Brought About By the LORD
1 Kings 12:15 (ESV) – So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfill his word, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
When God makes a promise, He ensures it will be fulfilled. How He fulfills it is the governing and orchestrating of events in the world that bring about that promise. We see this everywhere in Scripture. The promise of building Abraham’s family into a great nation was brought about by famine, Pharaoh’s harshness, and a deliverance out of Egypt led by Moses. God isn’t just in charge of the ends, but the means.
Our passage today is another reminder of this truth. We read in 1 Kings 12:15, “So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfill his word, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.”
What is happening in this passage? A lot. First, the LORD told Jeroboam through the prophet Nebat in 1 Kings 11 that He was taking the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and giving Jeroboam ten tribes. Only Judah would remain with David’s lineage. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, was set to become the king of all of Israel. The people pleaded with him to lighten the burden Solomon had placed on them. Rehoboam asked for time to make the decision and asked them to return in three days. During that time he sought counsel from the elders who served his father. They advised him that if he would speak kindly to the people then they would serve him forever.
But Rehoboam rejected their counsel and sought the advice of the young men he grew up with. They encouraged him to be even harsher than his father to intimidate the people. He chose to listen to his friends and not the elders of his father. This is what led to our passage today. The result of Rehoboam ignoring the counsel of the elders was the tearing of the kingdom from his hands, just as God promised. But notice particularly the text indicates that this “turn of events” was from the LORD. It wasn’t an accident. The LORD was at work in the midst of every conversation and decision.
It is crucial to understand that every human creature acts and moves according to their own volition and desires. We are accountable for every action because we are the one’s performing them. But in a mysterious way that we’ll never be able to untangle, the LORD is completely over all of it and at work in it. We see too many confirmations of this throughout Scripture to ignore. So rather than ignoring it or unravelling it, we simply acknowledge it as reality. Then we let that comfort us to know that the LORD is always at work in everything.
Never despair. The turn of events are in God’s hands.
Reflection & Journal:
- How does this passage help us see that the events are God’s doing?
- What comfort should a passage like this give us in trials and difficulties?
- Why do people struggle with believing God is in the details to this degree?
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