This week, Pastor Gene brings us to the account of the split of the Kingdom of Israel as we see how bad company corrupts good morals.
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good morning happy new year to you and to you too new york all right we know that please so let's go back a little bit 2022 we got to get used to typing or writing that all right we're going to do 2021 for a while but let's go back to christmas i'm asked kind of a weird question but we're going somewhere with it did anyone hear i can't hear you online but you can ask yourself the question did anyone here ask for a parrot for christmas yes okay good someone said yes all right that would get interesting i didn't either and here's why parrots seem to be like a bad life choice if we're being honest plus i'm not a pirate clearly in my real life anyway bad decision think about it for a second they live a long time and they mindlessly repeat things and with my luck the parrot if i had one would mindlessly repeat all of the stupid things i say that's a lot it's constant reminder now imagine this too it could get you into big trouble imagine you invite the pastor over for dinner and you have a parrot the sermons are boring pastor's crazy right hide the booze dust the bible right so it could get you into trouble and so i heard a story about a family that lived on a farm and they had a parrot and it was always getting the father in a lot of trouble repeating the things he would say about his wife so one day somebody left the window open and sure enough the parrot flew out it was lost well opening the window also revealed another problem with other birds you see outside there was a tree and a flock of crows decided to perch there a whole bunch of them let me quake the racket so one problem solved another problem created started driving the dad nuts so he got his shotgun loaded it with birdshot a bunch of little pellets spreads about a pie plate at that distance starts firing a few shots into the tree out the window the kids come running downstairs dad what are you doing what's going on ah the crows were driving me nuts so i shot them could've shut the window just saying so the kids went out to inspect the handiwork the bottom of the tree and sure enough there were a whole bunch of dead crows and a dead parrot well i feel sorry for the parrot the kids came back in to tell the dad what happened and his reply was really simple bad company we'll see today that we should indeed be careful about the company we keep and who we listen to birds of a feather bless you today we'll be continuing in the rest of the story we've been looking at the life and the writings of king solomon that was last year right so he took some time to look at all those different things so here we see the unraveling of the kingdom due to solomon's sin a lot of people don't know that you can go back and watch the messages online a lot of sin a lot he broke almost every rule set forward in the law of moses deuteronomy 17 for a king every single one check check check check since people usually say oh he was really really smart and wealthy but no he didn't often listen to his own advice but the consequences are going to get passed down to rehoboam his son and we're going to see that he doesn't really listen to advice either and what you've got to understand is we're looking at a divided kingdom now north and south a split kingdom we saw elijah the prophet he anointed jeroboam to be the king the kingdom's going to be ripped away from solomon and the symbolic 10 pieces of the cloak goes to jeroboam and so it's a divided kingdom i think i got a map there for you so this is just a good visual i don't usually use maps and things like that but just to give you an idea a picture here so you see jerusalem in the south at first shechem is going to be the capital in the north later king omri will be samaria so that's what it looks like 10 tribes in the north one or three in the south i will explain so here's what we see solomon's heavy taxation labor force all causes really big problems especially for sun that's now going to get passed down to him we've also discussed in the series that sometimes we're running parallel and that's why the bible gets well not the only reason why the genealogies don't help but one of the reasons the bible gets really really confusing is because it'll be several different accounts of the same thing with different little details and so you pretty much lose your mind so i made another chart so here we see that second that i did not draw that i've explained to you why i didn't draw that the biceps aren't big enough anyway the guy got the young part right but it wasn't so flattering anyway i find it entertaining you see here we're running in parallel second chronicles and first kings and we're going to stick with first kings a little bit more today because it gives us a little bit more information there's an interesting story in there that i want to share with you so you can click that away so solomon he's not going to do it now solomon had two daughters i can see everything you see right there he had two daughters it's tricky to find that we saw that in first kings four they're just briefly mentioned there in one son ray obama now as i said he doesn't listen to his father or the proverbs written to him or his wise counsel so in this section keep in mind we're going to see a theme here cycles of stories that have to deal with not listening to good advice and or listening to bad advice instead not following instructions or instructions from the right people so rehoboam goes to be made king of israel so it's kind of pre-ish this split here first kings 12 1 rehoboam went to shechem where all israel had gathered to make him king when jeroboam son of nebat heard