Read: 1 Kings 11:1-12:19; Acts 9:1-25; Psalm 131:1-3; Proverbs 17:4-5
Today’s Old Testament reading is a sad one. Solomon let the things he loved turn his heart to idolatry which affected the whole nation. God always has a remnant and this time the remnant was Hadad. He was allowed to live to be used by God to bring judgment on the house of David. Rezon was also raised up as an adversary to Solomon to bring judgment over his life. Both of these were princes that were like strings Solomon had left untied. That is how principalities rise up. They come through doors we leave open. Sometimes they don’t even show up till the next generation. We have to go back to where we opened the door and repent, then command the devil to leave and shut the door.
Solomon recognized leadership in one of his soldiers so he made him ruler over the house of Joseph. This man’s name was Jeroboam. When he was traveling out of Jerusalem one day he was met by the prophet Ahijah whose name means “fresh, new thing.” He was there to birth in Jeroboam a fresh, new idea. Ahijah took Jeroboam’s garment and tore it into 12 pieces to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. He gave 10 of the pieces to Jeroboam. The rest would be for David’s seed. Jeroboam took his word and waited.
Solomon died and the nation crowned his son, Rehoboam king. They petitioned him about what kind of king he would be. They begged him to take the heavy yoke of taxes off of them that his father had put on them. Rehoboam asked for three days to ask his advisors their wisdom. His young, new advisors told him to be strong and tax them even more. His older advisors told him to be kinder and win their hearts. He heeded the advise of the younger men and lost all his kingdom except Judah, fulfilling Ahjah’s prophecy.
Our New Testament reading is an exciting one. Saul, the persecutor of the faith is blinded by the light of God. Jesus encounters him and he is forever changed. He begins to pick up Stephen’s mantle. God sends Ananias to him, risking his life to go meet the Christian persecutor. God tells Ananias what His purpose for Saul is. This gives Ananias the courage to face Saul and pray for him. Saul is saved, receives his sight, and goes immediately to the synagogue and starts preaching that Jesus is the son of God. The persecutor becomes the persecuted. The disciples had to lower him in a basket to get him out of town safely and unnoticed.
Lord, help us to see doors we have opened so we can close them.