Consequences of a leader’s influence – Part 2
Jeroboam, Solomon’s servant, was used by God as a scourge for Solomon. The whip was to crack the evil tendency of Solomon and his son. “Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.” God split the kingdom of Israel from Solomon and gave the major part to his servant, Jeroboam, as a scourge to punish him because of the sins he had committed. “And Jeroboam… lifted up his hand against the king.”
Realising that God would give the 10 tribes to Jeroboam; Solomon “sought to kill Jeroboam.” With all his wisdom and craft, Solomon could not achieve this purpose. Jeroboam eventually received the 10 tribes the Lord promised on the condition that he would follow Him. When God gives a promise, covenant, opportunity or privilege, He always attaches a condition. He always referred to David because, despite his errors, he retraced his steps back to the will of God. But Solomon, Rehoboam and Jeroboam all sinned, led the people to sin and remained in sin. Jeroboam, whom God favoured so much, fell by transgression. He “made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And this thing became a sin.”
The influence of Solomon on his servant made Jeroboam an apostate. The reprobate servant led many kings of succeeding generations and multitudes of people into the sin of idolatry and apostasy. The result of Jeroboam’s leadership led to the exile and captivity of Israel. “For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight… So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.”
Israel, under the perpetual, evil influence of Jeroboam, continued in sin “till there was no remedy.” Even after death, the evil, defiling influence of Solomon, his son and servant continued in Israel. Multitudes suffered on earth and are still suffering in hell because of their impact and influence. Influence matters. Therefore, we should not make people to sin, as they might not repent because of the chain reaction and influences on them. We should rather focus on influencing people to finally make it to heaven.
Judgment: Suffering For Sinning Sons and Servants
The children of Israel had a wrong notion that since they were peculiarly called by God, they could not be punished. But God punished them nonetheless; because of the special place they had with Him. “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” Also, circumcision does not cancel God’s punishment on sin. Solomon mentioned it, but he forgot what he preached.
Like Solomon, many preachers forget what they teach other people. They are unable to keep to their Christian convictions in times of temptation. The Old Testament is very clear about the punishment of people who relapsed into sin. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” The New Testament also affirms judgment on the people who sinned in the Old Testament. “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” The Lord warns us not to sin wilfully because “The Lord shall judge His people.” To escape the judgment of God, we must ensure we live right and have positive influence on others. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Kings 12:1-3; Daniel 12:3; 8:10-12; Malachi 2:8,9; Isaiah 9:16; Jeremiah 18:15; 23:14,15; Daniel 12:2; 1 Kings 11:9-11,26,29-31,33,40; 12:20; Joshua 23:13; 1 Kings 11:35,37,38; 12:26-31; 13:33; 2 Kings 17:6-11,13,14,22,23; Amos 3:1,2; Jeremiah 9:25; Numbers 15:30,31; Hosea 9:9,15,17; Ecclesiastes 12:13,14; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 9:16,17; Isaiah 33:13,14; Matthew 11:23,24; Jude 7,11-13; Hebrews 10:26-31; 9:27.