Jeroboam ruled Israel throughout the reign of two kings of Judah, Rehoboam and Abijah, and on into the rule of Judah’s third king, Asa. He never repented for his own wrongdoing or for leading the people of Israel away from the Lord. Second Chronicles 13:20 says that “Jeroboam of Israel never regained his power during Abijah’s lifetime, and finally the Lord struck him down and he died” (NLT).
How do we know that Jeroboam was still in power when Asa became king over Judah? First Kings 15 tells us that “Nadab son of Jeroboam began to rule over Israel in the second year of King Asa’s reign in Judah” (I Kings 15:25a). Prior to that time, Jeroboam was still in power.
Jeroboam had another son named Abijah, not to be confused with Rehoboam’s son Abijah. Jeroboam’s son Abijah “became very sick” (I Kings 14:1b), so Jeroboam sent his wife to the prophet Ahijah, telling her to “ask him what will happen to the boy” (I Kings 14:3b).
Jeroboam’s wife went to Ahijah’s home, but she was disguised so that Ahijah wouldn’t know she was Jeroboam’s wife. But of course, the Lord had already told Ahijah exactly who she was and why she was there.
“So when Ahijah 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. You have done more evil than all who lived 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 will destroy every one of your male descendants, slave and free alike, anywhere in Israel” (I Kings 14:6-10a).
“Then Ahijah said to Jeroboam’s wife, ‘Go on home, and when you enter the city, the child will die. All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only member of your family who will have a proper burial, for this child is the only good thing that the Lord, the God of Israel, sees in the entire family of Jeroboam.
In addition, the Lord will raise up a king over Israel who will destroy the family of Jeroboam. He (the Lord) will abandon Israel because Jeroboam sinned and made Israel sin along with him’” (I Kings 14:12-14a, 16).
“Jeroboam reigned in Israel twenty-two years. When Jeroboam died, his son Nadab became the next king” (I Kings 14:20).
“Nadab son of Jeroboam began to rule over Israel in the second year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Israel two years. But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his father, continuing the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit. Then Baasha… plotted against Nadab and assassinated him… Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of King Asa’s reign in Judah, and he became the next king of Israel.
He immediately slaughtered all the descendants of King Jeroboam, so that not one of the royal family was left, just as the Lord had promised concerning Jeroboam by the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh. This was done because Jeroboam had provoked the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by the sins he had committed and the sins he had led Israel to commit” (I Kings 15:25-30).
“It is a great deal easier to do that which God gives us to do, no matter how hard it is, than to face the responsibilities of not doing it.” (B. J. Miller)
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates