Wednesday, April 13, 2022

2022.04.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Kings 11:14–40

Read 1 Kings 11:14–40

Questions from the Scripture text: Who raised up what against whom (1 Kings 11:14)? What was the adversary’s name and lineage? What historical event (1 Kings 11:15-16) made this unlikely against such a king as Solomon? But what had Hadad done (1 Kings 11:17)? With whom? When? To whom had they come (1 Kings 11:18) with what reception (1 Kings 11:18-19)? Why does this bode poorly for Solomon (1 Kings 11:19-20, cf. 1 Kings 11:1)? What event made Hadad feel safe to return to Edom (1 Kings 11:21)? What did he tell Pharaoh? And how did Pharaoh reply (1 Kings 11:22)? With what result? Who raised up what against whom in 1 Kings 11:23? What adversary? From whom had he fled? What had he done during David’s reign (1 Kings 11:24)? What did these two adversaries do (1 Kings 11:25)? Whom does 1 Kings 11:26 introduce? What is he called instead of ‘adversary’? What data does it give about him? What did he do? What does 1 Kings 11:27 begin to explain? What had Solomon done? Who saw what about Jeroboam in 1 Kings 11:28? What did Solomon do for him? Who came out to see him (1 Kings 11:29)? What did Ahijah do in 1 Kings 11:30? What did he tell Jeroboam to do (1 Kings 11:31)? Why (cf. 1 Kings 11:351 Kings 11:37)? Why not all (1 Kings 11:32)? Why is the Lord doing this to the tribes (1 Kings 11:33)? Why not all of them (1 Kings 11:34a)? And why not in his life (verse 34b)? What will Solomon’s son have (1 Kings 11:36)? Why? What is the Lord putting in Jerusalem? What offer does the Lord make Jeroboam in 1 Kings 11:38? What caution does 1 Kings 11:39 imply to Jeroboam? How does Solomon respond to news of this (1 Kings 11:40)?

There’s great comfort in the fact that God is the One Who appoints our adversaries. It doesn’t make their opposition painless or griefless. But it does remind us that our chastening is never chaotic or out of control but exactly as God our Savior has appointed it. You can see this with Hadad, and how the Lord was already prepping him for this role during the life of David (1 Kings 11:15-16). Pharaoh’s political enmeshment with Hadad (1 Kings 11:18-20) reminds us of the folly that got Solomon into this mess (cf. 1 Kings 11:1). But Edomites are for themselves and against Israelites, and Hadad’s interest in staying with Pharaoh evaporates when the opportunity to be the adversary arises (1 Kings 11:21-22). 

Syria had not yet been an adversary, but they certainly would be for the next few centuries, and we can trace that all back to Rezen. He was the first ruler in Damascus who “abhorred Israel” (1 Kings 11:25). As with Hadad, we see the slipping away of the Davidic gains against God’s enemies and Israel’s (1 Kings 11:24).

But we see God’s hand even more directly in the rise of Jeroboam. He had been one of Solomon’s best men (1 Kings 11:28), but God’s prophet directly instructed him to take 10 tribes (1 Kings 11:31) once Solomon passed away (1 Kings 11:34-35). Solomon tried to prevent this, but there was Egypt again (1 Kings 11:40), an historical and literary tie that unifies this entire chapter. Solomon had “gone back to Egypt” via women, horses, and chariots. And the Lord was inflicting some Egyptian pain upon him in turn.

However, the chastening would not be complete (1 Kings 11:321 Kings 11:36) nor forever (1 Kings 11:39) because of the faithfulness of David (1 Kings 11:34) that had come by God’s election of David and Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:321 Kings 11:36). 

We see the great difference that this election makes in the offer that God makes to Jeroboam in 1 Kings 11:38. All he has to do is be faithful, and he will have what David had. He even has the advantage of Solomon’s impending demise as a warning. And Jeroboam still doesn’t walk in Yahweh’s ways. (In fact, we’ll find that he plunges the ten tribes into sinful, man-made religion that soon becomes “centuries of tradition,” and from which the north never quite extricates itself). 

How had it ever been possible for David to be faithful? Well, he certainly wasn’t sinless. But what faithfulness he had in this life was the result of God’s choosing (electing) love. Sin still has real consequences (1 Kings 11:331 Kings 11:39a). But the promise of the forever-King will be the last word (verse 39b).

What chastening circumstances have you gone through? Or maybe are going through now? How can you know that these circumstances are not ultimately chaotic or out of control? What promises and fulfillments give you hope, before the face of Him Who controls it?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we praise You for Your perfect justice and sovereign control in ruling individual and international circumstances. Forgive us for living as if our actions did not have consequences or Your chastenings were not restricted by Your wisdom and love. Give us faith in Christ, restore us unto faithfulness to You, and bring us safely through it all, we ask through Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP45A “My Heart Is Greatly Stirred” or TPH374 “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”

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