Ep.1271: Am I Throwing Away My Life’s Greatest Privilege? (Part I)
A tale of two opportunities, two kings and two failures
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Theme Scripture: 1 Kings 12:24
When God miraculously rescued His people from Egyptian slavery and established Israel as a nation, He put a system of rulership through judges in place that did not include having a king. We all know what happened. The people complained to the prophet Samuel because they wanted a king like everybody else. Even though they were warned of the dire consequences that a monarch would bring, they stood fast in their desire, so God let them have their way. Saul was Israel’s first king, and we all know how that ended. David was their second king, and his life and reign ended with turmoil. Solomon was their third king. His reign began in wisdom and faithfulness and ended in the grip of idolatry. From that time on, Israel’s unity fractured, and they would never have a king to rule over their entire nation again. What happened? Israel and its rulers would teach us how easy it is to throw away great privilege!
Peace and prosperity come at a price
At the end of King Solomon’s reign, Israel was in a socially weakened state. The people were seriously suffering under the high taxes and conscripted labor that built Solomon’s empire. Israel had also become very idolatrous as Solomon’s godly wisdom gave way to the heathen beliefs of his hundreds of wives. Solomon would leave this unhealthy and ununified nation to Rehoboam, a son of one of those wives.
Before Solomon’s death, another man named Jeroboam had been told by God through a prophet that he would have the opportunity to rule Israel. The prophet said he would be blessed of God if he diligently followed God’s law and instructions. Now, Jeroboam was a valiant and trusted warrior under King Solomon and must have been quite surprised by this prophetic message.
Solomon dies and his son Rehoboam becomes king
Things begin to happen! Many of Israel’s mistreated people approached their new king through the valiant warrior Jeroboam to ask for reasonable treatment. With their request, they promised their loyalty. With this opportunity for godly righteousness right before him, the king responds by seeking to think on it for three days. Now the stage is set. On one hand we have this new King Rehoboam who has a golden opportunity to right a sinking ship. On the other hand, we have Jeroboam who was promised extraordinary blessings from God if he would lead according to God’s principles.
Who would step up and follow the incredible privilege that God put before them? Check out our March 6, 2023 podcast, “Am I Throwing Away My Life’s Greatest Privileges? (Part I)” for more. We walk through these two unique stories of opportunity and observe human reactions to God’s will. There is so much that this account can teach us! The fact is, we also have grand and godly opportunities before us every day. Learning how the responses of these two significant men in Israel’s history can show us the do’s and the don’ts of handling our own life privileges. Join us for these powerful lessons!
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