In today’s reading I am reminded again of the absolute sovereignty of God. But there is also a humble reminder for pastors and other Christian leaders. Because of Solomon’s sin in turning his heart away from the Lord, marrying foreign wives and going after their gods, God does exactly what He warned He would do in 9:6-9. He takes the kingdom away from Solomon’s descendants and divides it.
Notice the hand of God in all this. God raised up adversaries against Solomon (11:14, 23). God told Jeroboam through the prophet Ahijah that He would divide the kingdom into 12 parts and Jeroboam would have 10 (11:29-39). The Lord did keep the 2 tribes of the Southern Kingdom for the house of David. When this came to pass God made it clear again that He had caused it: “So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” (12:15)
Here is the humble reminder for Christian leaders. In our minds we often have the attitude that any opposition against us is not from the Lord but from the enemy. This story shows us that this is not always true. Sometimes, as was the case here and on other occasions in the OT, God is the one who raises up adversaries. God does it to discipline His people. Of course, that doesn’t mean that every adversary is from God and, perhaps, most are not. But it is good for us to be reminded that we are not infallible, only God is. If we do not walk closely with the Lord He will use others to correct us.
Prayer: Father, thank you that you love us enough to discipline us. Help me, Lord, to remember that there are those times where you will use adversaries, even possibly those with wrong motives, as your instruments of discipline and correction. Help me to seek your wisdom in knowing how to respond. And help me to know the I must always walk before you with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that you have commanded and obeying your Word.