Jeroboam & Rehoboam: Day 5

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DAY 5: Review

READING & JOURNALING:

What did the Scripture readings this week reveal to you about how the people of God followed and trusted Him and His Word?

Similarly, what did the Scripture readings reveal to you about how well you follow and trust the Word of God?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 46 & 47

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Jeroboam & Rehoboam: Day 4

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DAY 4: Rehoboam Humbles Himself

Yesterday we saw that there’s a difference between shame and guilt. Shame is best understood as, “I am bad.” While guilt is best understood, “I did something bad.” There’s a significant difference between the two. 

Similarly, there’s a difference between accepting responsibility for wrongdoing, and simply paying the price for it. 

For example, somebody who commits a crime may be punished for their wrongdoing, and even though they fulfill a prison sentence, they may never truly accept responsibility for their actions. However, somebody else in the same scenario may, upon judgment, accept responsibility and humble themselves before the court. 

This is what happened in the life of Rehoboam and other leaders in his court. God sent an Egyptian army to plunder their riches and even to subjugate them. And Rehoboam and the leaders respond by humbling themselves, and saying, “The LORD is right in doing this to us (2 Chronicles 12:6).”  

As you read today, consider this: Think of a time when you humbled yourself (either before God or somebody else)? How difficult was it for you to do so?

READING & JOURNALING:

     2 CHRONICLES 12:1-12

Think of a time when you humbled yourself (either before God or somebody else)? How difficult was it for you to do so?

 Who is the most humble person you know? What would you say are three character traits that have helped them grow in humility? 

Over the next week, how can you be intentional in pursing a life of humility? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 44 & 45

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today, I simply pray for the sight to see the foolishness of following my own path, and the wisdom of following Your path. May You continue to lead me on this journey, one step at a time. I know humility may not come easily, but I know it begins by simply trusting You. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Jeroboam & Rehoboam: Day 3

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DAY 3: God Punishes Jeroboam

There are a number of stories throughout the Scriptures in which somebody tries to hide from God. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve discovered they were naked, and to hide their shame they tried to hide from God. In 1 Kings 14, Jeroboam has his wife disguise herself in order to try to get a favorable message about his son who is sick. The simple fact that he has her disguise herself is a sign that he was desperate. He knew he hadn’t followed God in the way he was commanded to, and instead of pleading to God for help, he tries to manipulate the situation to get what he wants. 

Some may read this chapter of Scripture and think that God’s response to Jeroboam’s sins is too strong. But this passage must be understood in its appropriate context. Jeroboam had been commanded on how to live (1 Kings 11:38) and instead, led the entire nation away from God. Similarly, the people of God had received specific instructions (Deuteronomy 28:15-19, 36-38; 30:15-20) yet neglected to follow them. 

As you read today, consider this: Do you find yourself hiding from God, or openly acknowledging your sins and allowing God to refine and renew you? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 KINGS 14:1-18, DEUTERONOMY 28:15-19, 30:15-20

Do you find yourself hiding from God, or openly acknowledging your sins and allowing God to refine and renew you?

Those who hide from God experience shame. Those who confess to God experience guilt. One leads us away from God, while the other draws us closer. What is something you’ve been hiding from God? Take the opportunity today to confess it, and allow God to begin to refine you.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 42 & 43

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Today’s prayer is to be written on your own (see above). 

Jeroboam & Rehoboam: Day 2

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DAY 2: Jeroboam Goes Easy

Imagine a young boy having to carry firewood from the front of his house to the back. His father warned him not to use the wheelbarrow, and instead gave specific instructions that the wood needed to be carried in small bundles. About half way through the project, the young boy decides to disregard his father’s advice, and starts to load the wheelbarrow with wood. To his chagrin, the wheelbarrow breaks apart as he’s hauling the wood, making his job even more difficult than before. 

It’s a simple illustration, but is similar to something Jeroboam faces in 1 Kings 12. The people of Israel had been commanded by God to worship Him in Jerusalem. Jeroboam sees this as a burden for the people, and he creates alternative worship centers to make it easier on the people. Even though this was a practical idea, it still went against God’s desire. The Life Application Study Bible notes that God desires our obedience in all things. He wants us to follow-through His way, no matter the cost, time, energy, or resources involved. 

