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“Jeroboam’s Legacy” – Leadership Lesson

“Jeroboam’s Legacy” – Leadership Lesson

During our last few meetings, we looked at three Kings who ruled over the undivided kingdom of Israel: Saul, David, Solomon. They reigned for 120 years; 1050 to 930 BC.

In 930 BC, the Kingdom splits in two because Solomon does not walk in
God’s ways. The split occurs between the larger Northern Kingdom (Israel)
and the smaller Southern Kingdom (Judah).

(1 Kings 11) Several years prior to his death, Solomon takes notice of a very ambitious worker and promotes him to be in charge of the entire labor force. His name is Jeroboam. One day, Jeroboam has an unusual encounter with the prophet Ahijah. During this encounter, Ahijah takes Jeroboam ‘s cloak and tears it into 12 pieces. Jeroboam is instructed to take 10 of the pieces for himself, which later represents his leadership over the larger territory of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Here are God’s promises to Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:37-38):

  • You will rule over all your heart desires
  • You will be king of Israel
  • (If you walk in God’s ways) God will be with you
  • God will build a dynasty as enduring as David’s
  • I will give Israel to you

Imagine how stunned Jeroboam must be. In this one encounter he has been promised more than he could ever imagine.

Fast forward to the end of Jeroboam’s life – I Kings 14

Jeroboam does become king of Israel, yet he drifts away from God. In chapter 14, Jeroboam is in a leadership crisis. His son is ill and his wife is wondering what is going to happen.

Jeroboam remembers the old prophet Ahijah, but his relationship with Ahijah is good, so he sends his wife in disguise.

(I Kings 14:6) – There is no reason for the disguise because Ahijah has gone blind. However, Jeroboam iss right, Ahijah tells him what will happen.

(Read I Kings 14:6-16) Ouch! Jeroboam’s wife must have been just as stunned by the news. Listen to the new set of promises:

  • I will bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam.
  •  Your son will die.
  • God will give up the entire nation Israel and they will be scattered.

Let’s fast forward one more time:

200 years later: The end of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Listen to Jeroboam’s legacy:

  • 2 Kings 17:6: In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
  • 7-8: And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel, hand in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced.
  • 15-16: They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols sand became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them. And they abandoned all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.
  • 21-23: When he had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD hand made them commit great sin. The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them, until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.

What a legacy. After so much promise, 200 years later, Jeroboam is the one who is blamed as the cause of the entire nation’s destruction.

How does someone start with so much promise yet end in disaster? What Happened? The Answer: Jeroboam blew up like a rocket exploding on a launch pad (Watch video).

Here are 3 Lessons from Jeroboam. (Read 1 Kings 12:26-33)

1. Jeroboam Relied On His Own Wisdom

The Israelites were given very specific instructions on worship. They were to go to Jerusalem (Southern Kingdom of Judah) three times a year & offer sacrifices. Jeroboam was worried they would give their allegiance to their king, Rehoboam, and kill Jeroboam — So (vs. 26) “Jeroboam said in his heart — Thought to himself,”  Jeroboam devised a plan for worship “from his own heart.” No prayer, no outside consultation by the prophet Ahijah. Nope, just Jeroboam and the thoughts of his own heart. This is dangerous.

This reminds me of my old football coach. When I’d mess up, he’d often say, “Phillips, what are you doing?” My response: “Oh, well, I thought…” (SLAPS HELMET) “Phillips, no one is asking you to think!

Now, I don’t think the lesson here is to not think, but Jeroboam exploded on the launch pad because he thought too much of himself instead of inquiring on God.

He drifted from God’s word to his own word. In Deuteronomy 17 there are detailed instructions for Kings, “When the King takes the throne, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law…It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law…”

In addition, he foolishly failed to get wisdom from others. Proverbs 15:22 – “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Leaders, how many leadership mistakes do you make when your holy trinity is me, myself, and I? When you drift away from God’s word and godly advice, you are headed for explosion.

2.When Jeroboam took his focus off God – He traded in faith for fear and was directed by the people and not by God.

