Link to Part 2
1 Kings 12:25-14:20
Unless we learn the lessons of history and ‘teach… the next generation’ (Psalm 78:5–6) they will repeat the mistakes of the past. The book of Kings records the history of the people of God so that the following generations may learn from them. Sadly, the lessons we can learn from this passage are mainly negative – the account of Jeroboam is a terrifying one. He passed on a terrible legacy to the next generation. ‘After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves’ (1 Kings 12:28). It is not enough to ‘seek advice’ if we consult the wrong people! These chapters contain the account of the sin of the house of Jeroboam that ‘led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth’ (13:34).
Jeroboam’s key sin was that he made up a form of religion and worship to suit himself. He encouraged idol worship rather than the worship of God (12:28). Jeroboam’s religion is a made-up religion, created to suit his own desires and needs. We may not worship golden calves, but the same danger is just as evident today. As Pope Francis has said, ‘The most dangerous idol is our own selves when we want to occupy the place of God.’ This was Jeroboam’s sin, and it affected the next generation. His son Abijah became ill and died (chapter 14). He ignored the good example of the earlier generation of David who had lived with an undivided heart, pleasing God. Instead he had ‘set a new record in works of evil’ (14:9, MSG).
Jeroboam may have had many military, commercial and political achievements (see v.19), and yet it seems these successes are fairly irrelevant. As Jesus said, ‘What good is it for you to gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul?’ (Mark 8:36). What matters most is a close relationship with the living God.
Lord, I pray that you will raise up leaders in industry, politics, creative arts, media and every sector of society, who will honour you and pass on your message and your standards to the next generation.
Psalm 78:4–6: ‘We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done… so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born.’
It is a challenge to pass on our faith to the next generation. I am so grateful to the children and youth workers at HTB. They have poured out their love on our children and the children of hundreds of others. Every year at Focus (our church holiday away), we have seen our children’s lives and many others transformed during the week. I am excited by what God is doing in the next generation. And the potential for ‘the children yet to be born’ is vast – I feel inspired to pray for them.
culled from Day 175 from my Bible In a Year App 2017