Lord, I thank You that You keep Your promises from generation to generation.
Read 1 Kings 11:26–43
Jeroboam Rebels Against Solomon
26 Also, Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against the king. He was one of Solomon’s officials, an Ephraimite from Zeredah, and his mother was a widow named Zeruah.
27 Here is the account of how he rebelled against the king: Solomon had built the terraces[a] and had filled in the gap in the wall of the city of David his father. 28 Now Jeroboam was a man of standing, and when Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the tribes of Joseph.
29 About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, and Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him on the way, wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone out in the country, 30 and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes. 32 But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe. 33 I will do this because they have[b] forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molek the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in obedience to me, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my decrees and laws as David, Solomon’s father, did.
34 “‘But I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon’s hand; I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of David my servant, whom I chose and who obeyed my commands and decrees. 35 I will take the kingdom from his son’s hands and give you ten tribes. 36 I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put my Name. 37 However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 38 If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you. 39 I will humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever.’”
40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt, to Shishak the king, and stayed there until Solomon’s death.
41 As for the other events of Solomon’s reign—all he did and the wisdom he displayed—are they not written in the book of the annals of Solomon? 42 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 43 Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.
a 1 Kings 11:27 Or the Millo
b 1 Kings 11:33 Hebrew; Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac because he has
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectSolomon was unfaithful, so God turned to Jeroboam, Solomon’s gifted administrator. As you read, identify the things that God offered him.
God promised David an eternal throne, but his son Solomon was unfaithful. How did God respond?
Would he keep his promise to David despite Solomon’s sin? Or would he start over again with a new leader? This is important: how does God confront sin in a once-godly person?
God acted by sending his prophet Ahijah to talk to Jeroboam rather than to Rehoboam, Solomon’s son and the new king. Notice the key features of the prophet’s message to Jeroboam. Israel, under Solomon, had turned from God to worship the gods of three neighboring nations. So Jeroboam was invited to solve the problem. Was he open to becoming a new David—a ruler who would restore Israel’s relationship with God? Jeroboam was already a gifted leader and builder. Would he also build God’s spiritual kingdom?
God also kept his promise to maintain David’s throne. Rehoboam retained part of the nation so the dynasty would continue. In verse 39 we’re given a glimpse of more to come: “I will humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever.”
Even an apparent moral dilemma can’t block God’s promises. Sin always has its consequences, but God extends his grace in new directions. Even sin opens new opportunities for good. Pray into any areas where this needs to happen in your life.
Lord, I give thanks that You are merciful even when I choose the wrong way.