“You have flung Me behind your back” (1 Kings 14:9)
If there is one thing that you don’t want the Lord to say of you, it’s that You flung him behind your back. Wow. It’s somewhat convicting to think about as when I get busy do I “fling him behind my back”? Or when I have something “fun” to do? Or something to enjoy? Or do the worries and fears of this life fling him behind my back (Mt 13:22)?
Jeroboam was offered the world. God said if he would only follow Him, then he would give him the kingdom of Israel as well as descendants. Jeroboam didn’t. Instead he made everything a gray substitute. It’s tempting to think you are following the Lord when what you do looks like it, even though it isn’t.
Jeroboam already had one wake-up call. When God was going to pronounce judgment, Jeroboam stretched out his hand and it withered. But the man of God from Judah prayed and his hand was restored. But that didn’t wake Jeroboam up to repentance. So after much time and many warnings, God’s judgment finally came. And it wasn’t pretty.
“I will eliminale all of
both slave and free, in Israel;
I will sweep away the house
as one sweeps away dung until
it is all gone!
Anyone who belongs to Jeroboam
and dies in the city,
the dogs will eat,
and anyone who dies in the field,
the birds of the sky will eat,
for the Lord has said it!”
(1 Kings 14:10-11)
Harsh words it would seem. But one must understand how dire disobedience was. There were male prostitutes and child sacrifice, sexual immorality in vile levels and harm to the innocent. If God didn’t bring judgment, he would not be good. Or just.
Jeroboam had been living in the illusion of a bubble that his life could continue as it was without problem. But the bubble broke and it was awful.
God warns people again and again of judgment. His desire is repentance and mercy, not judgment. But if there is not repentance, then judgment will come. And there will be a day when it is too late. God will say to an individual or to a nation, “Enough!”
Every individual and every nation on earth needs heed this lesson.