Day 108: A people divided (1 Kings 12-14)

Posted: July 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David. When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered the whole house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand fighting men—to make war against the house of Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon. 1 Kings 12: 18-21

Have you ever disagreed with someone? OK, that’s an obvious answer. How about this one – have you ever disagreed with someone so much that it has permanently changed your relationship with that person? How about a church setting – have you ever seen someone leave a church because people aren’t agreeing with one another?

I can remember so many stories of church fighting, members leaving because of disagreements. I recall one an amusing anecdote Pastor Tim recently told us on a Sunday morning about a man who ultimately left a group because someone received more ham than him at a potluck dinner. Over time, the reason evolved into something it never was meant to become. It sounds ridiculous, but when emotions are running high, we aren’t exactly rational creatures!

In Israel after Solomon’s death, the nation is divided between two lands, Israel and Judah. Jeroboam is declared king over the northern tribes, and Rehoboam is made king of Judah and Benjamin. A civil war is in the brewing, and people just can’t seem to get along. Of course, God had promised this when Solomon failed to obey God’s commands.

We see this all too often today. Even in a church environment, disagreements often escalate into fights, broken friendships and even church divisions! A people divided is a dangerous thing, especially as we are commanded to be a people united under God. How can we be united if we are constantly dividing? It’s like adding by subtracting, the math just does not work.

In Israel, it would take centuries for the nation of Israel to come back to a united state before God. Even in our communities, we are seeing a deterioration of love and kindness, which leads to chaos. After all, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Do you find yourself in a disagreement with a friend? How about in the church? Is it serious enough so that it could cause a division? Don’t let this happen! As followers of Christ, talk to each other in unity, let God’s love shine and if we seek His face with the problems we are facing, everything will take care of itself!

Psalm 133:1 – How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

Romans 15:5 – May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus …

Ephesians 4:3 – Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Scripture is very clear on the importance of unity between God’s people. As if the story in 1 Kings isn’t enough evidence to persuade you! A nation completely blessed by God during Solomon’s reign is completely destroyed when sin creeps in and the nation is divided under two kings. Which nation would you rather live in – a peaceful, united nation, or a divided nation at war with itself? Easy choice!

Don’t let divisions get in the way of serving Jesus! We are all part of the same body, so let’s settle those differences, and get back to a place of peace, where unity with God and each other can reign!

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