First Kings chapter nine as we begin our study in the Word this evening.
At the beginning of Solomon’s reign, the Lord appeared unto him while he was in Gibeon, there offering sacrifices unto God. And the Lord basically said to Solomon, “Ask me whatever you want.”
So Solomon asked that the Lord would give him wisdom and understanding that he might govern over this glorious people of God. And God was pleased with the request that Solomon made. Because he didn’t ask for riches, or the life of his enemies, or for fame, the Lord said, “Because you have asked that you might just have wisdom and understanding, I’m going to give you what you have asked. But I’m going to give you even more than that. I’m going to give you honor and fame and riches and all in abundance.”
So as we get to the ninth chapter, we find the Lord appearing to Solomon the second time. Solomon has now completed the temple, which took him seven years to build and he has also completed his own palace, which took him thirteen years to build. So the twenty-year building project is over and the Lord now is appearing unto Solomon who has, of course, gained in fame and stature and notoriety through the world for his marvelous wisdom and the glories of the kingdom that he has established.
And so when he was finished the building,
The LORD came to him the second time, even as he appeared to him in Gibeon. And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, which you have made before me: and I have hallowed this house, which you have built, to put my name there for ever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually (9:2-3).
Now the Lord is referring to the prayer of dedication of Solomon that we studied last week in the eighth chapter. After he finished the temple, he prayed this glorious prayer of dedication as he asked the Lord to keep His eye upon this house continually. And if the people would get into trouble, if there would be plagues in the land, if there would be a war, if they were taken captives, whatever, then as the people would pray and seek the Lord in this house, that the Lord would hear and answer and meet their needs.
And so the Lord answers Solomon concerning the prayer of dedication and He acknowledges the fact that He has heard his prayer.
And the Lord said,
If you will walk before me, as David your father walked, in the integrity of heart, and uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and you will keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of your kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David your father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel (9:4-5).
Again I would like to point out the fact that it is a conditional promise. “If thou will walk before me as David your father did, then I will establish your throne forever.” It was a conditional promise of God, which they failed to keep the condition. Thus God was not obligated to keep the promise.
Now as I pointed out, the group known as British Israelites, those who tried to identify the Anglo-Saxon races as the ten lost tribes of Israel, they made a big point that God made a perpetual covenant with David that there would never cease one from his family sitting upon the throne. And it is their premise that the queen of England today is a direct descendant of David because God kept His promise. And that Jeremiah had slipped out of Israel at the time of the Babylonian captivity, took one of the princes to Egypt and then later went to England and established a colony there in England and that the Anglo-Saxon people are in reality a part of the ten lost tribes of Israel. And they have a lot of, you know, things that they go through to try to prove their points. But God’s promise to Solomon was a conditional promise. The conditions, which of course, Solomon failed to keep.
The Lord said,
But if [here again, if] ye shall turn from following me, or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among the people: And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they’ll say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house? And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and they have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them this evil (9:6-9).
So the conditional promise; “if you’ll obey Me, if you’ll follow Me, then there’ll never cease one from your family sitting upon the throne. But if you or your children forsake Me, then Israel will be actually cut out of the land.” So because they did forsake the Lord, they were cut out of the land. And God kept His word that He gave to Solomon.
Now I would like to just point out one thing at this point, and that is, a lot of times there come warnings from the Lord to us by various means. And quite often when God speaks, we think, “Oh, that’s not necessary to talk to me about that, Lord, you know that’s one area where I just don’t have any problem.” But let me suggest whenever God speaks to you about any area of your life, you listen carefully because God doesn’t waste words. And if He talks to you about some issue in your life, you can be sure that’s the issue where you’re going to be facing problems down the road.
Now I’m sure that here is Solomon, he has just dedicated the temple, it’s been a very moving experience. They’ll had all kinds of sacrifices. Everybody is rejoicing and worshipping the Lord, praising Jehovah, and just, it’s a glorious time of worship and exultation. And now the Lord comes and Solomon is there and has prayed. And now the Lord is speaking and the Lord says, “Solomon, if you will follow Me and all, then I will establish your throne. But if you forsake Me and you start to worship other gods,” and I’m sure at this point Solomon is saying, “Oh, Lord, You don’t need to tell me about that. Oh, Lord, how could I ever do that?” You know. And yet it is the very thing. And all the way through the Scriptures, it is interesting how that the Lord always seems to warn people in those areas where they are going to be tested and tried further down the road.
So pay attention when God speaks to you no matter how remote it may seem at that minute that you would ever be tempted or have problems at that area. No matter how confident you may be in that particular area, if God starts to talk to you about some particular area of your life, you be careful and listen. The Bible says, “Take heed when you think you stand lest you fall” (I Corinthians 10:12).
For you see, where I am confident, and I think, “Well, I’ve got that wired, I don’t have to worry about this area,” is an area where I’m prone to trust in myself. I’m prone to be self-reliant in those areas because I think, “Well, that’s something that I really am strong in that area. Paul said, “when I am strong, then I am weak” and “I will glory in my weaknesses, that the power of God might be revealed in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). So usually Satan will not trip us up in our weak points because in those points, we know that we have to depend upon the Lord. It’s quite often a person falls in that area where he has great confidence. He feels very strong and very confident in this particular area. And that is the area where Satan so often trips us up. So listen when God talks to you no matter how it may seem unnecessary to you at the particular moment. The Lord knows what He’s talking about.
Now it came to pass after the time that he had built all of the house and so forth, Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished him with all of the cedar trees and with gold, according to all of his desire. And so Solomon gave to him twenty cities of the area of the upper Galilee and around the Sea of Galilee. He gave to as just sort of a gift twenty cities in that beautiful area of the Galilee, in the upper Galilee.