this he returned from egypt for he had fled to egypt to escape from king solomon the leaders of israel summoned him in jeroboam and the whole assembly of israel went to speak with rehoboam your father that is solomon was a hard master they said lighten the harsh labor demands and the heavy taxes that your father imposed on us then we will be your loyal subjects okay some background here what's going on so remember solomon wanted to kill jeroboam so he flees to egypt now rehoboam's in power he comes back and he's a part of this group of complainers as some people call them so ray obama let me think about it for three days give me some time on this one okay that's reasonable so the older advisors they say you know if you're like a servant to them they'll be like a servant to you wise advice just lighten it up a little bit give them a little what they want there's some problems here right good advice but he rejects that advice so he asks the younger counselors the people who had grown up with him let's just call them his friends here's what they say here's what you tell those complainers my little finger is thicker than my father's waist he beats you with whips i'm gonna beat you with scorpions wow i know so some language that we may not understand except one person in the room and me so let me explain it to you it's kind of harsh language worse than you think littlefinger well not quite it suggests a part of the male anatomy use your imagination scorpions are like those lead tipped whips so he beats you with like a leather whip i'm going to flail you i'm going to cut you open so it's gonna get worse so here's what he does he mindlessly repeats the advice of the younger advisors like a parrot kind of stupid so here's what happens he's rejected the people say down with the dynasty of david we're no longer go back to your homes we're no longer serving this guy and then indeed we have the divided kingdom they reject him so another picture and this is cool this is the bible project it looks like it's for kids but nope the information on here is really good so if you type in bible project on youtube great videos these are great summary videos of every book of the bible it helps you to understand it in very plain language but here you have that split and you get a little bit of a visual jeroboam in the north rehoboam in the south technically the ten kingdoms remember ahijah the prophet this is all fulfilled now it's gonna show you some of the things that they're gonna do wrong now remember the math on it ten kingdoms in the north but wait there's 12. two kingdoms in the south so they'll say slightly different things depending on the context or what's going on judah in the south but the levites go there because that's where the temple is and often benjamin is associated with them so here's what ray obama does he sends a guy named adeniram to restore order but they stone him to death so he at first wants to retaliate rehoboam he's like no i'm not having that gets together 180 000 men and he's going to go attack the north but a prophet comes and says nope this is the lord's doing don't fight your relatives you're not going to do that and so we see a brief moment of obedience here he takes a defensive mode he starts building up the towns and fortifying them okay seems like a little obedience here and again the levites go that's where the temple is so things look like they're going okay down in judah meanwhile in the north first kings 1225 jeroboam then built up the city of shechem in the hill country of ephraim and it became his capital later he went and built up the town of peniel jeroboam thought to himself unless i am careful the kingdom will return to the dynasty of david when these people go to jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the temple of the lord because that's where the levites are they will again give their allegiance to king rehoboam of judah they will kill me and make them him their king instead so sheikham you might not catch that that has a bad association if you remember way back in genesis the rape of dina or dinah that was shechem who did that so it's already like a sketchy story what jeroboam does is he doubles down on aaron's sin in exodus 32. he doesn't just make one gold calf if you remember the story he makes two he also replaces the festival of shelters one of the three pilgrimage festivals that they're supposed to be going to jerusalem for he said ah stay here at my idol worship party same language is used o israel these are the gods that led you out of egypt so it's a doubling down it would be particularly bad in the minds of people reading this hearing about it so jeroboam in the north doesn't listen to god and then this is what happens if we turn the page first kings 13 at the lord's command a man of god from judah went to bethel arriving there just as jeroboam was approaching the altar to burn incense then at the lord's command he shouted o altar altar this is what the lord says a child named josiah will be born into the dynasty of david on you he will sacrifice the priests from the pagan shrines who come here to burn incense and human bones will be burned on you that same day the man of god gave a sign to prove his message he said the lord has promised to give this sign this altar will split apart and its ashes will be poured out on the ground background josiah is a king that's going to appear about 300 years later so it's a long time later and there's going to be all these reforms the sign happens jeroboam's there worshiping as it says he doesn't like it so he says seize that man and his hand becomes paralyzed stuck he freaks out asked the man of god heal me heal me pray for me so man of god praise form the hand is healed jeroboam thank you very much you want to come over