As you read today, consider this: Think of a time you have taken the easy way to do a project instead of the right way. What did you learn from this experience? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 KINGS 12:25-13:34

Think of a time you have taken the easy way to do a project instead of the right way. What did you learn from this experience?

In this current season in your life, what are at least five ways you believe God is inviting you to be obedient to Him and His Word? (If possible, ask somebody to help keep you accountable to following through in these areas.)

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 41

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I know that trusting and following You is better than trusting and following the ways of the world. Today, I once again pray that Your Word would penetrate deep into my life, and that the wisdom of Your Word would continue to shape me into the person You’ve made me to be. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Jeroboam & Rehoboam: Day 1

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DAY 1: A Nation Divided

Imagine having a successful boss at work. Even though he was a bit rough around the edges, your job was secure and the business was thriving. But then a new leader appears, and publicly declares that he can do better, and that you won’t need to work as hard in order to receive the same results. What do you do? 

The kings of Israel started with Saul, David, and Solomon. And for all three generations, the nation of Israel remained whole. Twelve tribes were united under one banner, and thanks to God, the nation as a whole prospered. But because Solomon didn’t fully follow God’s ways, the nation of Israel was about to be divided. 

Early in his rule, Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, was asked to lighten the burden of the people. He received counsel from his father’s advisors, and counsel from young, inexperienced advisors. Ultimately, he followed the advice of his friends, and the entire nation suffered for it.

As you read today, consider this: Where do you most often go for advice? Are those you go to experienced and wise, or inexperienced?

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 KINGS 12:1-24

Where do you most often go for advice? Are those you go to experienced and wise, or inexperienced?

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? What is the worst? 

What impact did these decisions have on your life? Your family? Others? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 39 & 40

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that there are a lot of places I go for advice, and that there have been times when I have sought advice from people who told me what I wanted to hear, instead of seeking advice from those who would encourage me to do what is right. Help me to follow the advice of the wise, and the wisdom of Your Word. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Solomon: Day 5

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DAY 5: Review

READING & JOURNALING:

What did the Scripture readings this week reveal to you about how the people of God followed and trusted Him and His Word?

Similarly, what did the Scripture readings reveal to you about how well you follow and trust the Word of God?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 37

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

Solomon: Day 4

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DAY 4: Israel Becomes a Powerful Nation

Those who are in Real Estate know that there are some unwritten rules about buying and selling property. One of the most common unwritten rules is that it’s better to purchase a lesser house in a nicer neighborhood than it is to purchase a nicer house in a lesser neighborhood. A decent house in a nice neighborhood is more likely to increase in value long term. Whereas a really nice house in a not-as-nice neighborhood is less likely to increase in value as much. 

This same unwritten rule applied to the ancient world as well. God had given the people of Israel a section of land that, on the surface, may not have looked like much. But this small sliver of land had direct access to three continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe). This made it excellent for foreign trade.

As a result, the nation became very rich, but this came at a cost. In time, Solomon’s wives led him to worship other gods. And the wealth of the nation led the people of Israel to begin to trust in wealth instead of God. 

As you read today, consider this: What similarities are there between the life of Solomon and your own? What differences are there? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 KINGS 10:14-29

What similarities are there between the life of Solomon and your own? What differences are there?

What is the one thing God has most revealed to you this week as you’ve read through the life of Solomon? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 33 & 35

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, As I’ve read through the lives of David and Solomon, I’ve been struck by how similar my life is to theirs. In the same way David experienced tremendous suffering, I’ve experienced suffering. And in the same way Solomon experienced temptation, I have experienced temptation. While there are still differences between our lives, I’m discovering there is much I can learn and apply from people in the Old Testament. Continue to lead me, guide me, and help me as I engage in Your Word. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Solomon: Day 3

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DAY 3: Solomon Builds a Temple

The kings of old were real people. They had real thoughts, real struggles, and real experiences…just like we do. But there were still some parts of their culture that were quite different from ours. One of those differences, was regarding a place for God to live. 