And Hiram came and looked at the cities; and he was displeased with them (9:12).
Now I don’t understand why, it’s such a beautiful area, and yet Hiram was displeased with the cities that Solomon gave him.
He says, What are these cities that you have given to me, my brother? And he called them Cabul (9:13).
Or displeasing, “Cabul”. It’s not pleasing.
So Hiram sent to the king sixty talents of gold. And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, the wall of Jerusalem, he built the cities of Hazor, Millo, Megiddo, Gezer (9:14-15).
For his father-in-law actually to give him a present. Sent his troops up, captured Gezer and then gave it to Solomon as a present. And it tells of the cities that Solomon established and built. The cities to store all of his goods, the horses, the chariots, and all. Remember he had forty thousand horses.
And so he made slaves of all of the remnant of the people who lived in the land before the children of Israel came in. But of the Israelites, he did not make slaves. And so Solomon then built the Pharaoh’s daughter a special city. She evidently didn’t care too much for Jerusalem so he built a city for her, the city of Millo.
And three times in a year (9:25).
That would be the great feast days.
Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he built before the LORD. And Solomon made [developed] a navy [and he sort of based the navy down] in the area of Eloth (9:25-26).
And the navy would head on down to Africa where they would collect gold and bring it back and Solomon made gold as just everything around Israel. It became just the golden capital of the world.
Silver, it says, was as common as rock. He didn’t really put much value into silver. He really had a thing for gold and so he gathered gold from all over and brought it into the land.
Now the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon and so she came to Jerusalem with a very great company of people, camels, spices, a lot of gold, and precious stones: and as she came to Solomon, she communed everything that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all of the questions that she asked: not any thing hid from the king, that he did not tell her. And the queen of Sheba had seen all of Solomon's wisdom, the house that he had built, the meat at his table (10:1-5),
And we remember the meat of his table is fantastic. How much food it took for every day to feed Solomon’s household and all. One day’s provision, three hundred bushels of fine flour, six hundred bushels of meal, ten fat oxen, twenty oxen out of the pastures or ten choice grade and twenty commercial grade beef, a hundred sheep, beside the harts, roebucks, fallowdeer and fatted fowl. That was every day. And so when the queen of Sheba saw this whole thing, the servants, the sitting of his table. No doubt everything of gold on his table, gold plates, gold cups and she saw the whole thing you know and the way they would bear his cup to him. The way he would ascend to the house of God and the whole thing. Man, she was just wiped out. And it said that.
there was no more spirit in her (10:5).
She just, “Wow!”
And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts and your wisdom. However I did not believe the words, until I came, and I saw it with my own eyes: and, behold, they didn’t tell me half of all that is here of your wisdom and prosperity. It exceeds even the fame which I heard. Happy are your men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice (10:6-9).
So interesting, she sees the whole thing and she says, Hey, they didn’t tell me. I didn’t believe it when they told me of all that was here. They didn’t even tell me half of the story. It’s fantastic. Oh, blessed and happy are the people who can just sit here and listen to your wisdom and all. And then, “Blessed be the Lord thy God.”
Now no doubt at this point in his life Solomon was still walking with the Lord and honoring God because she saw the way he ascended into the place of worship and all. And he was still right on. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that when they see your good works, they will glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). And evidently, Solomon was doing it because as she sees the whole thing, she actually praises God, “Blessed be God.” He was just really at this point in his life right on. But unfortunately, his disobedience to God caused a lapse in his worship and in his dedication to God later on.
Now he also developed another navy to ply the waters of the Mediterranean. The first navy was down in the area of the Persian Gulf and all and would go down to Africa on the east coast of Africa, the Ivory Coast. And the other navy went out to the Mediterranean and covered the area of the Mediterranean going as far as England and bringing back peacocks and gold and rare trees and so forth. And so Solomon actually just had all of this glory and wealth and all that was coming in.
Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold (10:14),
Beside that he had all of the spices that the merchants brought from the kings of Arabia. And he made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target. He made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pounds of gold went into each shield (10:15-17):
Can you imagine that? Three hundred shields with gold, three pounds each. Boy, at today’s market prices. Then he made this fantastic throne, six steps leading up to the throne. He made it of ivory and overlaid it with gold. With two lions that were carved there beside it.
His drinking vessels were all of gold, nothing was silver: for silver was accounted as nothing in Solomon’s days. The king had the navy for Tharshish and the other one for Africa. And great riches and it tells of all the glory and so forth of Solomon.
And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, linen yarn: the king's merchants received yarn for a price (10:28).
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughters of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites (11:1);
Now turn back for a moment to Deuteronomy chapter seventeen, beginning with verse fourteen. Here under the law four hundred years before the time of David, before the time of Solomon, God foresaw that the day would come when the people would demand a king. And so even in the law, God gave certain commandments for the kings.
“When you are come unto the land which the LORD thy God gives you, thou shall possess, and shall possess it, and your dwelling there, and you will say, I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are about me; thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among your brothers shall you set as the king: that you may not set a stranger over thee. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, [Why?] that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write a copy of the law of the book which is before the priests of the Levites: and it shall be that he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn the fear of the LORD his God, to keep the words of the law and statutes” (Deuteronomy 17:14-19).
Now Solomon you know just disobeyed in all cases. First of all, he multiplied horses. He had forty thousand horses. He began to go down to Egypt, verse twenty-eight, had horses brought out of Egypt. And then chapter eleven, he loved many strange women. And we are told in that he had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. And we’ve been reading how he multiplied gold and silver around Jerusalem. He did exactly those things that God said he should not do.