my house for dinner i don't have a parrot so it'll be safe so i'll give you some gifts we'll get something to eat now the man of god says something interesting he's like no no i have a command from the lord not just this prophecy i'm not supposed to eat or drink anything while i'm here and i gotta go back a different way than the way i came okay so now it gets interesting there's kind of a weird story in here and this is a really good reason why you got to read like larger sections so that's why i do these things in sections for you some people just go oh here's a verse and then i'm going to talk for 50 minutes about the verse and get everything out of context you can't do it that way you have to read larger sections of the bible to understand what's happening here so if you just read this story you'd be like what so i'll tell it to you briefly so you have the man of god and then you have an old prophet so the scene switches from what we just saw to the old prophet but you have to remember it's connected to this other stuff it's still important so the old prophet has kids sons who tell him what happened he said where is he i got to find this guy so he goes and finds the man of god he's sitting under a tree and he asks him are you the man of god who did all this yes i am good why don't you come and eat with me second person to ask him this he repeats the story i cannot i can't eat or drink anything while i'm here can't go back the same way i came the old prophet says ah but an angel of the lord told me basically something different that you should come and eat with me he's lying so the man of god goes into the old prophet's house he's eating and just then now the lord speaks to him he says you've broken my command you won't be buried in the grave of your ancestors okay so the old prophet saddles up his own donkey for him and he heads out and sure enough a lion comes out and kills him but it doesn't kill the donkey well the old prophet hears about it he's really upset for the guy so he goes out and he says you know what bury him in my grave he tells his sons when i die bury me put my bones near his bones he says bury me with that guy okay and if it's all by itself gee that's weird we didn't even get any names so this guy deceives him and then he's it just doesn't make sense but when you read it in light of the whole thing all of a sudden it does this odd story has a purpose in highlighting the theme the lessons we're supposed to be learning that is be careful who you listen to rehoboam he listened to the younger people well now it's an older guy and am i not supposed to listen to the older guy well when the older guy isn't following the lord when he's not saying what you already heard from the lord no you don't listen to him either so do you see the progression don't listen to younger people sometimes older people aren't right and this theme continues it's worth mentioning too that jeroboam as well his advisors told him go ahead make those gold calves so it's a cycle here so jeroboam he still hasn't changed his ways even after the whole thing with the hand the man of god everything he's no good the idol worship it's bad he's even installing false priests so the levites went down to jerusalem they're in charge of all the worship he's like ah i'll just make new priests so violating absolutely everything so then elijah comes back on the scene remember him he is the one that anointed jeroboam in the north to become king if we turn the page first kings 14 at that time jeroboam's son abijah became very sick so jeroboam told his wife disguise yourself so that no one will recognize you as my wife then go to the prophet elijah shiloh the man who told me i would become king take him a gift of 10 loaves of bread 10 pieces of cloak interesting some cakes a jar of honey and ask him what will happen to the boy so a hygiene at this time now he's an old man and the text says that he's blind he can't see but god tells him what's going on he's a prophet so this is what happens 1st kings 14 6. so when elijah heard her footsteps at the door he called out come in wife of jeroboam why are you pretending to be someone else then he told her i have bad news for you give your husband jeroboam this message from the lord the god of israel i promoted you from the ranks of the common people and made you ruler over my people israel i ripped the kingdom away from the family of david and gave it to you but you have not been like my servant david who obeyed my commands and followed me with all his heart and always did whatever i wanted hyperbole you have done more evil than all who live before you you have made other gods for yourself and have made me furious with your gold calves and since you have turned your back on me i will bring disaster on your dynasty and it will destroy every one of your male descendants slave and free alike anywhere in israel i will burn up your royal dynasty as one burns up trash until it's all gone jeroboam did not listen and so he pays the price and like solomon so does his son here's what happens first kings 14 17. so jeroboam's wife returned to terza and the child died just as she walked through the door of her home and all israel buried him and mourned for him as the lord had promised through the prophet elijah the rest of the events in jeroboam's reign including his wars and how he ruled or recorded in the book of the history of the kings of israel jeroboam reigned in israel 22 years when jeroboam died his son neda became the next king it gets a little confusing because then it says meanwhile and then there's some other stuff this is a summary of jeroboam's reign he will appear again in the next chapter kind of another confusing thing just to make a side note we could talk about it more bible study which is