“Nevertheless, I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of David my servant whom I chose, who kept my commandments and my statutes. But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand and will give it to you, ten tribes. Yet to his son I will give one tribe, that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name. And I will take you, and you shall reign over all that your soul desires, and you shall be king over Israel. And if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. And I will afflict the offspring of David because of this, but not forever.’” Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled into Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon. I Kings 11:34-40 ESV
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. Psalm 16:1-6 ESV
Many years ago a star baseball player named Babe Ruth played for the Boston Red Sox. He was a pitcher and also a really good hitter, but the Red Sox owners needed money and didn’t see what a star Babe Ruth would become. So the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $100,000, which was a lot of money in those days. They might have thought that they were getting the best part of the deal when they got all that money, but Babe Ruth went on to lead the New York Yankees to victory and fame and gave them the ability to build Yankee Stadium, which many people called “The House that Ruth Built.” Today no one doubts that the Yankees got a much better deal.
When God promised Jeroboam most of the tribes of Israel to rule over, Jeroboam might have thought he was getting the best part of the deal. All that Solomon’s dynasty would have left would be the one big tribe of Judah (and the little tribe of Benjamin.) But God also promised to continue to love and bless Solomon’s dynasty for David’s sake. They would have the temple in Jerusalem where God’s presence was in a special way. And someday it would be from the tribe of Judah that the promised Savior would be born. God was disciplining Solomon’s dynasty, but he hadn’t taken his promises away from them. The people of the tribe of Judah had the much better deal, but sadly, very few people understood that at the time. All anyone could see was the wealth of the tribes that were promised to Jeroboam, and Solomon even tried to have him killed!
We are thankful that God kept his promises to David even though Solomon turned away from God. This shows that God’s promises never fail his people. God sent Jesus to be our promised Savior, and Jesus took our sins away at the cross. We have his love and forgiveness every day, and no one can take the love of Jesus away from us. Whatever wealth or other good things other people might have, if we have Jesus, we have the best deal of all!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your love and forgiveness through Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.