Today Solomon calls us to remember the Lord during our days on earth because one day we will stand before Him:
- “but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 11:9)
- “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
- “Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed…Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7)
- “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
In Solomon’s later years, he chased after the lesser things in the world and turned from the Lord. However, at the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon comes to the right conclusion – “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” Solomon left behind his wisdom writings to warn us of the emptiness that is found in the world, and to teach us about the fullness of life that is found in the Lord and in walking in His ways. Solomon wants us to remember that all is fleeting under the sun apart from a relationship with the Son, Jesus Christ. And that’s a wrap on the Kingdom Era. Next up is the Divided Kingdom Era.
Today Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, becomes king of Israel. The people ask him to lighten the heavy labor load that his dad, Solomon, put on them. Instead of listening to the wise counsel of the elders when they said “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever”, Rehoboam takes the terrible advice of his young buddies and says to the people “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke.”
“So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word, which the Lord had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” When Jeroboam, Solomon’s former servant, returns from Egypt, he leads a revolt against Rehoboam. Rehoboam assembles the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to fight against the other ten tribes of Israel, but the Lord says they shall not fight their brothers “for this thing is from Me.” Therefore the kingdom divides, and Jeroboam becomes king over ten tribes of Israel.
Did you notice that the Lord was sovereign over the revolt in the kingdom? The Bible said “the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word.” The Lord is sovereign over everything, the good and the evil, in order to accomplish His plans and His purposes by His word. We have seen His sovereignty throughout the story, from the beginning in the Creation Era to where we are today in the Divided Kingdom Era. And we will see it until He sends His Son Jesus Christ as the final atoning Sacrifice for all who believe in Him. The Lord will remain sovereign over this world until the day He sends Jesus back to redeem His people, abolish evil for good, and create a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21) because whatever God says, He always does.
However, instead of trusting in the Lord and in the promises the Lord made to Jeroboam, Jeroboam decides to trust in himself and his own plans. When Jeroboam becomes the new king of Northern Israel, he fears if he allows the people to go to Jerusalem, their hearts will turn back to God and to King Rehoboam. Then he fears that if they turn to Rehoboam, they may want to kill him. So in an effort to coerce the people into staying in Northern Israel, Jeroboam manipulates Israel by forming a new blended religion that looks similar to the way they have been worshiping the Lord; except Jeroboam takes two golden calves and says “Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!” Jeroboam then sets the calves up in Dan and Bethel, builds shrines on high places, and makes priests of every class instead of using the Levites, the sons of Aaron, as the Lord instructed. Jeroboam also changes the days for the corporate worship, “in the month which he had devised in his own heart.” The people fall for man’s manipulation because they were not seeking the Lord and obeying His word. Therefore, Jeroboam leads the entire nation of Israel into idolatry with this new religion of his imagination, which negatively impacts the Israelites for hundreds of years.
Since the Levites are rejected by Jeroboam, they leave Northern Israel and go to Southern Judah and Jerusalem with all the others seeking to worship the Lord God of Israel. “So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years, because they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.”
Side note – There are 20 kings of Northern Israel (all evil) and 19 kings and 1 queen of Southern Judah (all from King David’s bloodline as the Lord promised and they are a mix of good, bad and in-between). The Lord will send prophet after prophet to each kingdom in an effort to get the people to turn from their idolatry and wicked ways back to the Lord. Unfortunately, the people will not heed the Lord’s warnings, and both kingdoms will eventually be overthrown. Northern Israel will last 209 years before they are overtaken by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. Southern Judah will last 345 years before they are taken over by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.
Tomorrow the Lord uses two prophets to rebuke Jeroboam for his wickedness. Keep reading. (Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14, 1 Kings 12:1-20, 2 Chronicles 10:1-19, 1 Kings 12:21-24, 2 Chronicles 11:1-4, 1 Kings 12:25-33, 2 Chronicles 11:5-17)
Creation Era (Gen 1:1-11:26) ✔️
Patriarch Era (Gen 11:27-50:26 and Job) ✔️
Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✔️
Conquest Era (Joshua) ✔️
Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✔️
Kingdom Era (1,2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✔️
Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) is up now!
Eras to follow:
Captivity, Return, Silent, Gospel, Church, Missions, and End Times/New Beginnings