Be Careful Which Way You Lean

1 & 2 Kings: The King of Redemption History

Pastor Tommy Bailey

1 Kings 12

Structure of 1 Kings:

  • 1 Kings 1-11 – The United Kingdom
    • King David (chs. 1-2)
    • King Solomon (chs. 2-11)
  • 1 Kings 12-22 – The Divided Kingdom
    • Northern Kingdom (Israel)
    • Southern Kingdom (Judah)

“A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean.”

The Lorax

Key figures in 1 Kings 12:

  • Solomon
    • Recently passed away (11:43)
  • Rehoboam
    • Solomon’s son and successor (12:1)
    • Becomes ruler of the Southern Kingdom: Judah (12:17)
  • Jeroboam I
    • De facto leader of the northern tribes at the time of Rehoboam’s coronation (12:3)
    • Becomes ruler of the Northern Kingdom: Israel (12:20)

“Behold, I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and will give you ten tribes…because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and they have not walked in my ways…”
1 Kings 11:31, 33

“And if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways…I will be with you and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. And I will afflict the offspring of David because of this, but not forever.”
1 King 11:38–39

“Contrary to our fears, human stupidity is not running loose but is on the leash of God’s sovereignty.”

Dale Ralph Davis

Questions to consider from 1 Kings 12:

  1. Where am I looking for wisdom?

Questions to consider from 1 Kings 12:

  1. Where am I looking for wisdom?
  2. What am I trusting in for security?

“The deeper I understand myself and my Savior, the more I realize how weak I am, how patient He is, and how utterly dependent upon Him I am for everything.” 

Brian Hedges, Watchfulness

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38–39

Questions to consider from 1 Kings 12:

  1. Where am I looking for wisdom?
  2. What am I trusting in for security?
  3. What is my current trajectory?

Discussion Questions

  1. Regardless of your age/stage, we know our days are numbered.  How are you thinking about finishing well? More stuff, more accolades, more comfort, or more faithful service as God’s servant?
  2. Dale Ralph Davis reminds us,“….human stupidity is not on the loose, but on the leash of God’s sovereignty.” How can you rest in this Biblical truth as we begin 2024?
  3. We all struggle with a desire to control and direct our own lives. Have you ever felt, as Luther said,  your life curling in on itself? What is the solution?
  4. Pastor Tommy said, “our anxieties show where we put our security.” What are you anxious about? Where does that show you are putting your security?
  5. One definition of sin is “man substituting himself for God,” as Jeroboam did. Can you identify any self-made idols or religious practices in your own life?

“My faith rests not upon what I am or shall be or feel or know, but in what Christ is, in what He has done, and in what He is now doing for me. Hallelujah!”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1–2

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