Now the reason why the Lord said the king shouldn’t do these things lest their hearts be turned away from the Lord. And what happened to Solomon? His heart was turned away from the Lord.
There is an old saying that declares, “The dice of the gods are loaded.” By which they are saying you cannot go against God’s word and win. God has established His word. And you cannot, you cannot violate the Word of God and win. Anytime you violate God’s word, you are a loser.
And Solomon, with all of his wisdom, all of his blessings, disobeyed the commandment of the Lord and just as God said, it happened. His heart was turned away from the Lord, verse three.
He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. And it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not completely towards Jehovah his God, as was the heart of David his father. Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, did not go fully after the LORD, as David his father. And then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all of his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods (11:3-8).
So for each of his wives he built a little shrine, a worship shrine that they might worship the gods that were native to their own ethnic groups. And “his heart wasn’t fully towards Jehovah his God.” And in his wives turned him away from the Lord.
So the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD the God of Israel, which had appeared to him twice, and he commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and you have not kept the covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and give it to thy servant. However it will not happen in your days but it will happen in the days of your son. So the LORD stirred up began to stir up adversaries against Solomon, [the first adversary was] Hadad who was an Edomite (11:9-12,14):
Now David had just about exterminated all of the males in Edom. In fact, Joab stayed down there for six months to make sure that they killed all of the men. But one of the princes of Edom whose name was Hadad escaped down to Egypt and there he married the daughter of the Pharaoh in Egypt and he became a very powerful man. When he heard that David and Joab were dead, then he requested the Pharaoh that he might be able to go back to Edom and the Pharaoh said, What’s the matter? You’ve got everything here. Why would you want to go back there? But Hadad insisted and came back to Edom, gathered a company of men and he began to make excursions against the southern borders of Israel and harassment against Solomon. The other one who began to harass Solomon was up in the area of Damascus and he also began to harass Solomon in the northern borders of their land.
Now beginning with verse twenty-six, we find that
Jeroboam lifted up his hand against the king. And Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and when Solomon saw that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all of the charge of the house of Joseph (11:26,28).
Which would be the northern part.
And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah from Shilo found him there in the way; and he had just bought him a new robe; and Ahijah grabbed hold of the robe and he ripped the thing. And then he ripped it into twelve pieces: And he gave unto Jeroboam ten pieces: and he said, Thus the Lord is going to tear the kingdom away from Solomon, [and from the house of David] and the Lord is going to give you ten tribes to rule over: (and He’s going to just leave one tribe for the house of David:) (11:29-32)
That is, one tribe outside of Judah. And so the Southern Kingdom was Judah and Benjamin. And the Northern Kingdom, of course, were the other ten tribes. They comprise the kingdom that became known as Israel and the southern two became known as Judah. So here is the prophecy of Ahijah to Jeroboam. The fact that he is going to become the ruler and the king over ten of the tribes of Israel.
And so the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon (11:41)?
Now here is a book of the Bible that we do not have. There are many books that are mentioned that we do not have. They would add perhaps somewhat to the color and the life history of Solomon if we could only find one of these books, the acts of Solomon, the wisdom of this man. We do have the book of Proverbs; we do have the Song of Solomon. He wrote a thousand and five songs, we have one in the Bible, the Song of Solomon. I’ve never counted the number of proverbs that we have in the book of Proverbs but he actually wrote three thousand proverbs. We do have the book of the proverbs but there is also another book, the Acts of Solomon that we do not have that record, much of his wisdom and all. It would be very interesting to have but we really don’t need it for God’s revelation to us of His purposes and all.
So Solomon slept with his fathers, was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead (11:43).
Now Rehoboam came to Shechem: and all Israel gathered to Shechem (12:1)
Which is just about the center of the land, just about the heart of the country. And they gathered
to make him king. And Jeroboam who was in Egypt, heard of the death of Solomon, (for he had fled to Egypt from Solomon). And they sent and called Jeroboam. And all of the congregation of Israel came to Rehoboam, and they said (12:1-3),
Now look, when your dad was alive, he overtaxed us. And we are just tired of this heavy taxation and we want some tax relief. And so Rehoboam said, “Give me three days to think about it.”
And they said, All right.”
So he went to his older counselors, those men that had counseled his father Solomon.
And he said, “What shall I do?”
And they said, “You better listen to them and give them some tax relief.” What they are saying is correct. The taxes are a burden; they’re too high. The people are going to revolt if you don’t give them some tax relief. And so he went to his young counselors, the young guys that he grew up with.
And he said, “Look, these guys are wanting tax relief. What shall we do?”
And they said, “Don’t give in to their request. If you do, they’re going to only come back for more later. So you got to be firm and you just go out and tell them that they haven’t seen anything yet. That you’re going to even be more severe than your father Solomon.” That actually what they saw under your dad was nothing compared with what’s coming.
So he went out and spoke roughly to them.
He said, “My father chastised you with whips, I’m going to chastise you with scorpions.” And just went on and spoke very roughly to them.
And the people said, “What have we to do with you, house of David?” And they said, “To your tents, O Israel.” And so the tribes of Israel at that point revolted and Rehoboam headed down to Jerusalem, to the safety of Jerusalem when he heard that the people were in an uproar. And so he gathered together an army and the Lord spoke to them and told them not to start a war at that time. And so the kingdom was divided. And this is an important point in the history of the nation.