(Read 1 Kings 12:27) – Notice how fears and insecurities spill out and paranoia sets in once Jeroboam makes himself the center, “They will give their allegiance to Rehoboam and will Kill Me!”  Jeroboam becomes fearful God might not come through on his promises, so Jeroboam takes matters into his own hands.

Consequently, Jeroboam is driven to do whatever it takes to please the people. The people become the controlling factor instead of God.

Here’s an illustration from the Gospels. Even the bravest follower can become fearful of men.

Peter said to Jesus, “I will follow you, even if it means my own death!” He seemingly has no fear. Then in Matthew 26, all of his confidence quickly drains away in the
face of a servant girl. “Weren’t you with Jesus?” One small voice derails the great apostle. I wonder if one voice has captured your attention. The voice of a girlfriend, boyfriend, boss, spouse, parent, peer – like a snake that has slithered up a tree and whispered in your ear – can you really trust God, perhaps it would be better if you took matters into your own hands?

The Point: Jeroboam explodes on the launch pad because he trusted his heart over God’s word & He feared the people over fearing God.

3. Jeroboam Made a Fundamental Shift in Worship

(Read 1 Kings 12:28-29) “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough…It is too much for you.” In other words, Jeroboam says, “There is no need to make the difficult journey to Jerusalem. I have set up two convenient places for you to worship and even provided a shinny golden experience for you to worship. Then in (vs. 33) Jeroboam creates his own feast.

I want you to see this enormous shift. Through the prophet Ahijah, God had promised to build Jeroboam an everlasting Kingdom, but he must follow after God. Instead, Jeroboam builds a nation which says. “We still want God but we want Him in a way that will be convenient for ourselves. Worship now centers around what is easiest and most convenient for the us.” Can you imagine?

This shift in worship (God-centered to Man-centered) eventually brings down an entire Nation! What a Legacy.

The final point: Jeroboam’s explosion on the launch pad doesn’t just effect
himself or his family, it affects an entire nation, that’s the power of leadership.

Questions

  1. You will leave a legacy, especially if you are a father. If you had to written in one phrase on your tombstone, what would you want it to be? Why?
  2. There were three main reasons Jeroboam exploded on the launch pad:
  • He relied on his own wisdom rather than God’s Word or Godly
    Advice
  • He traded faithfulness for fear. In Jeroboam’s world people were BIG
    & God was small so he was directed by the people rather than God.
  • He had a fundamental shift in Worship. Worship became man-centered
    rather than God-centered. Worship had to be easy and convenient for him.

Talk about these three things and what you can learn from them.

Friends and Brothers,

Paul Phillips Signiture

 

 

 

Paul Phillips
Pastor, Christ Community Church
www.ironleader.org
paul@cccwnc.com

David: Two Ways Not to Respond to Evil – Leadership Lesson

David: Two Ways Not to Respond to Evil – Leadership Lesson

(This Leadership Lesson was lead by Sam Kennedy)

This year we are working our way through the Bible and highlighting certain leaders. We ended last semester with Moses as he lead the people of God out of slavery and Egypt. Following Moses, we looked at Joshua, the military general who lead them into the Promised Land.

Last week, we looked at a leader who is really remembered for his disobedience: Saul. Because Saul lost the fight against his own sin—because he listened to his own voice instead of God’s, he became a failure. 

Continuing on the theme of self-leadership, we’re looking at Saul’s successor David and his leadership as a king and a father.

Maybe you’ve heard the term: “don’t be that guy.” Here is a funny example of how to not be “that guy.”

Today, we will be looking at examples of David’s reactions to evil and suffering. These are not examples you want to follow. In other words, “Don’t be that guy!”

Side note: What you do in the Dark, doesn’t stay in the Dark.

Remember the Bathsheba incident? David lustfully takes her and has sex with her. In an attempt to cover up his sin of adultery, he murders her husband Uriah the Hittite by sending him to the front lines.

The consequences of David’s sin do not stop there. Over time, his sins of adultery and murder get repeated in his kids. This principle is especially seen in our kids today. The inferior life of a man is reflected in his children. God created children to be sponges; we all learn from modeling ourselves by other men’s examples. Whether you know it or not, whether you have children or not, younger men are looking to you! What you really love, what you really value, they see it, and they learn it.

