“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1).
Okay, it’s been a while since I wrote about my Bible reading journey. It’s not because I haven’t come across some interesting post-worthy scriptures. It’s simply because I haven’t gained enough understanding to expatiate on what I have been reading. Some things still puzzle me, and I am asking God for clarity on them. And I am sure maybe on my next or one of my future readings, I will be able to say more on those things.
Today, I read 1 Kings 12. It was a very interesting chapter, and I found myself doing a couple of double takes as I read what Jeroboam did, after he was made King over Israel – even by the will of God! It got me thinking about a few things, which has led to this post.
So, how or why did God make Jeroboam King over Israel. Well, it was because Solomon, the wisest and richest King that ever lived, who was so blessed of God, even to have God appear to him on a couple of occasions, forsook the ways of God because of his love for women. He began to worship foreign gods and continued in this, even at the rebuke and warning of God. And God said that he would tear the Kingdom from his son, but because of David, keep Judah and Jerusalem as His dwelling place, and let David’s lineage continue to rule there.
So, that’s how after Solomon died, Rehoboam, who was appointed King after him, was given a delicate choice. The People came to ask him to make their burdens lighter, and the elders counselled him to heed their request. But this King was an idiot! He didn’t listen to the elders nor the People, and gathered his fellow youth to give him counsel. And they said for him to speak roughly to the People and say that he would even make their burdens greater. Of course, the People departed from him, each to their own house. And they made Jeroboam king over them, leaving Judah at the mercy of this foolish king.
Now, one might have thought maybe Jeroboam was going to be a good and wise, nobel king. Seeing as he was chosen by God to rule over Israel. For when Rehobaom wanted to wage war against Jeroboam and Israel, counsel came from God saying, “this thing is from Me” (verse 24), so don’t fight with your brethren. Go home!
But no, Jeroboam was just as foolish as Solomon turned out to be, and even more idiotic!!! As in, he was so afraid that if the Israelites continued to go to the Temple to worship God, their hearts would be turned back to Judah and Rehoboam, and they would kill him, that he made ALTERNATIVE GODS for them to worship!!! I mean, how ridiculous is that?
When I read that he made not one, but TWO golden calves, after the whole hoopla that went on in the wilderness with the rebellion of the Israelites…I was like “OMG!!! Are there people that stupid???” Even to say of the thing YOU JUST CREATED WITH YOUR HANDS, that it is the god that brought you and your people out of Egypt (verse 28)?!!
But more stupid are the people who said nothing, and accepted his offer of false gods to worship! I mean, will any god do? Did he or they really believe that there is a God in Heaven? A jealous God? Did they know God at all? Even after everything He had done for them and all the signs He had shown to prove Himself to them? They forsook Him for CONVENIENT RELIGION!
But this is so typical of humanity. How fickle and depraved we are. How many Christians today are practising convenient religion and not true Christianity? Ummm…
Anyway, my point is it was God who put Jeroboam in power, even knowing what he was capable of and even what he would do! How was dividing Israel into two countries led by two idiots better than leaving it under one idiot??? To punish Solomon, a dead King, God raised up two idiots, who ended up cursing their own people more with their stupidity. What purpose did God hope to achieve from this?
My answer even without reading further is PURIFICATION. It is in such wicked situations that righteousness is lifted up! The holy stand apart, and are made known. And through all these things that befell Israel, each of them had to choose whether to follow righteousness or unrighteousness. But we all know the path most followed. However, it was all to the glory of God, that we may realise our dependency on Him and His grace and turn and cleave to Him.
What does this mean to us, in this world where idiots rule over us? The Bible tells us that EVERY ruling power is appointed by God, and so we must trust that God is at work, using these idiots to purify us. It doesn’t relegate us from our ability to choose rightly, though we may be dis-empowered.
But if we are in tune with God, we will know when to fight and resist a power, and when to abide and let God. The truth is, if God will not use a wise person to overthrow an idiot, He will use a bigger idiot to do so – that they may all know that they are idiots! But ultimately, we should take comfort in knowing that “the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous” (Prov 13:22). God is in control.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom 8:28-29).
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