Steps to Ruin
8 March 2020 PM – 1Kings 12:1 – Kings20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Rehoboam became the fourth king of Israel when he was 41 years old (1Ki 14:21). He reigned 17 years. He was the son of Solomon and Naamah who was an Ammonitess. Yes, his mother was one of Solomon’s strange wives. The Ammonites were enemies of Israel. Solomon’s marriage to Naamah must have been about two years before David’s death, for Rehoboam their son was 41 on ascending the throne, and Solomon’s reign was 40 years. That marriage may have been an alliance made by David. If so, it was foolish.
Transition: Rehoboam took three major steps that led to his ruin, which we must avoid like a plague.
The first step that led to his ruin was that…
1. He Became Proud
a. He rejected his father’s counsel
1) Growing up in the palace of the richest king ever certainly contributed to Rehoboam’s pride. He likely had servants all his life. He never learned how to work. Work is good for our children. It teaches them character.
2) Pride is part of our sinful nature. If he read his father’s proverbs, he knew the evil and danger of pride.
a) (Proverbs 8:13) “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
b) (Proverbs 11:2) “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”
c) (Proverbs 13:10) “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”
d) (Proverbs 16:5) “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”
e) (Proverbs 16:18) “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
f) (Proverbs 21:4) “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.”
g) (Proverbs 29:23) “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
3) Remember, he was not a young man. He was 41 years old, yet he had not conquered pride. Pride is our terrible enemy because it takes humility to conquer it.
b. He rejected wise counsel
1) The 10 northern tribes of Israel, led by Jeroboam, requested that Rehoboam lighten up the taxation and harshness that his father had inflicted on the people (1Ki 12:3-5).
2) He asked the old wise counsellors of his father for advice and they agreed with the people (1Ki 12:6-7).
3) He then asked his foolish peers and they told him to get tougher on the people (1Ki 12:8-11).
4) He rejected the wise counsel and listened to his peers. Thus, the northern 10 tribes rebelled against him (1Ki 12:12-17).
5) Why did this happen? God allowed it to happen because of Solomon’s disobedience. Rehoboam’s pride and foolishness led to the division of the nation.
a) He had continual conflicts with the north.
b) After five years, Egypt put Judah under tribute.
The second step that led to his ruin was that…
2. He Practiced Idolatry
a. For the first 3 years, he did right (975-972 BC)
1) The priests and levites of Israel came down to Judah to live (2Ch 11:14).
2) The faithful in Israel came to worship in Jerusalem, (2Ch 11:16)
3) The godly in the land strengthened Judah for 3 years (2Ch 11:17)
b. For the next 14 years, he did wrong (972-958 BC)
1) Once Rehoboam had established himself as the king of Judah, he forsook the law of the Lord and all Israel with him (2Ch 12:1).
2) He did evil above all who were before him (1Ki 14:22-24). Solomon had prepped them for this by introducing idolatry in Israel.
3) Where did all this begin? It began with intermarriage with the unbelieving nations.
4) Young people, listen carefully to what I am about to say.
a) It is far better that you NEVER get married than to marry an unbeliever.
b) Not only that, but it is better that you NEVER get married than to marry a half-hearted Christian.
c) Young people, establish in your hearts right now while you are young that you will rely upon God and your parents to help you find a spouse with godly character, sound in doctrine, who loves the Lord and is faithful in church. This is VERY important.
d) Parents, with God’s help, actively engrain this in the hearts of your children.
5) Rehoboam did evil because he did not prepare himself to do right. (2 Chronicles 12:14) “And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.” Idolatry is putting something or someone ahead of God in your life.
6) What are you doing to prepare your heart to seek the Lord? Is God first in every area of your life? Do work, sports, media, or hobbies eat up time that you should be spending in Bible reading and prayer? Could it be that you have idols in your life?
The third step that led to his ruin was that…
3. He Committed Polygamy
a. Rehoboam married many women
1) Rehoboam married 18 wives and had 60 concubines [unmarried wives] (2Ch 11:18-21). He had 28 sons and 60 daughters.
2) He desired many wives (2Ch 11:23). God ordained for a man to have one wife for life. God has not changed His mind. David disobeyed God’s plan. Solomon GREATLY disobeyed God’s plan. Now Rehoboam follows their bad examples.
3) In our nation, you cannot legally marry two spouses, but people get around this by living together without getting married. God says that is sinful immorality.
4) Divorce and remarriage, though legal, is not God’s will and results in countless broken promises, scars, and heartaches and leaves children with torn confused hearts. If confessed, God will forgive divorce and remarriage, but that does not remove the pain it causes.
5) God’s plan for the marriage of one man with one woman for life is the only right option. If the road gets bumpy in your marriage, do not be too proud to seek help. Do not wait to get help until the bumps threaten to throw you over the cliff.
b. Lust is at the root of polygamy.
1) While some of the kings married extra wives for political alliances, but root behind all polygamy is lust.
2) When a man or a woman are committed to obeying God, they will keep themselves exclusively for their spouse. They will fight the temptation to lust or cause lust.
3) Lust is primarily fed by the eyes.
a) Men, bounce your eyes away from immodest women and lustful pictures. Depend on God to help you never to take a second glance. Get help if needed.
b) Ladies, guard carefully what you wear. Men are lustfully attracted to low necklines, bear shoulders, short skirts, shorts, swimsuits, see-through material and tight clothing. When modest tops are hard to find, wear layers. Three words that will help you keep modest are – lose, long, and layers.
Conclusion: Though Rehoboam learned all three of his steps to ruin from his father, he was still responsible for his own actions. We must learn from his mistakes that pride, idolatry and polygamy (immoral lust) will always lead to ruin. There is no better time than right now to seek God’s help to quash pride, idolatry and lust in your life. Young people that includes you. Do not let these sins ruin your life.
Song: I Am Resolved – 389