The Northern Kingdom, as I said, was called Israel. Unfortunately they did not have one decent king. Israel was plagued with idolatry from the beginning. Judah had some good kings, some excellent kings and some bad kings. Israel never had any good kings at all. They went from bad to worst. But at least in Judah they did have some decent kings who did bring reforms there in Judah, but the kingdoms were never united again. The Northern Kingdom fell first because of its idolatry and all. It fell first to Assyria. Later on about 500 B.C. the Southern Kingdom fell to Babylon. Later there was a regathering of course after the Babylonian captivity. But the people of Judah never fully accepted the people of Samaria as true full brothers because the Samaritans could not really bring out their genealogy to prove that they were Jews all the way back.
And even at the time of Christ, there was sharp division between the Jews and the Samaritans. And they were both claiming that they had the right place to worship God; in Samaria where Abraham first built the altar there at Shechem unto the Lord. And they claim that Mount Gerizim was the only mountain on which to worship God. Whereas the Jews were saying, No, God should be worshipped on Mount Moriah there in Jerusalem. And there was this big conflict between them even at the time of Christ.
Now the prophecy of Ezekiel, when he prophesies the rebirth of the nation Israel which we have been privileged to observe, when he prophesies that God was going to take these bones that were dry and scattered and bring them together and put them in the land again and make a nation of them, he said that he saw one stick for Joseph and one stick for Judah. And that actually there would be no longer two but one. And so what God was prophesying there in Ezekiel is that when the children of Israel became a nation again, which they did in 1948, that they would no longer be a divided kingdom. They would no longer be the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom, but they would be just one nation, one king over them all. And thus, of course, is the case today. Israel is a united nation and one ruler ruling over the whole nation but they don’t have the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. That won’t exist again. That is over. That’s a part of the past history. That won’t be repeated because God promised that there would be just one nation in the land.
Of course, Joseph Smith said that one stick for Joseph was actually his name is in the Bible and that one stick was the book of the Mormons that Joseph Smith was going to bring to all the people. If you can believe that, you can believe anything. Read it in its context. I’m surprised that people would go for that.
And so Jeroboam became the king over Israel and he built Shechem. Now Shechem is already there. It means that he built a wall around Shechem and actually the wall of the city of Shechem is, remnants of it are still there today. And he built Penuel.
But he said to himself, The people are apt to be drawn back to the king of Judah, especially if they go down to Jerusalem for the holy days. They go down for the Passover and so forth, their hearts are going to be drawn back after Rehoboam and I’m going to be in trouble. So he made two golden calves and he built altars, one in Dan, which is way up at the uttermost northern part of the kingdom. It’s where the Jordan River comes right out of the ground, beautiful area of Dan. And he set up one of these golden calves in Dan; the other he set up in the southern part there at Bethel, which is of course, just fifteen, twenty miles out of Jerusalem, close by Jerusalem. So in both ends of the kingdom, the southern and the northern part of the kingdom of Israel, he set up these idols with these golden calves and he said, “These are the gods which brought you out of Egypt.”
Now the worship of the calves was something that came from Egypt. You remember when the children of Israel were in the wilderness and Moses had stayed in the mount for such a long time. The people thought that he wasn’t coming back and they came to Aaron and they said, "Make us a God that we might serve it for as what’s happened to this Moses, we don’t know." And so he had them bring all their golden earrings and all of their gold and they molded this golden calf. And of course, Moses came down from the mountain with the two tables of the law and he heard the dancing and the singing and he saw all these people in their wild orgies as they were worshipping this golden calf. And he took the two tables of stone upon which God had inscribed the Ten Commandments. The first one, “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” The second one, “Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image to bow down and worship” and all. And here they were in violation of the first two commandments. They had already broken the law before they even had it. And he threw the stones on the ground and they broke and he then took this golden calf and he ground it into powder, mixed it with water and he made all the people drink it. But he dealt with it very harshly.
But now here is Jeroboam making two golden calves, setting them up with altars and saying, “These are the gods that brought you out of Egypt.” And he turned the hearts of the people away from the Lord.
And so there came a young man out of Judah by the word of the LORD to Bethel: where Jeroboam was standing by the altar ready to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD (13:1-2);
There is that character in Los Angeles that has the golden altar and I’ve been tempted to go up and cry against his altar. “O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord.”
Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones will be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath [This is the sign by which the Lord has spoken.]spoken; Behold, the altar shall be torn, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out (13:2-3).
Now he prophesies that there’s going to be a king raised up, a descendant of David, Josiah by name. Now this is long before Josiah was ever born. But he prophesies exactly what Josiah is going to do in the offering of the priest there upon the high places that burn incense on this altar. And in order that you might know that God has really spoken, this altar is going to be torn in two and the ashes are going to be spilled out.
So it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which cried against the altar there at Bethel, that he said, Lay hold on him. [Put forth his hand, lay hold on that man.] And his hand, he just lost its use, it just dropped and he had no use for that hand or arm. He could not pull it back to him again (13:4).
He just lost use of it.
And the altar was torn or rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign of the man of God that he had given by the word of the LORD. And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Pray now the face of Jehovah thy God, pray for me, that my hand may be restored again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and it became as it was before. And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give you a reward. And the man of God said unto the king, If you will give me half your house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that you came. So he went home another way, other than what he had come to Bethel. Now there was an old prophet there in Bethel; and his sons came home and they told him all of the things that happened (13:5-11):
How this young prophet came from Judah and prophesied and how the king’s arm lost its use and was restored, how that the whole prophesy. And the old man said, “What way did he go?” And so the sons told him.
