Jeroboam’s Lesson

I read the story of Jeroboam recently. Are you saying, “Who?” Jeroboam, the first king of Israel after Israel and Judah split into two kingdoms. (See First Kings 11-13.) Jeroboam’s story starts out so well. 

Because of Solomon’s sin, God tells Jeroboam He will give him the kingdom, instead, although Solomon’s son will keep the tribe of Judah. After Jeroboam hears this word from the Lord, he must go into exile in Egypt until Solomon’s death. Solomon dies. Jeroboam returns and, through Solomon’s son’s foolishness, finally receives the kingdom, just as the Lord had said. 

When the Lord takes us into a new realm of success—maybe even power or authority—how do we respond? Jeroboam suddenly became afraid the Lord would take the kingdom out of his hand, which shows us two things: 1) he now felt he “deserved” that place and 2) he trusted the Lord to get him there, but not to keep him there. Now he had to devise his own plans to hold his people and his power. And he did it by setting up two golden calves for his people to worship. 

Now we may not set up idols for others, but how often do we grasp to keep the things—whether possessions or positions—God has graciously bestowed on us? Those things may be for a lifetime or for a season, but if they are gifts from God, held at His say. We cannot devise ways in the flesh to hold on to them. Well, we can devise ways, but those ways never work! In the end, what did Jeroboam get for all his striving to force the loyalty of the hearts of Israel to him? The house of Jeroboam was blotted out and destroyed from the face of the earth. (I Kings 13:34) 

If God has given you something to hold, be it a possession or a position, won’t you trust Him with it—whether it is to last for a moment or for a lifetime?