Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 11-12
The dark days of division are manifest among God’s people. Solomon, forsaking the wisdom which is from above, took to himself wives out of the forbidden nations. And just as God had warned in Deuteronomy 7:1-5, these pagans turned Solomon’s heart from following God, thus he was obliged to punish Solomon by removing the kingdom from his family. We should note that Jeroboam’s “rebellion” was authorized and commanded by God through his servant Ahijah. Rehoboam’s youthful and foolish arrogance paved the way for Jeroboam. Chapter 12 closes with the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nabat, which pertain to the matter of acceptable worship. How important is proper and authorized worship? The nation of Israel never recovered from his transgression, and “the sins of Jeroboam became the common thread of 18 kings who followed him, ultimately resulting in the destruction of Israel.
New Testament reading: John 17-18
“Even though all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble” (Matt 26:33). Less than 12 hours after this declaration, and further declaring his willingness to go to prison and even to death with Jesus, Peter denied knowing the Lord three times, just as the Lord said. It is always easy to speak of what we would do in certain situations until those situations actually present themselves! I remember as a youth hearing some of my companions speak of what they would do if they ever saw so and so. A tremendous beating was awaiting said offender! That is, until he actually presented himself, then the braggart decided to eat his words as opposed to potentially swallowing his teeth! Thankfully, Peter repented of his sin and went on to be a great apostle and spokesman for our Lord. This account makes me appreciate Peter’s boldness as seen in Acts 4-5. We are also reminded that if we are willing to repent, God still has a place for us to serve in the kingdom. A quick note – Peter’s attack with the sword as Jesus is confronted is consistent with his earlier claims. Greatly outnumbered, Peter seemed perfectly willing to die to protect Jesus. This is why I am perplexed by his denials immediately following. Sometimes we are willing to do the greater things, but unwilling to do the lesser.