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March 2012

 
Sunday March 11, 2012
 
King Rehoboam! – Things will turn!
 
Things may not always go the way we expect them to. We can be rest assured that things will turn in our favour. What are we to do when things do not go the way we want them to?
 
Who is Rehoboam?
Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king.
                                                                                                                        - 1 Kings 12:1
Rehoboam
 Name means ‘He enlarges the people ’
 or The People Are Enlarged (according to NOBS Study Bible Name List).
 Current day discoveries back up what happened during his reign. A remarkable memorial of this invasion has been discovered at Karnac, in Upper Egypt, in certain sculptures on the walls of a small temple there. These sculptures represent the king, Shishak, holding in his hand a train of prisoners and other figures, with the names of the captured towns of Judah, the towns which Rehoboam had fortified (2 Chronicles 11:5-12).
 
Positives
 Listened to God: Allowed the will of God to prevail
 Had counselors: Some counseled rightly some wrongly.
 
Turning…
 
Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.
Harry Emerson Fosdick

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.
C. S. Lewis

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
John Wooden
 
Negatives
Suffered for the sins of others: So the king did not listen to the people; for it was a turn of events from the LORD, that He might establish His word, which the LORD spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
1 Kings 12:15; A country suffered famine because of the sins of a man- Saul; many died as a result of David's decision to conduct a population census etc
 
Departed from God’s law:And his mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess. Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked Him to jealousy more than all that their fathers had done, with the sins which they committed. 1 Kings 14:21a-22
 
 
Learning’s!
 Have a passion for God and the things of God
 Praise and worship God in good and bad times
 Be committed to God, no matter what.
 
Prayer
  Give thanks
  Pray over the positives in Rehoboam’s life
  Pray over the negatives
  Lord, preserve me till the end
  Lord help me to walk in your perfect will
 
Sunday March 18, 2012
 
King Jeroboam! – The fool enters!
 
When a person denies the existence of God, turns his/her back to God and goes on his/her way, God describes the person as a fool (Psalm 53:1). Jeroboam was favoured, selected, honoured by God, lifted from among the common people to be a King, a ruler, exercising authority, dominion, he became wealthy; but all the greatness and lifting turned to his destruction as he turned away from God. What should we do to ensure we do not turn our backs to God as He favours and lifts us up?
 
Who is Jeroboam?
So the king paid no attention to the people. This turn of events was the will of God, for it fulfilled the LORD's message to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh.
                                                                                                - 2 Chronicles 10:15

When the people of Israel learned of Jeroboam's return from Egypt, they called an assembly and made him king over all Israel. So only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the family of David.
                                                                                                - 1 Kings 12:20
 
The one nation of Isreal became divided into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms ruled by different kings.
 
Jeroboam
Name means ‘Increase of the people ’
 He sought to increase the people under his influence, even at the cost of his future, family and generations.
 
 
Positives
 Operated in God’s covenant: He was selected by God to rule the northern kingdom.
Had counselors: But they counseled wrongly.
 Received guidance on how to rule correctly.
 
Turning…
Jeroboam was angry at the person seeking to redirect him into the way of life and favour. This is unnatural; people are never angry at their saviours. The sick do not antagonize their doctors; vehicle owners don't hate their mechanics; people with toothache don't quarell with their dentist.
 
Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools. 
                                                       Albert Einstein

Anger is a short madness. 
                                   Horace

Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.
                                                           
Robert Green Ingersoll
 
 Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. 
                                                                                                                                           Mark Twain
 
Negatives
1. Jeroboam was ‘careful’: Jeroboam thought to himself, "Unless I am careful, the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David. 1 Kings 12:26
  28 on the advice of his counselors, the king made two gold calves. He said to the people, “It is too much trouble for you to worship in Jerusalem. Look, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!” 29He placed these calf idols in Bethel and in Dan—at either end of his kingdom. 30But this became a great sin, for the people worshiped the idols, traveling as far north as Dan to worship the one there. 31Jeroboam also erected buildings at the pagan shrines and ordained priests from the common people—those who were not from the priestly tribe of Levi.
 
