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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies: Trustworthy Week 2

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KS: Hey everybody and welcome to week two of ourTrustworthyOnline Bible Study.

I'm joined again by Lysa TerKuerst, who is the author and Joel Muddamalle, who is our

Director of Theology at Proverbs 31 Ministries. And this week, we're studying two kings and

I'm gonna attempt my best to say their names, but y'all will correct me if not. Rehoboam.

LT: You got it.

KS: I got it? Ok. One down. Jeroboam.

LT & JM: Wow! Very good.

KS: Oh my gosh, you guys. I wrote it phonetically. Thank you guys so much. Maybe you'll be able

to say the name of the kings by the end of the week. We'll see. But, this week, we get

to see Lysa's teaching video at the end of the week and Lysa, you are standing in front

of a high place, is that correct?

LT: That's right.

KS: Is that what it's called? And so, I would love for you all to speak into a little bit

about what a high place is, for those of us who may not know.

LT: Well, let's give a little context first. So last week, we talked about Saul, David,

Solomon. So first king, second king, third king in the line of kings. Solomon, of course,

David's son, David and Saul not related.

JM: Not related.

LT: So David comes from a different lineage, it's the lineage of Jesse, and that obviously

is also the lineage that you keep following down all the way to King Jesus. Okay, so that's

important. But Solomon's son now is king over all of Israel, Rehoboam. So Rehoboam becomes

king. Rehoboam, I think there's a very pivotal moment in his life where he decides, he has

to make the decision if he's gonna take the advice of the younger men or the older men,

and Solomon has spent many years building not only the Temple, but also his palace.

And we unearthed a very interesting fact about that. What was the interesting fact?

JM: Yeah, he actually took twice the time to build his own personal palace than he took

to build the actual Temple, or the, yeah Temple of God.

KS: Really?

JM: It's unbelievable.

LT: Yes, and so, because the workers were the Israelites and I think they were from

the tribes of Joseph's lineage, right. They were the construction workers and the ones

that are really, really they're physically taxed in having to build so much. And so,

Jeroboam was one of Solomon's advisors. So Jeroboam becomes an advocate for the people

and says to Solomon, "You're working the people too hard." And there's a falling out and Jeroboam

gets exiled to Egypt.

JM: He runs. Yeah Egypt always shows up. It's so interesting how Egypt just kind of keeps

showing its face every now and then.

LT: Right, so now Rehoboam is Solomon's son, he's in charge. And when he gets the advice

of the younger men and the older men, the older men say, be gentle with the people.

Your father was too harsh, made them work too hard and so if you will be kind and compassionate

with them, they will love you and they will serve you.

JM: Forever. Like they will be your people.

LT: Forever. And then he goes, Rehoboam, gets the advice of the younger men and the younger

men say, "No. No no no no."

JM: It's a lot worse than that.

LT: Yes, you need to be even more harsh with the people and kind of bow up and establish

your leadership by, you know, being even more strict and severe with them. And unfortunately

he listens to the younger men and so there is this great moment where the people basically

decide we don't want Rehoboam as the king. And there's a revolt and so Rehoboam runs

and to honor David, Rehoboam - who is David's grandson, is allowed to still be the king

of the southern tribes, but it's a much smaller section. And by this point, Jeroboam has come

back from Egypt and now he gets placed by God in the position of being king of all the

northern...

JM: Northern tribes.

LT: And everything is fine. So this is where it starts to get a little confusing in our

study because now the kingdom has split.

KS: Yes

LT: So we've got the northern tribes and the southern. Okay, so Rehoboam is in South.

KS: There's a nice diagram in "Trustworthy", too, to show that. The northern and the southern.

LT: Yes. And that's one of the reasons we did the diagram, because it can get a little

confusing.

KS: Complicated.

LT: But Jeroboam now has been placed by God in this position and he starts to get worried

that when the people go to Jerusalem, which is part of the Southern Kingdom, which is

where Rehoboam is, that their affection is going to turn back to Rehoboam, and it's important

for the people to go to Jerusalem because that's where the Temple is.

JM: Yeah, they had to do sacrifice, festivals. I mean, this is central-

LT: That's right. And these were ordained by God to do these, so these are very honoring

of God. But Jeroboam starts to get scared and says, I don't really want the people going

down there because they may see what Rehoboam's doing. They may like him better, they may

turn their heart away.

JM: Panic and insecurity.

LT: Yes and because of his insecurity, instead of taking a step back and saying, "Wow, God

has put me in this place and I will stay here as long as God wants me here." Instead of

that, I think he starts to get very enamoured with the position that he's been given and

so he says, "What can I do to keep the people from going down to Jerusalem, or the people

who still go to Jerusalem, I've got to give them a reason to come back." So Jeroboam sets

up two alternate places of worship. One in Tel Dan and one in Bethel. And he builds high

places and he sets up golden calves...

JM: Which should, you know, send off some reminders of an Exodus story to us.

KS: Right.

LT: That's right. And he dishonors God by changing the place of worship, changing the

dates, and setting up alternate places besides the Temple of God for the people to go to,

because he's more concerned about keeping the hearts of the people attracted to him

than obedient to God and so, I was very fascinated in this story and I remember asking our guides

over in Israel as we were driving to Tel Dan to film this week's video, "What is a high

place?" Because Ive always pictured it - tell me what youve pictured, like when

you've read in the Bible, like a high place, what have you pictured?

KS: I'm going to be honest. Just something that's above the level ground. Like a little

mountaintop or just like something above the people.

LT: Yeah. And what did you picture before we saw it?