a continuation of the message there are two abijah's here so this is another thing where the bible is crazy confusing because you have a hajj of the prophet and then wait jeroboam's son abijah and then if you keep reading rehoboam has a son abijah and so your bible might say abajam because they're trying to un-confuse you is what they're doing but they're both abijah baja's going to be the next king of israel jeroboam's son dies as a penalty for what he's done now we get a summary of rehoboam's reign and it's just bad he has all this idol worship going on he has male and female prostitutes it's detestable the bible says horrible so god's going to send shaq the king of egypt to attack him cause trouble plunder all this wealth that he's been worshiping so much take the gold shields all kinds of bad things but if we hop over briefly to second chronicles it tells us it's not all bad he humbles himself actually so god's anger doesn't completely destroy him is what the text says first kings 14 29 the rest of the events in rehoboam's reign and everything he did are recorded in the book of the history of the kings of judah there was constant war between rehoboam and jeroboam when rehoboam died he was buried among his ancestors in the city of david his mother was named an ammonite woman then his son abidjam or abajah became the next king rehoboam abandoned the council of his wise elders or advisors he turned to his friends rehoboam and jeroboam as we saw including with the old man and the prophet they're not listening to the right people that is the scene the theme for this section ray baum rejects the old advisors for the young advisors jeroboam rejects god for his own advisors the man of god rejects god for a false prophet even prophets can be wrong and so we should ask ourselves how do we know good advice how do we know who's right how does this work who should we listen to well ray baum should have listened to the older advisors but then we saw a story where sometimes the old people can be wrong too so what are the qualifiers how do we know well first we must be in the word that's why it's important we have instructions from god it's all right there it addresses a lot of issues we're going to see some today but it addresses everything it's god pretty smart guy so we have the instruction manual and you need to be in the word all of us it's not enough for you to just listen to me because how do you know you should listen to me he'll tell you he's checking my work and we encourage that here it doesn't bother me why because i'm in the word i know it but you should not just trust everyone implicitly even if you love me you trust me whenever we're friends still checks it and i tell him to because i could be wrong i'm just a person that's it check everybody's we saw in the series even some really famous teachings are dead wrong they're just wrong people like this popular stuff because it's cheap and easy as i said here's the thing when you're really in the word it's like this if you're not it's like music even if you're not a musician i'm a musician from my past i can hear bad notes real quick it happens all the time because i'm trained but even if you're not i bet you would recognize picture your favorite song do not sing it right now i don't need to hear that but just just saying i won't sing either but even your favorite song you would know if somebody different was singing it if it wasn't the original artist you'd go ooh that's different bad cover song and you definitely probably know like the wrong note why because you listen to it a lot you're familiar with it and so when you're in the word a lot that's what it's like it's almost like i can't even listen to most preaching anymore especially popular stuff because it's like that's bad that's not true i told you about the fear thing right i started getting in the word and i'm like huh this fear not 360 does not sound consistent with what i've been reading at all and we discovered it's way off it's not even close to being true it's actually the opposite but it's a popular teaching pastor read your bible if everybody did that it wouldn't be so popular that's the first key we talked about the fruit of the spirit important very plain to see especially galatians five read it the fruit of the spirit we know someone is operating by the flesh and they're just angry all the time they're prideful they're causing division especially in the church they're causing division dissension that's the fruit of the flesh that's evil that's what the devil does comes in here operates within a person or two who are angry complaining all the time they always have problems but the word of god comes through people who exhibit paul tells us right after that exhibit the fruit of the spirit nor tree by its fruit what are they love joy peace patience kindness goodness self control that is the fruit of the spirit we should be joyful i'm going to heaven that's cool i'm going to heaven what is your problem if you're going to heaven is it because you think you're not i'm done with this place heaven that's awesome my dad's funeral i annoyed so many people so many people deserve because i was like this is great that miserable old man is finally in heaven it was miserable this is wonderful like a few people got it i'm like high five he hated it here especially for those who are sick or going through oh enough go to heaven right now don't take your life god let god do that pastor responsible for mass suicide do not disclaimer not that's god's job he'll take you out when you need to be taken out uh so once we check those boxes right once we see an individual who sounds like the word of god when people come here and they say oh man there's too many scriptures i'm like yeah just more god less me but when the