A Kingdom Divided – 1 Kings 11

Beginning with King Solomon in his later years, Israel turned away from God and worshiped the local deities of their neighbors instead.  Because of this, God slowly began to remove His blessings on the country.  The peace and prosperity they enjoyed as the Lord’s shining light to the world would begin to evaporate as conflict and hardship increasingly replaced the good life that they had been enjoying while worshiping Him. Defeat and exile to Assyria and Babylon would lie ahead.

God was particularly upset that the “gods” the people were chasing after were demonic in nature and used the enticement of sexual immorality and drunkenness in their “worship” to draw people away from Him.  These practices are not a part of God’s fruitful plan for our lives, but are a destructive plan of the enemy.  Many families are still being destroyed by these practices today.

As a result of their rejection of God and His covenant, the Lord decided that He would divide the nation of Israel.  He would keep one piece with the throne and the temple in Jerusalem, an area that would now be called Judah, including the kingly line.  The rest of the country would be a separate nation with their own king, known as Israel, or Ephraim.

Jesus Christ, the divine fruit of the genealogy pursued in this series of meditations, had this to say about a divided kingdom:

22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. Matthew 12:22-25 (NKJV)

Jesus, the Messiah Israel had been waiting for, was also a King in the line of David. This Messiah had often been referred to by the people as the Son of David, as He was in that faithful king’s genealogy.  When Jesus arrived on the scene in God’s perfect timing, the religious authorities of the day did not recognize Him for who He was, and credited His vast and miraculous healing powers to the works of enemy, Satan. Here was another case of other “gods” getting credit for God’s blessings, and that is not something the Lord appreciates.

Jesus had been healing a man who was possessed by a demon.  His symptoms were blindness and muteness, but unlike the common physical causes for that which we are familiar with, this one had a spiritual cause.  The same demonic forces that had drawn the people away from God after Solomon’s time were now inflicting physical pain, hardship, physical illness, and terror upon them, as well. 

As Jesus has said, the enemy only comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  Jesus came to reclaim the Kingdom of God and to prevail against this kingdom of darkness.  Prophecy tells us that, one day, He will restore full and eternal blessings on His people, Israel, as they come to faith and recognize Him as their true King.

10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.  Zechariah 12:10 (NKJV)

Jesus will one day return to take His rightful place as ruler of the entire world, centered on the throne of David in a New Jerusalem.  Christ came the first time as an essential sin sacrifice, to bear the punishment of all who would call upon His name.  The first time, He came as a lowly and humble servant.  His entrance will be quite different the next time around.


Solomon’s kingdom would be divided, but the throne of Christ will never be.  He will reign over all of God’s creation to the glory of God the Father, forever and ever.  He is reaching out to all today.

Father God, grant us unity in Your Spirit today. Heal our divisions and turn our eyes and hearts back towards You. Strengthen us and help us to walk in peace and service to the King of Kings and Lords of Lords, today and every day. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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