In Jeroboam’s life, we saw how he led the northern kingdom of Israel to idolatry. He made a bad decision in order to secure the kingdom for himself and did not put his faith on God’s promised blessing.
Despite of his mistake and disobedience, God gave him a second chance by sending a prophet with a powerful message (1 Kings 13:1-3) – He gave a prophecy about the future and the altar broke in half as the prophet said. But instead of falling prostrate to God’s power, he ordered for the arrest of the prophet which in turn displayed another miracle – his hand shriveled up.
At this, Jeroboam decided to plead for mercy and restoration which the prophet of God did and so his hand was restored.
Could this be the act that would call him to repentance and turn back to the Almighty God? Sadly, no. He still did not repent nor put his faith in God. He even tried to bribe the prophet by inviting him to his house and offering him a gift.
Could have the king forgotten about God’s promise or call to him because he was busy with his career? Again, no. In chapter 14 when his son became ill, he sent his wife to Ahijah, the prophet who prophesied about his kingship. So he knows and is again reminded of God’s call and God’s sovereignty in making him the king. He was given another chance to make the right choice. Yet, he did not heed God’s word or God’s mercy. He hardened his heart and continued with his idolatrous ways.
Chapter 13 ended with “Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways…This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall…” (verse 33, 34).
What are the things that we can learn from this episode?
God is a God of second (and even n-th) chances. He is merciful. He is patient with us and He desires that no one perish but for everyone to come to repentance. God used bad circumstances to wake us up and call us back to him. We are reminded that when we are living in sin, God disciplines those whom He loves.
When we encounter God’s rebuke and mercy, let us not harden our hearts and continue on in our sin. Turn back to His loving arms and receive His forgiveness, accept his restoration and be made new again. Just as in the scenario of the prodigal son, returning with rugged clothes and dirty body. He was received with open arms, restoration of sandals, robe, and ring. He was accepted, cleansed, and restored to his position as a son.
I appeal to you to stop hiding, stop running, and come back to God’s loving embrace. So you will be able to live with joy that overflows from within.
Abide in Him. Start doing what is right. Obey His commands, follow his laws and decrees. Read His word and learn about them, His promises, and His will for you – A plan not to harm you but He desires to prosper you and bless you, and give you hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
Thank you God for your mercies that never ends. Thank you for the unending love that you have for us. We praise you because you are the Almighty God and you are in control. Yet you take note of us, you care for us, and love us that you desire that we draw near to you.
Holy Spirit move in our hearts, soften it and make it tender again. Far be it from us that we harden our hearts and continue with our foolish ways. Convict us of our sins and help us to repent and break-free from the bondage of sin. Help us to desire to learn about You, your truths, your ways, and your promises.
We thank you for Jesus dying on the cross to pay for our sins, rising again from the dead after 3days. It is through You that all things are made possible. We surrender our lives to You, make it whole and new again. In Jesus name, amen.