And he said, Saddle my donkey. And he got on his donkey: and he pursued after this young prophet. And he came to him and found him under an oak and he was just sitting there: and he said, Are you the prophet who came from Judah? And he said, I am. And he said, Come on home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with you, nor go in with you: neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that you came. And he said unto him, I am a prophet myself; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into your house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. And it came to pass, as they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet that had brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as you have disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and you have not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, But you came back, and you have eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of which the LORD did say unto thee, Eat no bread, drink no water; thy carcase will not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. And so it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and he had drunk, that he saddled for him the donkey. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the donkey stood by it, and the lion also stood by the carcase. [So men came into town, and they said, we saw an interesting sight, a young man out there. He was killed by a lion and the lion and the donkey are standing by his carcase.] And the old man said, That truly must be the young prophet. He said, Saddle my donkey. And he went up and he found the young man lying there, and the lion and the donkey standing by. And he brought him back: and he buried him in his own sepulchre. And he said to his boys, he said, When I die, [he said,] I want you to bury me next to the bones of this young prophet (13:13-31).
Now it’s an interesting story that surely has an important lesson for us. And that is we better pay attention to what the Lord has to say to us and not what man has to say to us.
There is a movement afoot within the United States that is called the Shepherding Doctrine. And in this you are to submit yourself unto a shepherd who is responsible to lead you and to guide you in your spiritual development and growth. So you take an older person in the Lord, one with more maturity, an older man, and you submit yourself to him. He becomes your shepherd. He tells you when you can buy a house, when you can sell a house, when you can buy a car and just what job you should take, and so forth. I mean, you bring all of your decisions to him and he shepherds over you and he watches over you and your spiritual growth. He tells you when to do things and what to do and so forth. And you are to submit totally to your shepherd. You are to pay all your tithes to that shepherd, and you commit totally your decisions in your life to him.
It’s really sort of a pyramid thing. Some guys at the top started it. They’re the head shepherd and all of these other shepherds are under them. And it’s sort of like those pyramid sales games where you know you get so many reps under you and then you get a certain percentage of all what your reps sell and they get reps under them and you get a certain percentage of what their reps sell and you know you get this pyramid thing going and the guys at the top really make out great. And so these shepherds that are at the top, and all of the shepherds pay their tithes, of course, on up the line ultimately get up here to the top shepherds. And they’ve got this whole thing going and many people have gone for it.
Now they say that if your shepherd tells you to do something, you’ve got to submit to him and do it even if it is wrong. And if it is wrong, your shepherd is responsible and will have to answer to God. You are right because you submitted and obeyed your shepherd. So you’re free, even though what you’ve done is wrong, you’ll be free because you obeyed your shepherd and you were submitting to him. And thus, he will be the one that will be responsible to God for the wrong things that you’ve done because he told you to do them. If they would only read this account, they would find out that God holds each man responsible for what God has told them to do.
Now this young prophet, the Lord said, “When you get there, don’t eat any bread, don’t drink any water in that place. And when you come back don’t even come back by the same route you went.” So the old man, an old prophet, finds him and he says, “Come on home with me. Eat bread and drink water.”
And he said, “No, I can’t. The Lord commanded me not to. Wow, I’m also a prophet, you see. I’m an older man. And an angel came and spoke to me and said, Come and bring him and invite him back.”
The old man was lying to him. Told him to do something that was not according to the word of the Lord to him directly. And as the result, the young man disobeyed the Lord’s command that the Lord had given to him.
You are responsible to listen to God and to follow the Lord and the Lord’s command. And God will hold you responsible for that. And of course, he’s back there eating bread and drinking water and the true prophecy then came from the old man that he was not going to get back home, that the Lord would take him before he could get home, which of course, did happen.
Now after this experience that Jeroboam had where God was giving to him a warning, verse thirty-three.
Jeroboam did not turn away from his evil doings, but he made the lowest people priests there in the high places: and whoever he would, he consecrated, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing became a sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth (13:33-34).
So at that time his son Abijah became sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that they won’t know you as the wife of Jeroboam; and go to Shiloh: for there is a prophet there whose name is Ahijah, and he is the one that told me that I was going to become the king over these people. Take ten loaves of bread, some cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: and he will tell you what’s going to happen to our child. So Jeroboam's wife did so, she arose, went to Shiloh, and she came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age (14:1-4).
He was so old that he had gone blind.
But the LORD said to Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to ask something of you for her son; for he is sick: so this is what you’re to say, thus and thus shall you say unto her: for it shall be, when she comes in, that she’s going to feign herself [or be disguised] so that she’ll look like another woman. And so it was, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, she came up to the door, when she knocked on the door, he said, Come on in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why are you feigning yourself to be someone else? [Why have you got this disguise on?] for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings (14:5-6).
It is humorous that a person would think that he could disguise the truth about himself with God. And yet so often people find themselves in that position of trying to deceive God. Men are often in a disguise when they come to the house of the Lord. They seek to appear to be something they really aren’t. But God can see through each disguise.
We remember in the birth of the church in the New Testament when there was such great fervor and zeal, that people were going out and selling their houses and possessions and bringing the money in and laying it at the apostles’ feet. They all were just sharing everything together. There was a certain couple, Ananias and Sapphira, who sold a possession. But they conspired to hold back a part of it for themselves and bring in just a part of what they made which was perfectly all right, except that they were feigning to give everything. They were pretending that they were bringing it all in.
And so Ananias came in first and he laid this money before Peter. And Peter said, “Did you sell your house for so much?”
He said, “Why have you conspired in your heart to lie against God? To lie against the Holy Spirit? You’ve not lied unto man, you’ve lied unto God. Now while the house was in your name, wasn’t it yours?”
“Did anyone require you to sell it?”
