Ep.1272: Am I Throwing Away My Life’s Greatest Privilege? (Part II)
Recognizing and living up to the magnitude of our privileges in Christ
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Theme Scripture: 1 Kings 12:24
King Solomon ruled over a united kingdom of the 12 tribes of Israel. While the king celebrated the breathtaking splendor of Israel’s civil engineering feats and the exquisite opulence of his palaces and buildings, the people were being suffocated under unreasonably high taxes and forced labor. Tribal jealousies were prevalent between the northern and southern regions, especially between Ephraim in the north and Judah in the south. These conditions, along with Solomon’s impending death, set the table for a never-before-seen fracturing of national unity. But there was hope! In Part I of this 2-part series, we laid the groundwork for what would happen. Simply stated, it all came down to being given extraordinary opportunity and privilege by God and the decisions that followed these gifts.
Solomon's son, Rehoboam
Rehoboam was King Solomon’s son and inherited the throne of Israel when Solomon died. Becoming the king of God’s chosen people was an enormous privilege. Rehoboam had the choice to do things God’s way or to follow in his father’s later footsteps and leave God behind and do them his own way. Israel was in rough shape.
Solomon's servant, Jeroboam
The overworked and overtaxed people rallied behind one of Solomon’s valiant warriors named Jeroboam. This warrior had been told by a prophet that God would bless him and give him kingship IF ONLY he would obey God’s laws.
Here we have two men from two regions of Israel given the opportunity of a lifetime. Both had choices as to how they would handle that opportunity. Both had full knowledge of God’s influence over and protection of Israel. Both also knew of the current sorry state of the nation as it wallowed in idolatry and disunity. As we look from the outside in at the choices these two men faced, it is so easy to see what we would consider as the obvious course of action. Follow God! He has worked miracles of deliverance and victory in the past! Do things God’s way! Let Him bless you AND the people!
Sadly, neither of these men ultimately chose that path.
Israel would be split into two kingdoms and have two kings. Jeroboam would rule over the ten tribes to the north, and they would be called "Israel." He would leave a legacy of idolatry so blatant that his bloodline would end in disgrace. Rehoboam would rule over the two tribes to the south and they would be called "Judah." His legacy was only slightly better.
How could both kings be so foolish? Check out our March 13, 2023 podcast, “Am I Throwing Away My Life’s Greatest Privilege? (Part II)” for answers. As we examine their failed choices, we do so with a mirror of self-assessment in hand. Think about this: if we claim to be true followers of Jesus, then we are claiming the highest privilege humanity has EVER been offered! How are WE handling OUR privilege? Are we really following Jesus or just doing it our way like these two kings? Don’t miss this enlightening journey as ancient history reveals our potential present day pitfalls!
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