In the ancient world, people of all nations believed that the gods they worshiped truly lived in and around them. They would build temples for their gods, so their gods could live near them. They would carve idols for their gods, believing that a sliver of these gods lived within these idols. 

Israel was to be different. In fact, God explicitly commanded them not make idols. But God did declare that if Solomon and His people kept His decrees and regulations, His presence would be with them always, and they would not be abandoned. 

As you read today, consider this: God promised to be among His people forever. Today, He is not only among us, but living within all who have professed faith in Christ. How does this reality change the way you see God? How does it change the way you see yourself?  

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 KINGS 6:1-38, 8:12-21, 1 CORINTHIANS 3:16

How does the reality that God lives within you change the way you see God? How does it change the way you see yourself?  

The people of God took tremendous care and concern in building and maintaining God’s temple. In what ways does God desire us to care for our bodies (a temple)? If possible, use Scripture verses to support your answer. 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 31 & 32

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess that there are many days in which I function on my own strength, neglecting to remember that You aren’t just around me, but that You live within me. My prayer today is that this truth would penetrate deeply into my heart, so that I may better reflect You in every way. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Solomon: Day 2

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DAY 2: Solomon Asks for Wisdom

It’s a question often asked of children: If you had three wishes, what would you wish for? (Of course, you’re weren’t permitted to ask for more wishes. That wouldn’t be fair.) 

The answers children (and many adults) give for this question often have to do with money or fame. We wish for money so we wouldn’t have to work, or we wish to be extremely talented in a sport, music, or other art. 

As king, Solomon likely wasn’t expecting to be asked, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you.” But that’s exactly what happened. In ways we may not fully understand, God appeared to Solomon in a dream, and essentially gave him a free wish. He could ask for anything, anything at all. But his response to this question changed the trajectory for his life and for the entire nation of Israel. 

Solomon answered, “Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong.” Solomon asked for wisdom. And God would provide it. 

As you read today, consider this: How regularly do you pray for wisdom?  

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 KINGS 3:1-15

How regularly do you pray for wisdom? 

Be honest: When you do pray for wisdom, are you truly praying for wisdom, or are you praying for God to give you something else you want? 

Would you agree that God has granted you wisdom in a situation when you recognize that the right thing to do is harder than you hoped it would be. Explain your answer.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 29:1-30:24

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I have occasionally learned that sometimes the wise thing to do is often more difficult than I want it to be. This shows that while living in wisdom may not always be easy, it is still good. I pray today that You would give me the wisdom to know what’s right, and the courage to do what’s right, even when it’s hard. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Solomon: Day 1

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DAY 1: Solomon Becomes King

If you were dying and had one final conversation with your children, what would you say? Similarly, if one of your parents was about to die and they were able to have one final conversation with you, what would expect them to say? 

This is the situation in which David finds himself late in life. As he’s old and dying, he learns that one of his sons, Adonijah, has claimed the throne and declared himself king. Politically speaking, it made sense for Adonijah to take this step. But he took it without talking with his father, David. While we may not know for certain, it’s quite possible David had already told his sons who would be king after his death.

As soon as David hears the news, he calls for his son Solomon. He tells his son in 1 Kings:2-3, “Observe the requirements of the LORD your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go.”

As you read today, consider this: In what ways would your final words to your child/children be similar? In what ways would they be different? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 KINGS 1:1-2:12

In what ways would your final words to your child/children be similar to David’s final words to Solomon? In what ways would they be different?

David also shared some harsh words about his enemies. This was to ensure those opposing God and the king of Israel would not interfere with God’s plan (see also Exodus 22:28). What are some things that may be interfering with God’s plans for your life? What steps can you take to eliminate them?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 27 & 28

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I recognize there are many things that try to interfere with Your plans for my life, and I confess I sometimes allow them to interfere. Today, may I remember that Your plans for my life are better than any plans I may make myself. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.