“Did anyone require that you bring everything?”
“Nope.” But yet you’re putting on this big front. You’re trying to deceive God. And Ananias fell over dead and they carried him out. His wife didn’t hear about it and she came in pretty soon with her part and laid it there at Peter’s feet.
“Is that what you sold your house for?”
”Why is it that you and your husband would conspire together to deceive God? Behold, the feet of those that carried your husband are going to carry you out, too.” And she fell over dead.
We can be thankful, I guess, that that same power doesn’t exist in the church today. I wonder how many of us would last through a service? We surely wouldn’t last through some of the songs that we sing. “Take my life and let it be, consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my hand, my feet, my moments, my days. Take my silver and my gold. Not a mite would I withhold.” Everybody drops over dead.
So it is wrong to think that you can deceive God. Here she comes, all disguised. And while she’s knocking on the door, the old blind prophet, prophet’s old, blind anyhow. He couldn’t see all of this gear that she put on and you know tried to disguise up. He couldn’t see it anyhow. He was blind. And yet he says, “Come on in, thou wife of Jeroboam. How come you’ve put on that weird disguise? I have heavy tidings for you.” They were heavy tidings indeed.
Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel, And I tore the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it to you: yet you have not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all of his heart, to do that only which was right in my eyes; But you have done evil above all that were before thee: for you’ve gone and made other gods, molten images, to provoke me to anger, and you have cast me behind thy back: Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off all of the house of Jeroboam (14:7-10).
Now the Lord declares that I have given to you all of these things. I’ve blessed you. I made you the prince and the king over My people. And yet you have given nothing back. You turned your back on Me and cast Me behind your back. And therefore, because of your wickedness, you’re to be cut off and all of your house.
And those that die from your family in the city the dogs are going to eat; and those that die in the field the vultures will eat: Now go on home: and when your feet enter into the city, your child is going to die. And all Israel will mourn for him, and bury him: but he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day. For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of the good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made groves, provoking the LORD to anger (14:11-15).
And so already at the beginning of the history of the nation of Israel, God is already predicting the judgment that is going to fall some four hundred and fifty years later upon the nation. Because they turned against God, because they began to worship these other gods, they’re going to be scattered. They’re going to be driven out of the land that God has given to them.
And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin. So his wife arose, and when she came to the threshold of her house, her child died; And they buried him; and all Israel mourned according to the word of the LORD, which he had spoken by Ahijah the prophet. Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel (14:16-19).
Now we do have the chronicles of the kings of Judah. They are known in the Old Testament as First and Second Chronicles. However, we do not have the chronicles of the kings of Israel. So First and Second Chronicles really deal with the chronicles of the—they are actually sort of court records of the kings of Judah. The kings of Israel are mentioned in Chronicles only in passing as they are co-reigning about the same time as the kings of Judah. But basically, First and Second Chronicles deal with the kings of Judah. These chronicles of the kings of Israel are other books that we do not have at the present time.
Jeroboam reigned then over Israel for twenty-two years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead. And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. He was forty-one years old when he began to reign, he reigned for seventeen years in Jerusalem (14:20-21),
So now we’re going to start bouncing back and forth from the Northern Kingdom to the Southern Kingdom. So you’re going to have to watch and I’ll try to bring the changes for you so that you know when you’re in the north and you know when you’re in the south. So meanwhile, back in the ranch. In Judah, in Jerusalem, the descendant of Solomon, Rehoboam, in the Southern Kingdom, he was forty-one years old. He reigned for seventeen years.
And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they began to build high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, under every green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all of the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel (14:22-24).
Now there are those today that are trying to have us accept homosexuality as, you know, just as a common thing. Tremendous pressure, that they might be accepted and be totally accepted in our society. That there not be any laws that would restrain them from any kind of position that they might want to hold. If they want to teach your children in the public school, they should have every right in the world to teach your children in the public school though they have a perverted lifestyle and all. And there’s tremendous pressure to accept them.
In fact, they have probably one of the strongest and most well-organized and financed lobbying groups in the country today. And it’s a rare politician that really doesn’t bow unto them because of the tremendous political power that they are able to wield. They also, of course, have created their own churches. And they try to make what they are doing as biblically acceptable and scripturally acceptable. That it is just another way of life and another form of living, that as Christians, we should love everybody and love everything and we should accept them and all.
There was a church in San Francisco, an Orthodox Presbyterian church who had hired an organist who, when he was found to be a homosexual, the church fired him. And he turned around and sued the church for a hundred thousand dollars because of the laws in San Francisco that do not allow any discrimination for a man’s sexual preferences. Fortunately, the courts dismissed his suit for which we praise the Lord.
Actually, Calvary Chapel had sent some money to the Presbyterian church in order that they might defend themselves in this suit. And we are glad for the outcome of the suit this last week when the judge dismissed the suit and granted the church the immunity from that particular law on the basic constitutional rights of the freedom of religion. But if this was such an accepted thing and God would have us to accept it, then surely God would not make reference to it as one of the evils that was existing in the land, the fact that they had allowed these people, and no doubt, to practice openly. And this is one of the evils that is mentioned in the land and later on in a spiritual reform. We find that king Asa got rid of all of the sodomites out of the land. That was listed as a part of the reform in the land.
When the morals of a nation sink so low that the people have such bravado in their sin that they begin to publicly flaunt their perversion and sin, that nation is ripening for judgment, even as was Sodom and Gomorrah. I fear for our nation and we need to pray. I do feel that we as a church should not hate these people who have chosen this lifestyle. But as a church we cannot accept them either. We pray for them that they might have a true conversion and be born again and turn from that wickedness and follow and serve the Lord. But we surely can have no real fellowship with them lest we be partakers of their unrighteous deeds.
