“I will always be with you. I will establish an enduring dynasty for you as I did for David, and I will give Israel to you.” (1 Kings 11:38”)
That’s quite a promise. God gave it to Jeraboam as he became king. As I reflect on it, I am amazed at the big promises that God makes to people. He offers them freedom, power, riches, and this time, for Jeraboam, he offers up a dynasty. That’s a big deal! It’s a serious promise that Jereboam will be remembered. That his life, his family and future generations will matter because of his life. If you haven’t read today’s verses yet, I’ll give you one guess as to what happened. It’s not hard to figure out. I mean, Jereboam is not exactly a household name. Why not? The promise was conditional. Jereboam did not hold up his end.
Before God promised Jereboam a dynasty, he said: “If you listen to what I tell you and follow my ways and do whatever I consider to be right, and if you obey my decrees and commands, as my servant David did, then…”. You see, if Jereboam did not put God first, then the promise was null. Of course, Jereboam did everything but worship God. It seems as if he had no intention of serving God. In fact, his actions suggest that he was only in it for himself. Thankfully, we are not like Jereboam. Right?
Most Sunday services at Eastview include a baptism. Baptism by immersion, we believe, is the outward expression of our inward desire to follow Christ. To put God first. This baptism is among the first steps of obedience in becoming a Christ-follower (Romans 10:9). The tradition, at Eastview, is to ask the baptizee this simple question. “Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God and do you take him to be your personal Lord and Savior?” Today, I’ve been thinking about that phrase as it related to Jereboam.
Jereboam accepted the promise of God with the conditions given. And, he didn’t follow through. I fear, that sometimes we also accept the promise of God without intending to follow through. In reality, we easily accept him to be our Savior but want nothing to do with him being our Lord. Isn’t that what Jereboam did? Give me everything, so that…. “I.”
I am grateful for the reminder that Jereboam provides me today. All too often in my quest to be a good and influential leader, to establish a legacy and a dynasty, I miss the only important thing. God gives, so that… “HE.” Dynasties are not awarded to the best leaders. God gives them only to the faithful followers.