person sounds like the word of god when you're there and it all lines up it's like yep yep yep okay good then that person is joyful because he's going to heaven right he loves you he's humble okay check check now we're going to get into some practical stuff we want to look for people with wisdom and experience that's why they call them elders in the bible elders in the church people are qualified now it's important and you should read this there are qualifications it's hard it should be really hard to be what we call a pastor it should be really really hard like navy seal training the dropout rate for seminary is nuts my mentor called it cemetery nuts because it's hard it's hard it's a job you just it's so hard to fake can't do it it should be difficult and we should hold those elders to those standards that's who you judge that's okay first timothy 3 titus 1. they're almost the same letters written to paul the apostle just like guys you know his main guys their elders or other overseers in the church and we see in those qualifications it's identical to the fruit of the spirit they're supposed to be loving humble supposed to be kind people filled with joy the fruit of the spirit and it also says they need to be in the word first timothy 4 paul continues telling timothy he's like a pastor he's like me and the church be constantly nourished by the scriptures how often all the time all the time so that's the other thing so if we go to god's word we see something about listening and learning through this process biblical discipleship some would refer to it as the paul barnabas and timothy method in our lives and this isn't just the pastors in our lives we should have someone ahead of us someone mentoring us someone we can learn from with more experience we should have someone we can do life with that's like a barnabas if you know the word well so what we're doing life with maybe he'll argue with us or she will argue with us right hold us accountable too on a personal level and then someone like well behind us like timothy paul was to timothy someone behind us that we're mentoring so the process continues it's important this is how we disciple the western church doesn't do enough of it this is how we disciple what we do is we implement worldly kind of programs and just assign ourselves to all these programs and this age group will go over here and they'll just do that program that we paid too much money for this group will go over here the youth they're all going to go over there and do life over there and that's what we do when we do the program church instead of the discipleship church that's not how it works it should resemble a family that's biblical discipleship we get a picture of a family titus interesting book it's like the short field manual for pastors it's really what it is three short chapters i love it starts out he's telling titus look i left you on the island of crete he's trained him to appoint elders in each town or city notice the word a point if you're reading along not vote in he's like a man of god so he's godly appointing people training them discipling them appoint them in the churches then he gives those credentials when you appoint these people they must be good family people upstanding fathers husbands they should be kind and gracious able to teach they got to know the word real well then he gives some warnings about false prophets says some not so nice things about cretans we'll move on and then we see a description of a community of believers i want to share this with you titus 1 titus 2 verse 1. as for you titus says paul writing to titus promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching teach the older men to exercise ah self-control to be worthy of respect and to live wisely they must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience three fruits of the spirit so these are just the older men it's not necessarily elders similarly teach the older women to live in a way that honors god they must not slander others or be heavy drinkers apparently that was a problem in crete for the ladies instead they should teach others what is good these older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children to live wisely and to be pure to work in their homes to do good and to be submissive to their husbands then they will not bring shame on the word of god the word there is they will not blaspheme the word of god in greek it's really bad you can do that with your actions a lot of people don't know that so titus is like the man of god and did you notice that compare it to the lesson we learned today from the old testament you see the older men they might not always be right so if they're not correct them make sure they're filled with the fruit of the spirit the older women they might not always be right so what is it what i said before if they're not exhibiting the fruit of the spirit no or if you're in my position correct got to get back in line with that then did you notice community of believers together what are the older women doing they're training up the younger women how can we do that if we're not a good example we learned about that recently hypocrites hypocrites can't teach anybody they're not credible in our western culture we often abandon our elders we do that we abandon our elders now i'm not talking about having your elders in a care facility or someplace because you're not a doctor not talking about that we abandon our elders even while they're still alive and well we just cast them aside and we seek companionship with people our own age we miss those other two positions helping other people mentoring them and learning we just hit an age and we decide we know everything and that's it i'm just going to hang out with a bunch of other people that tell me