So still now in Judah, Rehoboam, the son of Solomon.
In the fifth year of his reign, Shishak who was the king of Egypt invaded the land. And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house (14:25-26);
So all of this tremendous loot that Solomon had brought together was now ripped off by the king of Egypt. That’s one of the tough things about having a lot is that there’s always someone out to rip you off. I have a friend who is involved with the Mafia and he was sharing with me how that there is sort of a big roll of money that just moves around the circles. He said we all know where it is. He said every once in a while, I get a hold of it. And he said when I have it, he says, “Man, I just you know just loathe it”. And he says, “But whenever I have it, all of the guys out there are figuring some scam or some way to get it away from me.” And he said ultimately I fall for one of their scams and they rip it off. And then they have it for a while and then we’re all figuring out some scam to rip it off from them. And he said this big wad of money just keeps moving around in a circle and we each get to hold it every once in a while. But he said it’s just all of us ripping off each other constantly that we might hold this money for a time.
And while I was talking to him it happened to be the time that he had it. And he opened his safe and showed me this tremendous amount of money. And he said, “But I won’t have it for long.” He said sooner or later they’re going to get to me with some scam and he said they’ll take it from me.
Now here was all of this treasure that Solomon amasses. So all of the greedy kings around him, “Wow,” you know, you become the prime target. And so he gets ripped off and they take it down to Egypt. So then everybody knows it’s in Egypt, so they’re going to start you know ripping off the Egyptians then.
So Rehoboam made brass shields (14:27),
Remember Solomon made these gold shields, three pounds of gold per shield. But he replaced them, Rehoboam replaced the shields with brass shields. Now brass is always a symbol of judgment. And it really is the beginning of God’s judgment because of their turning away from the Lord.
And so it came to pass when the king went into the house of the LORD, that the guard bare them, and brought them back to the guard’s chamber. And the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, all that he did, are written in the chronicles of [the kings of Israel] (14:28-29).
So we’ll get those when we get to Chronicles.
Or the kings of Judah [rather] (14:29).
And we do have the chronicles of the kings of Judah.
Now there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days. Rehoboam slept with his fathers, he was buried in the city of David. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead (14:30-31).
Now it is interesting that both men named their sons the same thing. However, Abijah or Abijah and Abijam, they’re close to the same thing, they mean the same. He’s called Abijah later on. But the king of Jeroboam died. The king of Rehoboam, Abijah or Abijam became the king in his father’s stead. And he reigned for three years in Jerusalem.
And he walked in the sins, which his father had done before him: his heart was not completely towards the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless for David's sake the LORD gave him the lamp in Jerusalem, to set his son after him, and establish Jerusalem: Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded in all the days of his life, [except in the case of Bathsheba,] the matter of Uriah the Hittite (15:3-5).
That’s the place where David stumbled and fell badly.
Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life. The rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, they also are in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah (15:6-7)?
So we’ll get more on Abijam later.
And Abijam slept with his fathers; they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. Now in the twentieth year of Jeroboam (15:8-9)
So Abijam had a very short reign. And still in Judah.
Asa now reigned over Judah. Forty-one years he reigned in Judah. And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land (15:9-12),
And part of his reformation.
he removed all of the idols which his father had made. He also got rid of his mother from being the queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and he destroyed her idol, and burnt it there near the brook Kidron. And the high places, however, were not removed: however, Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all of his days. And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which he himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, silver, gold, vessels. Now there was war between Asa and Baasha the king of Israel all of their days (15:12-16).
So the time of Asa, you remember he reigned forty-one days. And so Baasha became the king over Israel up in the northern tribes.
And Baasha the king of Israel came against Judah, and he started building the city of Ramah (15:17),
Which is the present-day city of Ramallah, which he intended to be a fortified city and he was going to cut off all of the supplies that were coming in to Jerusalem. So Asa took the silver and gold out of the temple, and he sent it up to Syria, to Benhadad, who at this time was ruling over Syria.
And he said, “We have a mutual defense pact and I’m asking you now to honor it. Take this silver and gold and I want you to attack Baasha, the king of Israel.”
So the Syrians attacked up in the north part of the city of Dan, up around the Golan, began to take the cities. They actually invaded all the way down to Cinneroth, which is Galilee or the Sea of Galilee, the area of Naphtali and all. And when Baasha heard that they had been invaded from the north, he took his troops from the building of this fortified city of Ramah and they went to face the Syrians. And of course, then Asa came out with his men and they took all of the materials they had brought for this fortified city and they built a couple of cities with it. But Baasha did not return.
Now it seems like brilliant strategy and yet, as we get into Chronicles, we find that God rebuked Asa for this. And Chronicles does expand upon Asa’s reign so much more and we find some very fascinating and interesting lessons concerning king Asa when we get to the Chronicles. Now in his later years, he became diseased in his feet and he died of this foot disease.
In Chronicles, there is an intimation that because he sought the aid of the physicians and inquired not of the Lord, he died of the disease. In other words, the intimation is that had he really just prayed and asked God, God would have healed him. But his heart was turned from the Lord in the later years.
So Asa slept with his father: and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place (15:24).
Now shift gears, go back to Israel. Northern tribe again. We leave the southern tribe. We’ve had it, succession of kings, Rehoboam and then Abijam his son reigning for three years, Baasha taking over. I mean, not Baasha but Asa taking over. And then Jehoshaphat the son of Asa.
Now back in the Northern Kingdom.
