Often when journeying to an unknown destination, the most relaxing part of the journey as a driver is when the satnav instructs you to stay on the same route for several miles without turning. It is less stressful in comparison to driving in areas where one must make several turns.

In scripture, God has often reminded His people to be careful to follow his ways and statues, not turning to the right or to the left of it (Deuteronomy 28:13-14). While we may find simplicity and convenience in following a direct route on a journey to an unknown destination, the overwhelming evidence from scripture proves that mankind has found following the ways of the Lord challenging for several reasons. The ultimate is because of sin.

The story of king Jeroboam is of one who was greatly honoured by the Lord, but eventually turned away from Him. Jeroboam was honoured by the Lord, when God sent Ahijah the prophet to prophesy that he was chosen to be king over the ten tribes of Israel, because of the idolatrous sin of Solomon. Jeroboam was given a greater share of the kingdom, while Rehoboam, the son of Solomon was only given the tribe of Judah and Benjamin to reign over.

But what caused such a person favoured by the Lord to turn from Him? At its root, it was a lack of trust in the Lord, and a desire to maintain power, stemmed from the delusion of self-sufficiency.
Often when we find ourselves in a vulnerable position where we cannot help ourselves, we find it easier to wholly trust in the Lord and to rest in his grace. However, when we feel we have the resources and the ability to handle the situation, we often rely on our self. This was what caused the downfall of Jeroboam.

Jeroboam started with trusting in the Lord that gave him the greater share of the kingdom, but when he had established himself in power and wealth, he chose worldly wisdom to preserve his power over the people.

In 1 Kings 12:25-28, we are told of how Jeroboam turned from the Lord. The passage reads, “Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. And he went out from there and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David. If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”

At its root, it was a lack of trust in the Lord to be faithful to His word and promises, and a delusion of self-sufficiency that led to Jeroboam’s down fall.

The lesson from Jeroboam’s life is summed up in these scriptures,

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” Proverbs 3:5-6

“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil” Proverbs 3:7

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6

Be encouraged.

Chris Eke