BEGIN WITH PRAYER
"Lord open my eyes and my heart."
Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.
Wisdom to chew on
Understanding to grow in
So much of the Old Testament teaches the simple message that we must heed and obey the word of the Lord. Here we see his word to Solomon come to pass. His son Rehoboam fails to display wisdom, provoking Israel, which responds by making Jeroboam (who managed Solomon's labour) king. Only Judah remains loyal to Rehoboam and David's line, although Benjamin soon joins with them (12v20-21). And what follows is utterly tragic. Not wanting his subjects to be drawn to the southern kingdom for worship at Jerusalem, Jeroboam sets up an entire alternative religious system: alternate gods, centre of worship, altars, priests, festivals - the lot. Its a pattern of all alternate religion, including the secular system we have today, with its worship of human ability, it centre for worship in London, its priest-like celebrities and intellectuals; perhaps even its cultural festivals. The point is that we should not be dawn away from the true worship that is now offered in the temple of God's church. The story of the man of God makes this point, as he prophetically acts out his message in the most extreme way. He followed deceptive words to break what he knew to be the word of the Lord, and dies for it (although is honoured in acknowledgment of his role, 13v28-30). In the same way, his message was that those who followed the deception of the false worship in the north and disobeyed what they knew to be God's word, would die for that (13v31-34). It's a salutary warning. As you read note the emphasis on the word of the Lord.
1 Kings 12-13
1 Kings 12-13
Finish this reading by pausing to ask yourself:
1) What’s the main thing it teaches me about God or his purposes in Christ? Then praise him for this.
2) What’s the main thing it teaches me about his will for me or the world? Then pray that home.
Devotion to offer up
You could read this aloud and perhaps as a springboard to further prayer.