Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

so that he gave him to wife the fathers, and that Joab the capsister of his own wife, the sister tain of the host was dead, Hadad of Tahpenes the queen. said to Pharaoh, Let me depart,

20 And the sister of Tahpenes that I may go to mine own bare him Genubath his son, country. whom Tahpenes weaned in Pha- 22 Then Pharaoh said unto him, raoh's house: and Genubath was But what hast thou lacked with in Pharaoh's household among me, that, behold, thou seekest to the sons of Pharaoh.

go to thine own country? And 21 And when Hadad heard in he answered, Nothing: howbeit Egypt that David slept with his let me go in any wise.

LECTURE 570. The wilful and impenitent are sure to suffer for their sins. If it was forbidden to the king to multiply to himself wives, see Deut. 17. 17, how much more to take to wife many hundreds of women, how much more many strange women, including those of the nations of Canaan, see Exod. 34. 16, how much more to allow them to practise idolatry, how much worst of all to become through their means himself an idolater! To this height of folly, and abominable sin, did Solomon proceed, as he advanced in years; a sad instance to compare with his own striking proverb, “ the hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” Prov. 16. 31. “ It came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods.” Oh miserable man, oh king that art become a slave unto thyself

, how is all thy wisdom turned into foolishness, and all thy glory into shame! Thou that didst build the temple of the living God, dost thou now build high places for Chemosh and for Molech? Thou that hast seen the glory of the Lord fill the house thine hands had raised to his honour, and hast acknowledged that the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, dost thou bow down to stocks and stones? Oh how surely is thy kingdom rent from thee, and given to thy servant! How severe is the reproof, that not for thy sake, but thy father's, is there so much as one tribe left to thee! How exact is the fulfilment of the words which the Lord spake by the prophet Nathan to David concerning thee, “ If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men !” 2 Sam. 7. 14. By “Hadad the Edomite," and by “ Rezon the son of Eliadah,” ver. 23, and by “ Jeroboam the son of Nebat,” ver. 26, shall the chastisement of the Lord be inflicted; as far as thy disgrace in this world is concerned ! But of the next world who shall dare to draw the veil ? It is enough for us to learn, from what God has wrought on earth, that He will not spare the wicked; that the wilful transgressor, however great may have been his gifts and graces in time past, is not on that account the less sure to suffer for his sins. In the case of Solomon we know that there was temporal punishment. own case, we know, whether we know more of his or not, that for sins like his the punishment is eternal.

In our

Of Rezon, and of Jeroboam. Solomon dieth. 23 And God stirred him up and will give ten tribes to thee: another adversary, Rezon the son 32 (But he shall have one tribe of Eliadah, which fled from his for my servant David's sake, and lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: for Jerusalem's sake, the city

24 And he gathered men unto which I have chosen out of all him, and became captain over a the tribes of Israel :) band, when David slew them of 33 Because that they have forZobah : and they went to Damas- saken me, and have worshipped cus, and dwelt therein, and reign- Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zied in Damascus.

donians, Chemosh the god of the 25 And he was an adversary to Moabites, and Milcom the god Israel all the days of Solomon, of the children of Ammon, and beside the mischief that Hadad have not walked in my ways, to did: and he abhorred Israel, and do that which is right in mine reigned over Syria.

eyes, and to keep my statutes and 26 And Jeroboam the son of my judgments, as did David his Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, father. Solomon's servant, whose mo- 34 Howbeit I will not take the ther's name was Zeruah, a widow whole kingdom out of his hand: woman, even he lifted up his but I will make him prince all hand against the king.

the days of his life for David my 27 And this was the cause that servant's sake, whom I chose, behe lifted up his hand against the cause he kept my commandments king: Solomon built Millo, and and my statutes : repaired the breaches of the city 35 But I will take the kingdom of David his father.

out of his son's hand, and will 28 And the man Jeroboam was give it unto thee, even ten tribes. a mighty man of valour: and So- 36 And unto his son will I give lomon seeing the young man that one tribe, that David my servant he was industrious, he made him may have a light alway before ruler over all the charge of the me in Jerusalem, the city which house of Joseph.

