KS: Hey everybody and welcome to week two of our “Trustworthy” Online 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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 I’ve always pictured it - tell me what you’ve 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 don’t know if you’ve ever
seen a deer stand but I just pictured like this little wooden structure with idols hanging
down. And I don’t know, like here’s the mountain and then you got little high places
on the mountain. So I don’t know why, it’s certainly an elevated structure, but I pictured
in my mind, it’s just like this little deer stand thing, you know. And when we got there,
I remember my guide saying, “No, Lysa, a high place it’s a stage, a platform, or
a pulpit.” And I remember when she said that, it kind of arrested my heart, because
that’s not at all what I expected and sure enough, when we went to Dan and we saw the
high place that’s still there, that Jeroboam built, it really is, it has steps that go
up, and it’s 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 that’s very relevant to us today, and you think, oh, well, you
know, I’m not a preacher, I don’t have a pulpit, I don’t have a stage, but in today’s
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 you’re posting, or even if you’re
in leadership in any way, if you are influencing another person, you have a platform. It doesn’t
require social media, but certainly I bring that up, because I think social media has
given everybody who’s 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 that’s what you’ll get to see in this week’s
KS:Wow. A stage, a pulpit, or a platform. That’s good. So you mentioned, I feel like
there’s going to be a lot of lessons on control, maybe, giving up control or taking
control and trying to manipulate situations in this week’s 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 it’s one of those reminders that, wait,
this isn’t 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 you’re 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 that’s what was real personal for me, of thinking, oh yeah,
Joel, who delivered me in my times of distress? And it’s 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. God’s story, God’s fingerprints, are in all of this.
And so I think that’s one of the exciting things that you’ll 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
LT: And I think for me, it’s 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 can’t 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 it’s really important to address. It’s not something to go, “Ah!”, you
know, I’m a fearful person. I don’t want to be considered an evil person, so that’s
why it’s so important to do this week. That’s why it’s so important that we study the
patterns of distrust, so that we can identify where they’re 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 you’ve gotta have somebody else outline that path for you, and that’s
what this week’s study will do.
KS: That’s 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? It’s 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 haven’t taken it all the time.
So I’m excited to study this week. Thank you both so much and we’re 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 let’s say the tagline, “When you know
the truth -
All: And live the truth, it changes everything.
KS: Have a good week two everybody.