Reading through the Bible together
Again we see the results of the evil ways of the divided nation! Jeroboam followed his own gods. It is interesting to notice that he gave his son Abijah a name which means "Jehovah is My Father." The Hebrews were very careful in the choice of names which had great significance. Samuel had been asked by his mother from the Lord. Moses meant taken from the water. They knew their heritage! By the name that Jeroboam gave to his son it meant that he did not leave the worship of God entirely. It is quite a coincidence that Rehoboam's and Jeroboam's son had the same name! Tragedy strikes the family and Abijah gets sick! Jeroboam tells his wife to disguise herself as one of the people and go to the old prophet Ahijah and ask for healing for her son. Even though he was a prophet he had the same maladies that many people have, he was blind. However, God spoke to him and told him of the plot of Jeroboam and his wife. The prophet who had the opportunity to cheer the king and to support him, but now had a message from God. Jeroboam had abandoned the Lord and had not obeyed Him and was paying the consequences. The message was very clear: his reign would be taken away; he had gone after other gods and molded images; evil would be brought to his house; the child would die; and Israel would be stricken. Powerful words and a message of warning from the Lord.
Jeroboam reigned 22 years and his son Nadab took over. Rehoboam, king of Judah reigned 17 years. Very similar situation: they did evil, built high places for worship, placed images there, and in the groves. These were fertility cults to the female goddess Asherah; and there were sodomites in the land, which in reality were Male Temple Prostitutes! What a depraved situation! Unfortunately Rehoboam grew up under the corruptive ways of Solomon and followed in his father's footsteps! As a result Shishak king of Egypt came against Jerusalem and took all the treasurers from the king's house! What a sad situation! The works of David and Solomon, the glories of Israel are now taken. Not only did they pay for their wicked ways, but also there was internal war between Jeroboam and Rehoboam all the days of their reign. Tragic results of apostasy and false worhip. What a lesson for us today!
Retired GC Vice-President