We begin reading a parallel historical account of Judah, which remained in Jerusalem based on the covenant with David; and Israel, those that broke away because of Rehoboam’s coarse response to lighten the work load and tax load.
Abijah, became ill; so Jeroboam sent his wife in disguise to make inquiry as to destiny of the child, especially as it related to this sickness. Ahijah, the prophet who told Jeroboam what would happen to Israel (ten of the tribes), provided he walked after the Lord. This genuine prophet of the Lord God discerned who it was came and how she was dresses. The prophet not only told her about her son, that he would die; but also about the people of Israel, due to how Jeroboam had so easily led them astray.
While all of this was happening in Israel, under Jeroboam’s reign; Judah was facing a similar scenario due Rehoboam’s leadership. Both entities disobeyed the Lord concerning idolatry along with other heinous offenses against the Lord. They also tolerated those who were perverted individuals in the land; specifically homosexuality.
There’s an interesting phrase by Rehoboam after Egypt came to Jerusalem and plundered all that David & Solomon had acquired, among which were gold shields. The phrase “Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place.
The intent seems to be that Rehoboam made similar shields, as a cheap replacement, with the people of Judah none the wiser.
Friends, we can’t substitute that which is of genuine value with cheap imitations. We’ve walked the streets of many metro areas in the US and in the world. There are places you can buy what are called “knock offs”, cheap imitation of the real and authentic.
There are ancient landmarks that can’t be substituted; but more importantly cheap imitations that attempt to give the appearance of genuine, authentic and real spiritual value. Paul described those who wanted the cheap as opposed to the real; people who have itching ears.
This isn’t an advocacy for harsh, judgmental ministry; IT IS AN APPEAL to speak the truth and all the truth of God’s to those we’re responsible for.
Jeroboam led Israel for twenty two years, and then died and Rehoboam led Israel for seventeen years, and then died. The declension of Judah and Israel was now in full swing; following idolatry, perversion and other abominations against the Lord God of David.