Turning…
 Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it. 
                                                                                           Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy. 
                                                                               Aristotle
 
2. Became a fool: Jeroboam was very angry with the man of God for speaking against the alter. 1 Kings 13:4a
 Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool./ Don't be quick to get angry, because anger is typical of fools.Ecclesiastes 7:9
 
Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be
                                                                                                                                        Thomas Kempis

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean. 
                                                                                                 Maya Angelou


Never do anything when you are in a temper, for you will do everything wrong. 
                                                                                     Baltasar Gracian
 
3. Raised by God, struck down by God: So Jeroboam of Israel never regained his power during Abijah's lifetime, and finally the LORD struck him down and he died.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     - 2 Chronicles 3:20
 
 
Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.
                                                                        Mother Teresa

Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them.
                                                                        James Fallows

An angry man opens his mouth and shuts his eyes. 
                                                                    Cato 

 
Jeroboam – Pointed Fingers!
4 When King Jeroboam heard the man of God speaking against the altar at Bethel, he pointed at him and shouted, “Seize that man!” But instantly the king’s hand became paralyzed in that position, and he couldn’t pull it back. 5 At the same time a wide crack appeared in the altar, and the ashes poured out, just as the man of God had predicted in his message from the Lord. 1 Kings 13:4-5
 
We need to be careful when pointing fingers at others or saying things against people. In the story above, an established, wealthy, powerful ruler pointed his finger and hand towards a man of God and said ‘seize him’, arrest him etc. The man of God was quiet, did not say anything, but God spoke on his behalf. The hand of King Jeroboam withered, became paralyzed.
 
As a child of God, you should strengthen your relationship with God, walk with Him in such a manner that He will always arise in your defense. He declared in Exodus 14:14, you will hold your peace and I will fight for you.
 
People who point at you unjustly may be pointing to the Most High God and will come under God’s judgment. That is why as a child of God; leave your battles to God and He will fight for you. You do not need to fight in this battle.
 
Stand still (hold your peace) and see the salvation/deliverance of the Lord.
 
King Sennacherib pointed his hand against Hezekiah, a child of God, unknown to Sennacherib; he was pointing his finger and hand at God. God decisively dealt with King Sennacherib.
 
In this season of greatness, I see God fighting for you and dealing with hands pointed against you! In Jesus mighty name! Amen!
 
Learning’s!
Have a passion for God and the things of God
 Praise and worship God in good and bad times
 Be committed to God, no matter what.
 
Prayer
Give thanks
 Pray over the positives in Jeroboam’s life
Pray over the negatives
 Lord, preserve me till the end
• Lord help me to walk in your perfect will
 
 
Sunday March 25, 2012
 
King Abijah! – The covenant speaks!
 
Who is Abijam?
 
1 Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah.
 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
 3 He walked in all the sins of his father which he had committed before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, like the heart of his father David.
4 But for David’s sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, to raise up his son after him and to establish Jerusalem;
 5 because David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.
 6 There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.
 7 Now the rest of the acts of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
 
 
Abijam also called Abijah
  Name means ‘Father of the sea’
  Name also means Father – possessor or worshipper of Jehovah.
  My father is Jehovah (Smith’s Bible Dictionary)
  Son of Rehoboam, an evil king of Judah
 
 
Positives
  Understood the impact of a covenant
  Operated in God’s covenant of salt
  Maintained Levites and ordained priests as required by God.
 
Covenanted by Salt?
 
In 2 Chronicles 13:5, King Abijam of Judah declared to a mighty army that came to fight against him "Do you not know that the LORD God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?
 
 A covenant of salt denotes that God had entered into a permanent pact of friendship and commitment to a person, family, community or nation.
 Middle Eastern traditions have it that when enemies eat food containing salt together, they instantly became friends – you have eaten of my salt.
 Waging war, obtaining victory requires having the right arsenals, equipment and fighting a good fight. All these and much more do not guarantee victory. Having someone skilled in warfare, who has never lost any battle as your ally and captain is beneficial. Only God has never lost a battle.
 
And, behold, God himself is with us as our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight not against the LORD God of your fathers; for you shall not prosper. 2 Chronicles 13:12
 
Besides:
 Salt sweetens.
Salt preserves and protects from decay; meaning your life, family, ministry and destiny will not be wasted.
 Salt changes from a bland tasteless position to an attractive sought after state.
 Salt ensures permanence in sweetness.
 Salt is not manufactured, it is given.
 
In this season, may God preserve you and all yours; make you sought after, grant you the desires of your heart in Jesus mighty name! Amen!
    