Nadab the son of Jeroboam (15:25)
Jeroboam was the one that God had prophesied against.
began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa the king of Judah, and he reigned for only two years. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, he walked in the way of his father, and in the sins wherein his father caused Israel to sin. And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him (15:25-27);
So here’s the third Ahijah we have here.
and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon. In the third year of Asa the king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and he reigned in his stead. And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all of the house of Jeroboam; he not did not leave any that breathed, until he had destroyed the entire descendants, even as the word of the Lord had come to him by Ahijah the prophet from Shilo: Because of the sins of Jeroboam whereby he sinned, made Israel to sin, and the provocation whereby he provoked the LORD to anger. Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, are in [the books that we don’t have] the books of chronicles of Israel? And there was war between Asa and Baasha the king of Israel all their days. And in the third year of Asa, Baasha began to reign over Israel and he reigned for twenty-four years. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin (15:27-34).
So the word of the LORD came to Jehu the prophet unto Baasha, saying, Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, made thee prince over my people Israel; and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and you have made my people to sin, and provoked me to anger with their sins; Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of house; and I will make his house like the house of Jeroboam (16:1-16:3).
So Baasha’s house is to be utterly wiped out.
Those that die in the city eaten by dogs; those that die in the fields eaten by vultures. And the rest of the acts of Baasha, those that he did, are in the books of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (16:4-5)
Again, books that we don’t have.
And Elah his son reigned in his stead. And in the twenty-sixth year when Asa was down in Judah, Elah began to reign over Israel and he only reigned for two years. And his servant Zimri, the captain of half of his chariots, conspired against him, as he was there at Tirzah, and he was drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza the steward of his house of Tirzah. And Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Asa the king of Judah, and Zimri reigned over Israel. And as soon as he sat upon the throne, he wiped out all of the house of Baasha: did not leave a single one from all of the family or relatives. And thus did Zimri destroy the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, for all of the sins of Baasha. Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? In the twenty-seventh year of Asa the king of Judah, Zimri [Remember Asa reigned for forty-one years after he reigned twenty-seven years, Zimri] began to reign in Tirzah. The people were encamped against Gibbethon. And the people that were encamped heard Zimri hath conspired, and slain the king and all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp. And Omri went from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and he besieged Tirzah. And it came to pass, when Zimri saw the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and he burnt the house down on himself (16:6, 8-18).
So he committed suicide having reigned for just a few days. And Omri the captain of the host began to reign.
For the sins which he sinned in doing evil in the sight of the LORD… And the rest of it is written in chronicles of Israel (16:19-20)?
Which we do not have.
Then the people of Israel divided into two parts (16:21):
And so there came a civil war in the northern kingdom. They had already divided from the Southern Kingdom and now there’s a civil war going on up there.
And there were those that followed Tibni and they sought to make him king; and half the people followed Omri. And the people that followed Omri prevailed against the people that followed Tibni: and so Tibni died, and Omri reigned. And as he began to reign over Israel for twelve years: he reigned for six years in Tirzah. And then he bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and he built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill, Samaria. But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, did worse than all that were before him. He walked in the ways of Jeroboam and he sinned against the Lord. And the rest of the acts of Omri are written in the books of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? So Omri slept with his fathers, he was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead. And in the thirty-eighth year of Asa the king of Judah began Ahab, and he was worst than all the rest (16:21-29).
Honestly, the poor people. They didn’t have a decent king.
And Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel and Samaria for twenty-two years. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD more than all that were before him. And it came to pass, if this weren’t enough to walk in the sins of Jeroboam, he took as his wife Jezebel that wicked daughter of Ethbaal the king of the Zidonians, and he went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built at Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. And in his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: and he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD (16:29-34),
Now turn back to Joshua chapter six, verse twenty-six. After Joshua destroyed the city of Jericho, the first city to fall as they were conquering the land. “And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it” (Joshua 6:26).
So Joshua said, Cursed is the man who rebuilds this city. He will lay the foundation at the time of his firstborn’s son, but he will set at the gates when his youngest son is born. So the prophecy of Joshua was fulfilled some five hundred years later. Joshua made that prophecy about 1451 B.C. and about 925 B.C. did Hiel from Bethel rebuild the city of Jericho, and he laid the foundation at the birth of his son Abiram and he set up the gates when his youngest son Segub was born. And thus God’s word, again, amazing prophecies fulfilled.
Omri built Samaria and he died and his son Ahab took over the wicked king who made Samaria the capital of the Northern Kingdom. The ruins of Samaria are very fascinating ruins to see. You can go up on the hill that was once the city of Samaria. And you can see the ruins of Omri’s palace. They are still there. And of Ahab’s palace also. You can also see many of the ruins that were built by the Romans who, of course, later made that one of the Roman cities. But the ruins of the city of Samaria go clear on back to the time of Omri and Ahab. And you can see the ruins of their palaces still there in Samaria.
When you are there it gives you sort of an awesome feeling when you realize all of the wickedness and all of the treachery and all of the bloodshed because of the wickedness and treachery there in Samaria. You think of the sieges that took place there in Samaria. And we’ll be getting into some of those as we move on into Second Kings, when Samaria was besieged by the Assyrians and the horrible things that happened during the times of these sieges.
But it is interesting that the ruins of those areas are still in existence today. In fact, some of the most well-preserved ruins in the Holy Land going back to the Old Testament period are there in the city and in the site of Samaria. And now may the Lord be with you and watch over you and keep you through the week. May you be strengthened by His Spirit in your inner man. And may you through the understanding of the Spirit begin to comprehend how much He really loves you. The full depth of God’s love for you. May He watch over you and may you find your strength and your help in Him.