1 Kings 12:25-33
Sunday Morning – 9 Sep 2018 11:01:27 am – Pastor James Yang
There is one thing that I’d like to emphasise today. There is this person called Jeroboam, who used to be a slave. He became the king of Israel eventually and this was a huge grace from God. But one day, a thought came to his mind:
“And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom may return to the house of David:”
I Kings 12:26 NKJV
When he received this thought, which was not from him originally, he became very insecure in the heart. He knew that it was entirely by the grace of God that he had become king. He then had the heart to protect the throne. It became a big sin before Israel and before God. Many other kings had given sacrifices in Bethel and Dan and had not returned to God.
Even for us humans, we have this sin. This sin is the fear of the heart. From fear comes judgement.
A while ago, I read an article. A man took a female high school student and raped her in the mountains. The female recognised the face and he had the heart that if he let the female go, then he would be done for. So he killed her out of fear. The outcome of fear is very miserable and terrible. People do not know where fear comes from.
In high school, I thought that my life was enjoyable. A female deacon once came to visit my house once. Then, she said to me, “Hey student, you must have a lot of burdens on your shoulders”. Indeed, I had siblings younger to me and my family’s financial situation was not good either. So from then on, burdens entered my heart. From then on, I asked my brothers to show me their report card. As I saw their poor report cards, I would smack then for getting poor grades. This is why my younger brothers did not like me. I had this fearful heart that I had to look after my younger brothers well. Folks, don’t I look aggressive?
When you have a certain thought, you become enslaved to that thought. Sometimes, we get the thought that I have to make a lot of money. Some get the idea that they should be pretty. In Korea, for instance, plastic surgery is everywhere. Some grind their cheekbones. This is because they are enslaved in their thoughts.
In 1 Kings 12, prior to it, many kings committed the sins that were similar to Rehoboam’s. Many people in the world get enslaved by their thoughts. Where do these thoughts come from?
“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.””
Genesis 3:8-10 NKJV
Adam and Eve began to have fear in their heart. This fear is indeed from Satan. Just like Jeroboam who became king of Israel and was such a blessed thing, he however lived a life that was completely different from the heart of God.
“For three things the earth is perturbed, Yes, for four it cannot bear up: For a servant when he reigns, A fool when he is filled with food, A hateful woman when she is married, And a maidservant who succeeds her mistress.”
Proverbs 30:21-23 NKJV
When a servant becomes the ruler – or king, then it perturbs the world. Jeroboam had the certain thought that as he became king, yet all the people in Israel travelled to Judah to sacrifice to the Lord. He thought that he would lose his people and so he agreed to make altars and a worship place in Dan. He then chose the 18th day of the month for people to go there and sacrifice to the Lord. In this way, people did not have to travel to Judah anymore. He felt that his kingdom would become stronger like this, but this was such foolish thought. Later on, Jeroboam was slaughtered by another king and so died like this.
Folks, we also have two hearts in us. It makes us insecure. It makes us have fear. And so we think of doing something for ourselves. Many people in the world do not know exactly what is meant by sin. More succinctly, believing in yourself is sin.
Peter laid down his net all night long for a catch. But he caught nothing. Then, as he washed his net early in the morning, Jesus appeared to him and asked him to let him down his net for a catch. Peter could not initially believe this Word, but upon listening to the Word and denying his thought, he caught excessive amount of fish.
Then, Peter went before Jesus and knelt down and asked Jesus to depart from him for he was a sinner. What did Peter do wrong here? Did he steal? Did he commit adultery? No! He was just led by his thought. This was his sin.
In Genesis, there is Joseph and his brothers, who heard Joseph’s dream. The dream was that his sheaves of grain was standing and all his brother’s grain sheaves bowed down. And the brothers were so upset. Would you be upset if this was the case? Well, the truth is that most people would be upset.
However, Joseph had the dream which is from God. But the brothers could not see that. So in their anger, they threw him into a deep pit and then sold him away.
As I read these chapters, I felt that people of this world’s heart are trained…so that they can fit in this world. This way, when the things of God come to us, we are unable to receive.
In Joseph’s story, by the grace of God, he became the governor of Egypt. After two years, his brothers came to Egypt to buy food and they actually bowed down to Joseph. Eventually, Joseph makes himself known to his brothers. He asked them not to be angry with himself, but acknowledged that God was the one who sent him there in advance to preserve lives.
“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” ’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.”
Genesis 50:15-17 NKJV
Joseph’s brothers were clearly deceived.
