A note from Carol.
Just to recap: The Women Speak is a chronological study of God’s story through the women of the Bible. You may have noticed that the ‘interviews’ with these women have turned toward the dark side. As we follow human history through the Old Testament, we realize that this is exactly what is happening. The Israelite culture, had become more and more degraded. They fell from the high and powerful standing they had when the skillful people joyfully offered themselves and their possessions to God. They were on a path of destruction, and each period of their history became more corrupt and violent than the one before. Their leaders and most of the population rejected God. We have no choice but to follow their self-destruction through the pages of the Old Testament. However, God never gives up on his people and he never gives up on us. A remnant who remain true to Him will light the way for the Savior to come.
Jeroboam’s Wife Speaks
She was completely dejected, inconsolable, and with good reason. She poured out her horrible story with moaning and weeping. “My husband was the King. Israel was in a shambles when Solomon died; he was a failure and no one in his House deserved to be king. God had rejected Solomon. My husband, Jeroboam was an Ephraimite; he was strong and smart, so Solomon gave him much power in the kingdom. One day the Prophet Ahijah told him that he would rule over ten of the twelve tribes of Israel. His prophesy from God promised my husband that he would receive all the blessings that had been given the House of David, and soon he became an enemy of Solomon. Solomon had enemies on every side and we had feared the worst until God gave Jeroboam that message.”
“We had a son, Abijah. I was overjoyed as I thought that our son would also be King one day.” Sobbing, she went on, “I thought our troubles would soon be over, but I was wrong…so wrong. We fled to Egypt after Jeroboam raised his hand against Solomon, and when we heard that Solomon was dead, we returned to Jerusalem. Jeroboam challenged Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. Rehoboam was a bigger fool than Solomon had been. Just as the prophet had said, ten tribes rejected him. When Rehoboam took the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin to war against the other tribes, God stopped them from fighting against their brothers and Rehoboam stood down.”
She glowered as she added, “But then my husband became the biggest fool of all. He was as power hungry as David, and jealous of Rehoboam. He was convinced the people would return to Rehoboam when they worshiped in Jerusalem.” She was almost hysterical as she exclaimed, “He took counsel with evil! He came up with a scheme to provide places of worship in Bethel and Dan and manipulated the people. He even made golden calves for them to worship.”
“God sent a man with a warning and destroyed those altars and when Jeroboam lifted his hand to seize the man, his hand became leprous. He screamed in fear but the man from God healed him, and warned him to return to God’s ways. God warned him in so many ways, but his heart was hardened. He went on in his evil plans.”
Her voice raised in anger, she practically screeched, “What was I to do? I am nothing. I am just a woman, and I had no power. Our son was ill and I was so afraid. Jeroboam told me to disguise myself and go to the Prophet Ahijah. I thought maybe Ahijah would take pity on my son—just a child, or on me—a mother. However, God told him who I was, before I even arrived at his house. I will never forget what he said.”
She shuddered as she repeated words of Ahijah: “For I am charged with unbearable news for you. Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back…” Then she whispered, “I cannot bear to repeat the things he said would happen to Jeroboam and to Israel.”
As if in a trance she went on, “But then he said to me, ‘When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the LORD, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam.’”
She was quiet for a moment. Then, wiping tears from her eyes she went on, “I have only one consolation. God loved my Abijah. He said there was good in him. He did not have to suffer the punishment God put upon the people who had worshiped false gods. The Lord God is our only hope.”
From: Kings 11:26-40; 12:14-33;13; 14:1-20; Isaiah 55
For a Bible study for this story go to “The Women Speak” page.