JM: I think I just pictured some type of monstrous, massive building, object that you would have.

I just think of dark, you know.

LT: And so I pictured, like, almost like a deer stand. I dont know if youve ever

seen a deer stand but I just pictured like this little wooden structure with idols hanging

down. And I dont know, like heres the mountain and then you got little high places

on the mountain. So I dont know why, its certainly an elevated structure, but I pictured

in my mind, its just like this little deer stand thing, you know. And when we got there,

I remember my guide saying, “No, Lysa, a high place its a stage, a platform, or

a pulpit.” And I remember when she said that, it kind of arrested my heart, because

thats not at all what I expected and sure enough, when we went to Dan and we saw the

high place thats still there, that Jeroboam built, it really is, it has steps that go

up, and its this big platform and the important thing to recognize is how that altar, or stage,

platform, pulpit, how its used determines who it worships. And so if we put things on

this stage, platform, or pulpit that just glorify ourselves or put on demonstration

our distrust of God, which is what Jeroboam did, then it becomes a high place worshipping

not God Himself. And thats very relevant to us today, and you think, oh, well, you

know, Im not a preacher, I dont have a pulpit, I dont have a stage, but in todays

social media world, we all have platforms. And even if you only have a few people that

are following you or looking at whatever it is that youre posting, or even if youre

in leadership in any way, if you are influencing another person, you have a platform. It doesnt

require social media, but certainly I bring that up, because I think social media has

given everybody whos on it a platform. Then we have a real responsibility to use

that platform in a way that glorifies and honors God. Or to put on display our own areas

of distrusting God and glorifying or honor ourselves, glorify or honor our political

positions, glorify or honor our opinions. And so it became very applicable to me. And

I felt very challenged by it. So thats what youll get to see in this weeks

video.

KS:Wow. A stage, a pulpit, or a platform. Thats good. So you mentioned, I feel like

theres going to be a lot of lessons on control, maybe, giving up control or taking

control and trying to manipulate situations in this weeks study. What are some other

things that we can look out for that are relevant to us today? What other lessons?

JM: Yeah, I think one of the things I love about this study, one of the things that Lysa

brings out, is also images of the story of the people of Israel. Not just in 1 and 2

Kings, but also the retold story from the past. And so I kind of joked a little bit

earlier about these golden calves, but again its one of those reminders that, wait,

this isnt the first time a golden calf shows up, and even the language that Jeroboam

uses in order to describe, these are the golden calves that have brought you out of Egypt

and youre thinking wait a minute, is that the real story? Did the golden calves actually

bring them out of Egypt? Who brought - and it goes back to this idea of trust. And going

back to our stories and thats what was real personal for me, of thinking, oh yeah,

Joel, who delivered me in my times of distress? And its easy, at times, to think, well,

you know I kind of did this, or somebody did that, but not to really pay attention to the

fact that actually it was God. Gods story, Gods fingerprints, are in all of this.

And so I think thats one of the exciting things that youll see, as the kings and

as the people look back on their past story, it helps us, encourages us to, kind of, I

always talk about it as the theology of remembrance, building this theology of remembrance, of

what has the Lord done in my life and how should that actually inform how I think about

my future.

LT: And I think for me, its a reminder to me that fear is a real litmus test of where

my trust is and where my dependence is and so sometimes when we feel afraid, then we

have the greatest opportunity to put on display either trusting God or distrusting God. And

I dont say it lightly because certainly I understand how tough fear can be and I know

what it feels like to look ahead and in my human estimation see nothing but threatening

circumstances and feel so afraid that I start to want to control anything I can control

to eliminate and take away some of the sting of fear, because fear is really difficult.

And so I dont at all diminish the intense feelings of fear. But I do think, how can

we, even in the face of fear, learn to trust God. And I think this week will be very profound

for people. And certainly it is a good lesson that we can learn from Jeroboam. And I think

also what shocked me is Jeroboam - yes, he built these high places and yes he manipulated

the people and tried to take control, and yes he felt afraid and out of that fear came

his distrust of the Lord, but I cant say that in my estimation I would have thought

about Jeroboam then being the king that all the rest of the kings who are evil are compared

to. But as we keep reading through these books, the good kings are compared to David and the

evil kings are compared to Jeroboam, and when I look at what Jeroboam did, I go, Wow, this

fear that Jeroboam had that led him to control and manipulate and lead other people away

from being obedient to God is a much bigger deal to God than what I ever estimated before.

So I think its really important to address. Its not something to go, “Ah!”, you

know, Im a fearful person. I dont want to be considered an evil person, so thats

why its so important to do this week. Thats why its so important that we study the

patterns of distrust, so that we can identify where theyre at in our own life and trust

is kind of one of those things that, unless we have someone else speaking into us of how

to get from here to here, like from a place of distrust to a place of trusting, from a

place of fear, control, and manipulation to a place of walking with an obedient heart

to God, sometimes youve gotta have somebody else outline that path for you, and thats

what this weeks study will do.

KS: Thats good. And you mentioned having somebody else speak into your situation. Hopefully,

you listen to maybe the wise counsel, and not the younger ones, you know? Its good

to have somebody there that might be ahead of you in the faith, so they can speak into

your situation and then hopefully take that advice, but I havent taken it all the time.

So Im excited to study this week. Thank you both so much and were excited for you

to dig into Scripture, because we know once you do, that you will learn it and you will

live it and then it changes everything. So lets say the tagline, “When you know

the truth -

All: And live the truth, it changes everything.

KS: Have a good week two everybody.

The Description of Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies: Trustworthy Week 2