Character Studies

Lesson 20

JEROBOAM

"For He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin."                    (2 Kings 17:21)

Text: 1 Kings 11:26-14:20; 2 Chrn. 10-13

Name: "Increase of the people"; Tribe of Ephraim; Son of Nebat

Place: Jerusalem, Shechem, Bethel & Dan

Occupation: Labor leader; King of Israel (northern division) for 22 years

References: 1 Kgs. 11:30-38; 12:19, 25-33; 2 Kgs. 17:21-23

JEROBOAM'S BACKGROUND
1 Kings 11:26-28
Son of Nebat, tribe of Ephraim
An industrious man of valor
Appointed by king Solomon as an officer over the labor force of the house of Joseph (Ephraim & Manasseh)
An effective leader

GOD'S PROMISE TO JEROBOAM
1 Kings 11:29-39
Ahijah's prophecy of the division of Israel
God's reasons for dividing the kingdom (11:33):
    1. Idolatry of Israel, led by Solomon
    2. Disobedience to the law of God
God's promise to Jeroboam

DEATH THREAT AGAINST JEROBOAM
1 Kings 11:40-12:2
Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam
Jeroboam fled to Egypt until after Solomon's death

THE REVOLT AGAINST REHOBOAM
1 Kings 12:3-24
The people's complaint and appeal (12:3-5)
Rehoboam's foolishness (12:6-15)
The division is complete (12:16-24)

THE SINS OF JEROBOAM
1 Kings 12:25-33 (2 Chron. 13:8-10)
His attempt to secure his kingdom became his downfall (12:25-27)
Calf worship in Bethel and Dan (12:28-33; cf. Hosea 8:4-7)
    1. Changed the object of worship - 12:28
    2. Changed the place of worship - 12:29, 31
    3. Changed the priesthood - 12:31 (13:33)
    4. Changed the feast days - 12:32
Devised in his own heart (12:33)
"More evil that all who were before you" (1 Kgs. 14:9)
"The sins of Jeroboam" a marker of subsequent sins in Israel (1 Kgs. 14:16; 2 Kgs. 17:21-23)

GOD'S JUDGMENT AGAINST JEROBOAM'S ALTAR
1 Kings 13
The prophecy of Josiah (13:2; 2 Kgs. 23:15-16)
Two signs confirming the word of God (13:3-6)
The man of God refuses to eat with Jeroboam (13:7-10)
The man of God is deceived, disobeys, and dies (13:11-32)
Jeroboam remained unrepentant (13:33-34)

JEROBOAM'S REIGN
1 Kings 14; 2 Chron. 13
Marked by rebellion and idolatry (2 Chron. 13:8-10)
Marred by war with Judah (1 Kgs. 14:19; cf. 2 Chron. 13:13-20)
His house to be destroyed (1 Kgs. 14:7-14)
Israel to go into captivity (1 Kgs. 14:15-16)
King over Israel (northern kingdom) for 22 years (1 Kgs. 14:20)

LESSONS FOR US
Great opportunities are no guarantee of success.
Knowing God's word does not mean we will obey it.
Stubborn selfishness leads to destruction.
God will be honored by His people, or in their sin they will be destroyed.
God keeps His word, so we must put our faith in Him and not our own devises.

QUESTIONS
1. Discuss the advantages and opportunities of Jeroboam. (1 Kgs. 11:26-28)

2. How did Jeroboam learn he would be king of Israel? (1 Kgs. 11:29-39)

3. How did Jeroboam rise to power? (1 Kgs. 12:1-19)

4. How did Jeroboam try to secure his throne? What was the outcome of his effort? (1 Kgs. 12:25-33; 13:33-34; 14:16)

5. Who would destroy the calf-worship of Bethel? When did this occur? (1 Kgs. 13:1-5; cf. 2 Kgs. 23:15-16)

6. What mercy did God show Jeroboam? Did it change Jeroboam? (1 Kgs. 13:4-8, 33)

7. Why was the man of God killed by the lion? (1 Kgs. 13:11-32)

8. Describe the incident surrounding the death of Jeroboam's son in 1 Kings 14.