Don’t be that Guy #1: Don’t Blow Up

In 2 Samuel 13 David’s firstborn son Amnon rapes his half sister Tamar. Tamar is the only baby sister of David’s son Absalom. Absalom loves his sister, but his response to this heartbreaking tragedy is not a healthy one.

For Absalom’s response, read 2 Samuel 13:20-22. After two “FULL YEARS”, Absalom murders his brother, which then begins to unravel the entire kingdom as he eventually tries to take the throne away from his father.

 What the blow up looks like (in your life):

You’re hotheaded. You get blinded by emotion. Pain, anger, sadness. You believe you’re the only one who can see things clearly. You go Jack Bauer mode and take matters into your own hands. You’ve lost the ability to hear other people or points of view.

But how did Absalom get this way? It is largely because of the silence of his father.

Don’t be that Guy #2: Don’t freeze up

This is one of the most frustrating sentences in all of the Bible. After the horrific rape of Tamar, she is now a desolate woman. – 2 Sam 13:21 – “When King David hear these things he was very angry.”

What? Is that it?!

In the Dead Sea Scrolls, some later manuscripts make an addition to this verse. You may see an asterisk or note at the bottom of your Bible that says, “…he was very angry, but he would not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him, since he was his firstborn.”

Davids response is totally passive. David gets played by his kids like a Nintendo. They are spoiled and do whatever they want. After the murder of Amnon, Absalom runs away. David’s people beg him to go out to Absalom and bring him back, but David just sits on his duff.

What the freeze up looks like (in your life):

The “freeze up”— you see a problem, you feel strong emotion. Maybe it’s righteous emotion, but you freeze. The voice in your head says, “I can’t do anything, I can’t say anything, It’s too hard, I’ll just make it worse.” You find 1000 ways to justify not acting. and because you do nothing, the problem keeps growing.

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous letter from the Birmingham jail to a group of southern pastors who claimed to care about the rights of African Americans but refused to speak out. They advised Dr. King to be patient—to retreat.

This is his answer to them:

We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God…we must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

Men— we don’t deal with emotions well. The Bible is clear that we are weak-framed, dusty people. But we do see throughout the Bible a third way. The solution we have is simple.

 The Solution: Be A Man

We have two “don’t be that guy” moments in this chapter. Two false pictures of masculinity.

  1. Masculinity is not being aggressive (The Blow Up)
  2. Masculinity is not being passive (The Freeze Up)

Elizabeth Elliot, wife of Christian Martyr Jim Elliot wrote this in her book, The Mark of a Man:

“this is the distilled essence of masculinity – initiation.”

Manhood means initiation, authority means sacrifice.

I’d like to offer a slight correction to this statement. In Christ, we see the essence of masculinity is being a cross-bearing initiator.

God is this the initiator. This is the distilled essence f masculinity: initiation. All creation responds to his initiation. It is the only thing creation can do. He calls men to take the first step into hard situations.

God moves into the world, bearing a cross, moving towards difficulty. Relieving others of their burdens and being a servant. As men, we are called to do the same

Questions:

  1. Who were the men who modeled masculinity for you? What was healthy or unhealthy about the picture of manhood they gave you?
  2. Who are you serving as a model for? Who (at home, at work, at church) is looking up to you?
  3. Do you blow up or freeze up? Where do you see these responses most often (at home, at work, with friends?)
  4. “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” Where have you been “appallingly silent”? Where can you be a co-worker with God for truth and justice this week?
  5. What crosses will you have to bear in order to take initiative for what’s right?
To Your Daughter, Speak the Truth

To Your Daughter, Speak the Truth

“Your daughter knows when you tell her ‘You’re beautiful’ that what you mean is ‘You’re beautiful to me.’ And though initially she may perceive this to be the most well-meaning lie ever told to her, in time she will grow to recognize it as the most basic truth she can ever hear you speak.’ Read the full blog by Jen Wilkin.