Once, after service, I was speaking to a person and said that Jesus had taken away our past, present and future sins. So I asked the person if she still had sin and he said that she still had so. When I showed her that this was inconsistent with the bible, then she said, “I have aborted a baby of mine many years ago. I felt that the baby wanted to live but I aborted the baby. And so I felt so so guilty”. As many times as I tried to tell her that her sins were forgiven, but she could not accept it. Folks, in fact, all sins are washed away.
Folks, consider Joseph when he was being sold. He must have cried for mercy. But his brothers did not care and just negotiated the price for Joseph. So imagine later on in Egypt, when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, they could not think to themselves that their sins were washed and forgiven.
“Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”
Romans 7:20 NKJV
The bible says that if you do something that you do not want to do, then it is not you doing it. Who makes you sin? It is sin that makes you sin. It is sin that dwells in you and after that, you are the one to feel condemned.
“And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,”
John 13:2 NKJV
It is the devil who put into the heart the thought in Judas to betray Jesus. It was actually not Judas to begin with. This holds true for all of us.
““ As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, So is he who gets riches, but not by right; It will leave him in the midst of his days, And at his end he will be a fool.””
Jeremiah 17:11 NKJV
Folks, there is the partridge. They embrace the eggs of other birds such as the cuckoo. The cuckoo bird usually does not have its own nest. This species of birds do not have its own nest. They lay their egg in the other bird’s nest. The funny thing about the partridge is that they cannot tell if the egg are their own or not. So the cuckoo bird goes into the nest of the partridge and lays the egg. It has the special ability to lay the eggs in the same colour as the other birds’ eggs. This way, the partridges cannot tell if the eggs are their own or not.
Jeroboam is just like the partridge not being able to tell whether the thought is from him or someone else. Following that thought, he perished. The bible tells us about the heart. Through the bible, we can understand the world of the heart.
Like the partridge that is devoid of wisdom to tell whether the eggs are theirs or not, we are also devious of wisdom to tell whether the thoughts come from us or not.
Judas Iscariot could not decipher the thoughts from Satan. So later on, feeling remorseful, he went to the high priest and wanted to refund his money to them.
“Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it! ” Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.”
Matthew 27:3-5 NKJV
Judas was completely deceived. Had he only had the fellowship that he was deceived by the devil, then he would not have been condemned. He would have realised that it was the devil who planted all the thoughts like this. In the end, God condemned the devil himself, but the devil condemns us. The elders and the high priests have no heart from God either. Otherwise, they would have cared for his soul and saved him by preaching the gospel to him.
Why is that Satan is always deceiving our heart? Why do a lot of people get deceived? It is because they are ignorant of the clear of heart of God.
I went to one of the churches in Fiji. There was a pastor who said, “God is good” and people would say “All the time”, and then the pastor would say “All the time” and the people would say “God is good”. Now we changed it to “God is all, all the time” and “all the time, we are evil”.
“Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.””
Romans 3:4 NKJV
God gave us the law so we can keep them? No! There is no way. God gave us the law so we can have knowledge of sin.
In 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles, it constantly says “the sin of Jeroboam”. This is the sin of trusting in ourselves. This is such a huge sin before God.
One day Mary heard what the angel said – i.e. “You have received the great grace of God’. Is it possible for a virgin to bear a child without receiving seed from a man? The common knowledge of the world dictates no as the answer. But in the bible, this is all possible.
God even sent his messenger to Jeroboam, but Jeroboam did not listen and he just lived his life with nothing to do with God.
Even after salvation, worries and anxieties come to us. When we are enslaved in our own thoughts, then we just worry and this is how Satan works.
But what does the Word of God teach us? It teaches us that the Word of God is only true.
Jesus said that everyone would deny Him but no one believed Him. Even Peter denied Jesus thrice. This Peter then became so so remorseful. From then on, after Jesus resurrected, Peter changed amazingly.
As soon as Peter saw the man sitting at the gate of the temple, he had a heart that he never had before. He was able to heal the lame man at the gate Beautiful. Outwardly, it is Peter, but inside it is not Peter anymore, but Jesus.
He had no more thoughts of his own but the thoughts of God.
Unless we get rid of our thoughts, the Words of God cannot enter our hearts.
In the Cook Islands, a lady asked me how is it that we can have no more sins anymore.
She showed me this Word: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 3:23 NKJV
So I showed her this Word: “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
Romans 3:24 NKJV
So according to this Word, we are justified.
Please do not trust in your own thoughts but in the Word of God only.
The lady was so thankful in the end.
She was able to accept the Word of God that said that if God had justified her, then she has indeed. And so she forsook her thoughts and just accepted the Words of God.