I have chosen me to put my name 29 And it came to pass at that there. time when Jeroboam went out 37 And I will take thee, and of Jerusalem, that the prophet thou shalt reign according to all Ahijah the Shilonite found him that thy soul desireth, and shalt in the way; and he had clad him- be king over Israel. self with a new garment; and 38 And it shall be, if thou wilt they two were alone in the field : hearken unto all that I command

30 And A hijah caught the new thee, and wilt walk in my ways, garment that was on him, and and do that is right in my sight, rent it in twelve pieces : to keep my statutes and my com

31 And he said to Jeroboam, mandments, as David my servant Take thee ten pieces : for thus did; that I will be with thee, and saith the LORD, the God of Is- build thee a sure house, as I rael, Behold, I will rend the king- built for David, and will give dom out of the hand of Solomon, Israel unto thee.

39 And I will for this afflict the bis wisdom, are they not written seed of David, but not for ever. in the book of the acts of Solomon?

40 Solomon sought therefore to 42 And the time that Solomon kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam reigned in Jerusalem over all arose, and fed into Egypt, unto Israel was forty years. Shishak king of Egypt, and was 43 And Solomon slept with his in Egypt until the death of So- fathers, and was buried in the lomon.

city of David his father: and 41 And the rest of the acts of Rehoboam his son reigned in Solomon, and all that he did, and his stead.

LECTURE 571.

The vanity of worldly ambition. The rending of a new garment by A hijah would be to Jeroboam a striking token of God's purpose to divide the kingdom of Israel, as newly settled in the family of David. It has been thought probable that Jeroboam had a design upon the throne, before the prophet gave him this announcement. And it seems to be so implied in these words of the Lord: “I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth.” But this may signify no more than the general ambition of Jeroboam's character, the desire of wealth, rank, and power, which he cherished in his heart; without perhaps any one special end in view. In this sense the same words might be justly spoken of many men besides Jeroboam. And if God were to send us a message of almost any height of worldly promotion, which of us could say that no such wish or thought had ever crossed the mind; to whích of us might it not with truth be said by the messenger, "according to all that thy soul desireth?”

In no one instance of all history, is the vanity of earthly greatness more clear, than in the case of Solomon. As for his acts after he became an idolater, we are referred to books which are no longer extant. See 2 Chron. 9. 29. And here we are told no more than that he reigned forty years in all, and died, and was buried, and was succeeded by his son. The end of all his glory is obscurity. The most diligent research can yield us no certain information as to the way in which he spent his latter days. This chapter, which tells us of his death, is chiefly occupied with an account of the enemies, whom God raised up on purpose to chastise him. And we neither know what particular reverses he sustained at their hands, nor can we be sure as to the most important point of all, whether he ever heartily repented. If then our hearts desire greatness upon earth, let us learn from Solomon how vain a thing we long for. For this life let us adopt the prayer of Agur,“ Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.” Prov. 30. 8. And let us direct all our ambition towards the life which is to come, to the only riches which will never make us covetous, to the only crown which can never tempt us to be proud.

Rehoboam answereth the people roughly. 1 And Rehoboam went to She- answer this people, who have chem: for all Israel were come spoken to me, saying, Make the to Shechem to make him king. yoke which thy father did put

2 And it came to pass, when upon us lighter? Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who 10 And the young men that was yet in Egypt, heard of it, were grown up with him spake (for he was fed from the pre- unto him, saying, Thus shalt sence of king Solomon, and Je- thou speak unto this people that roboam dwelt in Egypt;) spake unto thee, saying, Thy

3 That they sent and called father made our yoke heavy, but him. And Jeroboam and all the make thou it lighter unto us; congregation of Israel came, and thus shalt thou say unto them, spake unto Rehoboam, saying, My little finger shall be thicker

