The Rise and Fall of Men of God – Part 1

“And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:
And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence.
I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”
2 Sam 22: 1-4
There is a great confidence to be had in our service to the Lord. Not because of who we are but because of who the Lord is and for all the abundant resources He offers. But those resources are for those who place their confidence in the Lord. But woe to those who stray by their own strength; fighting their own battles; placing confidence in flesh. They are like those who fight without sword and have no reward in eternity. We must remind ourselves of who we serve. Not so much whose side we are on but Who fights on our side for us. He fights for me! This is key to great victory, that we trust that the battle belongs to the Lord; therefore we can keep our hands of misfortune off of His battles, giving rest to our weary hearts and minds. Isaiah wrote:
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)
To forsake the word of the Lord is to forsake the Lord Himself. For by His word we live and breathe and exist (John 1). We can rest upon Him because He has given us precious promises to cling tightly to and to trust in. But you must trust that He is for you what He has promised to be, according to His word. David knew that the Lord was his rock, his fortress, his deliverer, his shield, the horn of his salvation, his high tower, his refuge and his savior from the enemy! This was the proven God of David’s trust and therefore David could live accordingly as a man who trusteth in the Lord for peace and in war; a man with a “mind stayed on” Jehovah. That is literally, to be leaned or propped, rested and clinging upon the Lord. This is the meaning according to the word of God to be “stayed” or samak upon the Lord. The mind must be brought into submission to God’s word, fully dependent upon him, and useless without Him and his power, supplied from His resources. It says that this brings peace, but why? “Because he trusts in thee.” The word trust here is to place hope, confidence and security in the Lord. It also carries the idea of carelessness. That is, the people and kings of God need not care for God will take care of that which concerns them. But not all men will mix that faithful word with even a mustard seed of faith. Rather, they will throw it out with yesterday’s paper, forgetting the headlines that scream “Trust Not in Your Flesh!” For most are more concerned with themselves than waiting upon the Lord. Always in a hurry and never willing to wait upon Him for strength and confidence. Thus is the case of King Jeroboam; the centerpiece of our story: given all the promises and resources of almighty God, yet throwing them to the swine in exchange for the rebuke of the prophets and the judgment of God. May God help us to learn from those who have gone before us, for we have much to learn.
“And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.”
1 Kings 11:37, 38

This is the word of the Lord, out of the prophets mouth, directly to “the mighty man of valor (11:28)” The scenario is a peculiar one as it always seems; whenever a prophet of God is on the scene. Pre-king jeroboam is on his way out of the city of Jerusalem when Ahijah the prophet meets him with a message, sent from heaven. The delivery is quite interesting and picturesque. I can imagine the warrior, Jeroboam, in awe at the onset of Ahijahs prophecy as Ahijah takes Jeroboams new garment, tears it into 12 pieces and then begins to explain the word of God for this pre-king. In summary, God is going to give Jeroboam ten tribes of Israel to reign over as king due to the disappointing fact that Solomon had disobeyed the word of the Lord. There are always consequences to our actions of disobedience, and there are often actions to our disobedient and faithless thoughts, should we allow them to linger long. Allow me to fast forward: King Solomon sleeps with the sharks, his son Rehoboam becomes King over Israel but Israel does not like him so they rebel, kill one of the kings right had men, then king Rehoboam flees leaving the people to appoint Jeroboam as king over the land of Israel just as the Lord said He would. Ok, no worries. Right? Everything is finally taking place exactly how it was prophesied. I can trust that all is well and will continue well… right? Ya, maybe in a textbook world, but not in the realm of God’s Word. The Lord chooses to leave our characters and heroes raw and really just how they were; flaws, sin and the rest. God’s word is pure reality at its finest and worst, all to the glory of God. As for Mr. King Jeroboam, his gravest mistake would be one of his first moves. He takes His eyes off of the Lord and instead, places them onto his circumstances and the raging, always chaotic world around him.
“And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah”
1 kings 12:27, 28

Oh the sin of trusting in self and that nasty sin of a jealous heart. Both will pull you down before the blinking of an eye should you not submit yourself to Christ. But to submit seems the road less ventured. And the ‘us’ route seems to be the popular road for travels. Jeroboam would resort to his own flesh in making foolish decisions to help settle his jealousy. He would build idols of cows and place them in the north and in the south and influence his people Israel to worship there instead of in Jerusalem. He would appoint his own priests who were not of the tribe of Levi and the king would himself, offer sacrifices at idolatrous altars, both of which were contrary to the word of God. This was the beginning of a rebellious idol worshipping reign that would bring the reproach of God upon himself and his household.

“O Lord, keep us from our idols, our flesh and all things that are displeasing to you. Amen.”

4 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall of Men of God – Part 1

  1. I like it. It’s very true how Man can easily forget the Lord when things are finally well. I, myself, even have that problem. Well done. 🙂

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