The third lesson for us is to …

3.        Heed God’s Rebuke
a.         Jeroboam ignored God’s rebuke (1Ki 13:33)
1)         1 Kings 13:1-32 is a sermon for another time. God sent a man of God to rebuke Jeroboam for his wicked sins (1Ki 13:1-5).
2)         Jeroboam asked the prophet to beg God to restore his hand (1Ki 13:6).
3)         God was merciful and healed the king. I doubt that I would have, but our God is VERY merciful. Jeroboam did not show any regret for his evil ways. He simply wanted the use of his hand back.
4)         How did Jeroboam respond after the man of God left him? Well look at the end of the chapter (1Ki 13:33-34).
a)         He turned not from his evil way.
b)         He again made common people his priests.
c)         His sin continued to destroy his family.
b.         When God rebukes us, we must change.
1)         When a Christian does wrong, God promises to chasten him. (Hebrews 12:7) “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
a)         God’s rebuke may be from a verse of Scripture.
b)         It may come from a sermon preached.
c)         It may be a word of warning from your pastor.
d)         It may be counsel from a caring friend.
e)         It may be the inner conviction of the Holy Spirit.
2)         When a Christian refuses to heed God’s rebuke, things go from bad to worse. They make more bad choices. They excuse their sins. They often abandon the good influences they had in their lives like their church. Their Bible reading and prayer time dwindles. Their walk with God deteriorates. Their family starts to crumble. They make harmful friendships.
3)         Do not quit or get angry when God chastens you or a friend rebukes you. (Hebrews 12:5) “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:”
4)         When God chastens you, it is for your good. (Hebrews 12:6) “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
O  Heed God’s rebuke. Do not rebel, as did Jeroboam.

Conclusion: May we learn the lessons God teaches us from Jeroboam’s life! Know God’s Will. Trust God’s Word. Heed God’s Rebuke. If we will learn these lessons, we will not fail as Jeroboam failed.

Song: Trust and Obey 261