4 Thy father made our yoke than my father's loins. grievous : now therefore make 11 And now whereas my father thou the grievous service of thy did lade you with a heavy yoke, father, and his heavy yoke which I will add to your yoke : my he put upon us, lighter, and we father hath chastised you with will serve thee.

whips, but I will chastise you 5 And he said unto them, De- with scorpions. part yet for three days, then 12 So Jeroboam and all the come again to me. And the people came to Rehoboam the people departed.

third day, as the king had ap6. And king Rehoboam con- pointed, saying, Come to me sulted with the old men, that again the third day. stood before Solomon his father 13 And the king answered the while he yet lived, and said, How people roughly, and forsook the do ye advise that I may answer old men's counsel that they gave this people ?

him; 7 And they spake unto him, 14 And spake to them after the saying, If thou wilt be a servant counsel of the young men, sayunto this people this day, and ing, My father made your yoke wilt serve

m, and answer heavy, and I will add to your them, and speak good words to yoke: my father also chastised them, then they will be thy ser- you with whips, but I will chasvants for ever.

tise you with scorpions. 8 But he forsook the counsel of 15 Wherefore the king hearkthe old men, which they had given ened not unto the people; for him,and consulted with the young the cause was from the LORD, men that were grown up with that he might perform his sayhim, and which stood before him: ing, which the LORD spake by

9 And he said unto them, What Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jerocounsel give ye that we may boam the son of Nebat.

LECTURE 572. The due effect of God's purposes on our actions. Man accomplishes events; but the cause is from the Lord. And whether man follow his own devices, or do that which he be

lieves to be the will of God, in either case God's will is sure to be fulfilled; in either case God's word is sure to come to pass. How strikingly is this truth exemplified in the division of David's kingdom between Rehoboam the son of Solomon and Jeroboam the son of Nebat! The will of God in this matter, as declared by the prophet Ahijah, was no secret; for we are expressly told, that “ Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam.” Ch. 11. 40. Such was Solomon's perverse opposition to God's declared will. No less foolishly did Rehoboam set himself to work, to frustrate the purpose of the Lord. Had he humbled himself in dust and ashes, had he appealed to God's mercy for himself and for his people, this would have been consistent with acquiescence in God's will; this might have prevailed with God to suspend or to remit the execution of his judgments. For so it was in the case of Ahab, when being sentenced for the guilt of Naboth's blood he turned to God with true humiliation. See 1 Kings 21. 29. And in like manner in the case of Nineveh, it was consistent with God's threatenings, that He spared it, when the Ninevites repented. See Jonah 3. 10.

Things like these lead us to believe, that the threatenings and the promises of God, as declared to us, are in some measure made dependent, according to his will, on the conduct of those to whom they are addressed; being in truth only particular expressions of the one great purpose of God, in his moral government of the world, to recompense evil unto them that do evil, and good to them that do good. And this view of his purpose, and of his promises and threats, ought in every case to make us anxious to enquire, not how we may best compass our own will, but how we may most truly fulfil his. Rehoboam consulting first with old and then with young, how to keep all the kingdom to himself, represents to us the common case of wilful sinners, leaving no stone unturned to get the gain, or enjoy the pleasure, which God forbids. And Jeroboam, not waiting for God's manifest direction, but being forward in leading the people to revolt, sets before us an instance of another disposition, no less opposite to true reliance upon God, namely, haste in securing ends that are allowable, by means which are unlawful. Our right course is to promote God's purposes by obeying God's commandments. Whatever be his declared will in any instance, however painful the prospect to ourselves, though we may lawfully pray, “Remove this cup from me,” we must not fail to add, " Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22. 42. And in like manner if the prospect to ourselves be full of joy, we are bound to wait till the end can be accomplished, consistently with our doing only that which is right. It never can be God's will that any man should knowingly in any thing do wrong. And though our doing so should be overruled to the fulfilment of God's purposes; whilst his glory is unblemished, our souls may be lost.

PART IV.

0. T.

Еe

« PoprzedniaDalej »