i'm right we're just going to agree with one there's not even accountability anymore we don't we don't do that don't correct anybody can't do that just people will validate our opinions and that's what they are opinions it's not wise it's not biblical and that's why it doesn't work does not work it's kind of funny i've observed i've had young people come in and they say i'm really looking for a church with people my own age huh yeah or they'll ask about you you have a youth group because that's what i really want to do you were boring you didn't like my parrot story nope you're too old i want people my age i can translate that for you for most young guys where are all the chicks talking about birds right where are the girls at i've actually been told that years ago i had a person leave our church and the worship team and the stated purpose was i'm going to the bigger church because there are more people my age to have sex with that's true there are more people my age and i get more opportunities wow really that's amazing and it's really amazing to me because these are church people so like if they've been in church they should know this like this is stupid it's weird because even in the secular world if you know my past i was not always a pastor i was not groomed to be a pastor that's what i'm saying it's difficult a big change right i was in the martial arts business boy that's all the way over here but both jobs are kind of like being a zookeeper they're kind of the same so it all worked out for me but in martial arts right you seek out like older wiser think you know mr miyagi i was going to say a cobra kai but they say so many bad words i can't recommend it anyway mr miyagi right like he's an older wiser guy why self-control you're teaching someone some really dangerous stuff and so you better be preaching self-control along with that you need it you can't have all those tools and not have self-control i've seen what happens it's not good and so i would seek out like older wiser people had a lot of information new stuff that's what i sought out i used to shoot birds like the farmer clay birds it's okay i used to go skeet shooting every day in new york you can't play golf all year i don't even play golf here anyway but skeet shooting is a really good winter sport you can do it all year and so i used to go almost every day every day i would skeet shoot and at that gun club i don't think there was anybody under the age of 70. why because they're all retired i was a business person i'll do what i want and so i would go skeet shooting but when young guys would come in i'd always be better than them better for them better tech guys my my age at that time i'd be better why because i applied myself to listening to the old-timers i've been doing it for a long time all the little tricks the techniques they start giving you that stuff they're at a point in life where they want to just give that and pass that information along to someone i'll take it it was awesome it got pretty good i applied it even there church when i came into church so i knew this i didn't come into church we were small like this less people actually i came in and i'm like okay i want to learn some things look for older people so i started hanging out with people who are a little ahead of me some people my age i became like best friends with the pastor yeah i want to learn then my mentor my mentor had 30 some years of experience running churches i just rub up against him soak up the information i spent hours with him just shadowing him being right by his side all the time watching annoying him asking a lot of questions but that's how i learned i learned way more way more from doing that that and being in the word that's how i learned everything school classes and sermons i didn't learn anything the word my mentor everything i needed to know so if we know these things in the world not everybody here is a pastor shouldn't they be applied even more in the church shouldn't we be doing it like that in the church where we're looking you know we really want to hang on every word of some of our elders and learn wow that was amazing you lived through that tell me about that don't we need to adopt that attitude shouldn't we be humble like that and also by the way loving to our elders taking care of them instead we have too many young and inexperienced people leading young and inexperienced people it's rehoboam and his friends i see a lot of today's use casting aside their elders and just running themselves off a cliff they're gonna save themselves a lot of time but birds of a feather flock together in first corinthians there are a lot of people it's a letter from paul to corinth and they're saying and doing a lot of dumb stuff and paul's got to correct it it's really what the letter's all about over and over again they even say jesus either already raised from the dead or he didn't raise from the dead all this bad stuff he's got to correct it and as he does in chapter 5 in chapter 15 he's saying don't hang around those people first corinthians 15 33 don't be fooled by those who say such things for bad company corrupts good character birds of a feather we should seek balance in our relationships and make sure we're hanging out with people or a good influence on us who build us up in the lord who we can learn from it's important to seek out those types of relationships in our walk we need to be careful who we associate with because with whom we associate we may assimilate let me pray for you i pray that god the father and the lord jesus christ give you the spirit of wisdom and the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you the riches of his glorious inheritance and his holy people and his incomparably great power for us who believe amen so you