May God’s covenant with David, realized through Jesus, your Lord and King, speak for you, protect you and lift you; in Jesus victorious name! Amen!
 
 
Negatives
  •    Continued in idolatry and the sins of his father - 1 Kings 15:3
  •    His heart was not right with God - 1 Kings 15:3
 
 
Abijam – The covenant delivers!
Psalm 132:13-18
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion, He has desired it for His habitation:
14 This is My resting-place forever [says the Lord]; here will I dwell, for I have desired it.
15 I will surely and abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16 Her priests also will I clothe with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
17 There will I make a horn spring forth and bud for David; I have ordained and prepared a lamp for My anointed [fulfilling the promises of old].
18 His enemies will I clothe with shame, but upon himself shall his crown flourish.
 
We need to lay hold on the covenants of God and cry out to Him in prayer! See Finney`s example below:
 
Charles G. Finney & His Intercessors
 
Like the prophet Jeremiah, Charles G. Finney was anointed of God to "root out" and to "plant" in the Lord's vineyard, (Jer. 1:10). He was a man of intense prayer, purity and passion. "Emptied of self, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. His sermons were chain lightning, flashing conviction into the hearts of the stoutest skeptics. Simple as a child in his utterances, he sometimes startled his hearers by his unique prayers." He could thunder the judgments of God upon sin with great liberty and power and then offer the mercy of the gospel with tenderness and tears. Without question he was a prophetic voice to 19th century America.

His ministry consistently produced revivals, even in areas considered hardened and unreceptive to the gospel. Finney's autobiography is filled with accounts of powerful manifestations of the Spirit. On one occasion when Finney was preaching in a school house, "suddenly an awful solemnity fell upon the assembly and the congregation fell from their seats, crying for mercy." Finney said, "If I had had a sword in each hand I could not have cut them off as fast as they fell. I think the whole congregation was on their knees or prostrated in two minutes." The crying and weeping of the people was so loud that Finney's exhortation of Christ's mercy could not even be heard.
 
"Finney seemed so anointed with the Holy Spirit that people were often brought under conviction of sin just by looking at him. When holding meetings at Utica, New York, he visited a large factory. At the sight of him one of the workers, and then another, and then another broke down and wept under a sense of their sins, and finally so many were sobbing and weeping that the machinery had to be stopped while Finney pointed them to Christ."

Finney seems to have had the power of impressing the conscience of men with the necessity of holy living in such a manner as produced lasting results. "Over eighty-five in every hundred persons professing conversion to Christ in Finney's meetings remained true to God. Whereas seventy percent of those professing Christ in meetings of even so great an evangelist as Moody afterward became backsliders."

Such results were the fruit of hours and hours of prayer. It was not Finney's prayers alone that secured such heaven sent revivals. Finney's was supported by the prayers of two of God's hidden treasures. It was the hidden, yet powerful intercessions of "Father Nash" and Abel Clary that laid the ground work for these mighty moves of God. "Abel Clary was converted about the same time as Finney, and was licensed to preach also, but he had such a burden of prayer that he could not preach much. His whole time and strength was given to prayer. He would writhe and groan in agony, unable to stand under the weight." "After Clary's death Finney discovered Clary's prayer journal. Finney found in the exact order of the burden laid upon Clary's heart was the order of blessing poured upon his ministry."
 
Father Nash lived a life of almost continual intercession. "He joined himself with Finney, kept a prayer list and was no doubt the secret of much of Finney's marvelous success. He did not preach and often did not go to the meetings, but remained in his room, or in the woods, wrestling with God in mighty prayer. Often before daybreak people could hear Father Nash for half a mile or more in the woods, or in a church praying, and the sense of God's presence was overwhelming."

The Church must do more than esteem the history of men like Charles Finney, Father Nash and Able Clary. If we are going to experience revival we must repent and practice the truths they declared; truths of a holy and pure life; truths of hidden intercession and an uncompromising love for Jesus! -David Smithers

References Used:

The Autobiography of Charles G. Finney

Men and Women of Deep Piety by Mrs. Clara McLeister

Intercessory Prayer by James G. K. McClure
         used by permission
 
Prayer
 Give thanks
 Pray over the positives in Abijam’s life
 Pray over the negatives
 Lord, preserve me till the end
 Lord help me to walk in your perfect will.