Last week, in FREEDOM FROM
FEAR, Part 8, we learned that we don't have to be
afraid of death. Instead, we need to put our faith
100% in Jesus, trusting Him with our Salvation,
believing that He knows what is best. But haven't we
all learned that God helps those who help
themselves? When we take a stand in faith, shouldn't
we work in a little "insurance" somewhere?
You know what I'm talking about! God tells you to go on a mission trip in Africa, but just prior to purchasing your plane ticket, there is a major plane crash. You feel you need some "insurance" so that you don't end up dead, and you back out of the trip.
Or you have gone through a nasty divorce. God has promised you that He will protect your children, no matter what. But when the courts rule against supervised visitations for the children, you become afraid for their lives. You take out a loan and take your ex-spouse back to court.
Or God has told you to minister to the homeless in your town tonight. But you've been sick, and you are afraid that going out in the cold will only make you worse, so you don't go.
What's so wrong with that?
Our story is found in 1 Kings 11 and 12. Because Solomon had led the people of God into idolatry and had not remained faithful to God as his father David had done, the kingdom was taking out of the hands of his son. Only Judah remained under the direction of the line of David, and this, only because God had made David a promise that He did not wish to break: "But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe." (1 Kings 11:32 NIV)
This was a direct fulfillment of prophecy. While Solomon was still alive, the prophet Ahijah came to Jeroboam and promised he would be king (See 1 Kings 11:29). And it came to be. Jeroboam was given, by God Himself, what rightfully belonged to the line of David: Kingship over Israel.
And after such a
pronounced example of how God keeps His promises,
Jeroboam was no longer afraid, right?
Unfortunately, not. Jeroboam allowed fear to enter his heart. He said to himself, "The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam." (1 Kings 12:26-27 NIV)
Jeroboam's fear caused him to take things into his own hands: "… the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, 'It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; the people went even as far as Dan to worship the one there.'" (1 Kings 12:28-30 NIV)
After being handed the kingdom of God because the former king had turned to idolatry, the first thing Jeroboam did was to turn the new kingdom of Israel to idolatry, justifying it under the name of "insurance"!
But Jeroboam's little
"insurance" permanently turned the people of Israel
away from God. Never once in the history of Israel,
even during the ministries of great prophets like
Elijah and Elisha, did they stop worshiping idols.
And in the end, the nation was overtaken by the
Assyrians, never to be re-established.
Jeroboam's little "insurance" policy also brought disaster to his own family as well. His son only reigned two years before he was killed and the kingdom was taken over by Basha, who went on to kill Jeroboam's entire family.
Wouldn't it have been a more pleasant outcome if Jeroboam had decided to trust God instead of allowing his fear to drive him to "insurance"?
Friends, God makes us promises on a daily basis. Do we take Him at His word, or do we, like Jeroboam, take things into our own hands in the name of "insurance"? I mean, don't you think that if God goes to all the trouble to tell you to go on a mission trip, He will protect you? If God has already promised to care of your children, He doesn't need any help! And if God tells you to minister to the homeless tonight, He will protect you from potentially bad outcomes!
Ours is not to second guess God! When He tells us to do something, our job is be 100% obedient, even in the face of trouble. God CAN be trusted! We need to put aside our fears and start trusting in Him instead of in our "insurance"!
Up until now in this FREEDOM FROM FEAR series, we've emphasized over and over again that fear is simply a product of lack of faith, and the key to overcoming fear lies in establishing more faith. But where does this faith come from? Join us next week for FREEDOM FROM FEAR, Part 9.
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org , with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org .