By Ken Blue
This is the second of the five Courses of judgment promised to come upon Israel should they disobey and refuse to walk in God’s commandments. These are listed in Leviticus chapter 26. We give the five judgments here. 1. Lev. 26:14-17. 2. Lev. 26:18-20. 3. Lev. 26:21-22. 4. Lev. 26:23-26. 5. Lev. 26:27-39.
The second course states, “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.” Leviticus 26:18-20.
This course deals with constant problems within the political aspects of the nation and the land; its environment also works against them. The time period of this curse was during the ministry of Elijah. It began in 1 Kings Chapter 12 where we see the revolt of the ten tribes and the division of Israel.
Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, was asked by the leaders of Israel to lessen their burdens imposed by King Solomon. He refused their request, assuring them that although his father had scourged them with whips, he would whip them with scorpions. This causes a rebellion of the ten northern tribes; they appointed Jeroboam to be their king. One should pay close attention to verse 15. “Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.”
The following is that prophecy which was coming to pass. “And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:2 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:) Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.” 1 Kings 11:29-33.
This division was the first and the major step in the second course of judgments on the nation because of their apostasy and idolatry. The remainder of 1 Kings and part of the Chronicles record the civil wars between the north and the south. In addition, God sent the prophet Elijah to pronounce famine upon the land. Elijah informed King Ahab that there would not be any rain in Israel for the next three and one half years. This second course of punishment continues until the appointment of Elijah the prophet; it takes on a more severe nature at that point.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
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