Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 25 (1910 - 1915)



Ms 1, 1912



January 9, 1912 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2BC 1032-1033; CTr 161.

“And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon’s servant, whose mother was Zeruah, ... even he lifted up his hand against the king. And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father. And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.” [1 Kings 11:26-28.] 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 1

Thus is introduced to us Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Solomon had noticed Jeroboam as being a young man of intelligence and industry, and he had placed responsibilities on him and at different times had advanced him. 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 2

“And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: and Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: and he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces; for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: ... because that they have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways, to do that which is right in Mine eyes, and to keep My statutes and My judgments, as did David his father. 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 3

“Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand; but I will make him prince all the days of his life for My servant David’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept My commandments and My statutes; but I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and give it unto thee, even ten tribes.” [Verses 29-35.] 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 4

This was the chastisement of Solomon’s apostasy. He did not carry out the will of God, but allowed his wives to lead him into idolatry. “It came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord.” [Verses 4-6.] 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 5

Solomon lost his connection with heaven and set Israel an example so misleading that God could not vindicate him. God broke His covenant with Solomon because Solomon was disloyal. Had Solomon heeded the instruction given him, God would have worked through him to reveal to the world His power and majesty. 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 6

Those today to whom the Lord has given great light will find their only safety in walking in the way of the Lord, placing themselves where He can carry out His will through them. God will do large things for those who will learn of Him, not taking counsel of themselves, but of Him who never makes a mistake. Our safety, our wisdom, is in recognizing and heeding God’s instructions. The most valuable knowledge that we can obtain is the knowledge of God. Those who walk humbly before Him, loving Him supremely and obeying His Word, will be blessed with wisdom. They will be given the knowledge of heaven to impart to others. Wisdom is God’s gift, to be kept pure from all contamination. Its possession lays upon every one on whom it is bestowed a peculiar obligation to glorify God by blessing his fellow men. He is ever to keep before him the fear of God, enquiring at every step, “Is this the way of the Lord?” 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 7

God desires to have upon this earth righteous representatives through whom He can communicate to His people His peculiar favor. These representatives are to be men who honor God by keeping His commandments—wise, true men who can act as leaders, walking circumspectly, showing to the world the meaning of true loyalty to God. 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 8

The Disobedient Prophet

“And behold, there came a man of God out of Judah, by the word of the Lord unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord, Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the Lord hath spoken: Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.” 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 9

And the altar “was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.” [1 Kings 13:1-5.] 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 10

When Jeroboam saw the altar rent and the ashes from it poured out on the ground, he cried out in wrath, “Lay hold upon him.” “And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.” In alarm he said to the prophet, “Entreat now the face of the Lord thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king’s hand ... became as it was before.” [Verses 4, 6.] 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 11

“And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place; for so it was charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.” [Verses 7-9.] 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 12

The prophet refused to receive anything from Jeroboam, but he fell under the temptation of an aged prophet living at Bethel, who when he heard of what had happened, had his ass saddled, and “went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak.” To him he said, “Come home with me, and eat bread.” [Verses 14, 15.] But the man of God answered him as he had answered Jeroboam, “I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee; neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place.” The old prophet then lied to him, saying, “I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.” [Verses 16-18.] He declared that the Lord had spoken through him, when He had not. This will surely be repeated again and again. 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 13

The man of God had been fearless in delivering his message of rebuke. He had not hesitated to denounce the king’s false system of worship. And he had refused Jeroboam’s invitation, even though promised a reward. But he allowed himself to be overpersuaded by the one who claimed to have a message from heaven. 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 14

When the Lord gives a man a command such as He gave this messenger, He Himself must countermand the order. Upon those who turn from the voice of God to listen to counterorders, the threatened evil will come. Because this messenger obeyed false orders, God permitted him to be destroyed. “As they sat at the table,” “the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that brought him back: and he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee, ... thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulcher of thy fathers.” 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 15

“And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcass was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcass. And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcass cast in the way, ... and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.” [Verses 20-25.] 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 16

The penalty that overtook the messenger of God was a fresh evidence given to Jeroboam of the truth of God’s words. Had the prophet, after disobeying the word of the Lord, gone in safety, the king would have used this to vindicate his own disobedience. The death of the disobedient prophet should have been to him an assurance of the truth of the message sent him. This was the third evidence that God had given the king. The rent altar, the palsied arm, the fearful result of the prophet’s disobedience—these were evidences that should have led the king to turn from his evil ways and serve the Lord. 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 17

But we read, “After this thing, Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.” [Verses 33, 34.] 25LtMs, Ms 1, 1912, par. 18