And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. But the Word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying, Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from Me. They hearkened therefore to the Word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the Word of the LORD. (1 Kings 12:20-24)
God was doing a work in Israel. Solomon had strayed but so had the people of Israel and they were no longer following the Word of the Lord. Jeroboam may have set up the calves, but the idol worship was already going on in the nation. God was beginning His judgment upon the nation for its departure from His Commandments and Statutes. Because of His promise to David God did not completely overthrow Israel but divided the kingdoms and allowed the northern tribes to split off and form Israel under Jeroboam and all the ungodly kings which would follow. Solomon’s lineage would remain over Judah, and though better than the kings in the north, many of them did not follow the LORD in obedience either. Thus, begins the lineage of the kings of Israel and Judah as divided kingdoms.
Though split churches and divided ministries are never a good thing in the short term, even as we see the division of the nation here, God may be doing a work of judgment, or He will allow such a division to occur and then purge those who need chastising from the new work in order to multiply the work of His church. Our plans and programs should always be done for the glory of God and when we forget that and begin to work to accomplish our purposes instead of God’s, He will begin to correct His people. Those who are born again by faith in Him and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary are supposed to be working for His Kingdom, but even we get distracted and sidetracked occasionally and God must redirect and refocus His people in His work from time to time. Our purpose of reaching the lost with the Gospel, teaching the nations all things whatsoever He has commanded, and preaching His Word at all times and in all places is to be done at His direction and under His control. His will and ways will be done, even in the splits and divisions which occur, and He will be glorified in all things. It is better to do it His way first, but it will be done, if not perfectly because of our disobedience, then acceptably or even good, through His correction of His people and His redirection of His Church while we are here.
Until God is done with us, He has sent those of us who are His saints and know Him out into this world to reach the lost that they might be saved from sin. He desires that His people strive to be holy and obedient unto Him that we might minister to those around us who are hurting and in need as He provides. We serve others, equipped with the Word of reconciliation and righteousness, rightly divided and fitly spoken, that they may see Christ in us, the hope of Glory. Our God has commanded us to love one another with an unfeigned love, even as He first loved us, and to disciple one another in the Word of God so that we may all grow in grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Our Lord has commissioned those who are His with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to go where He sends us in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we go, we are to proclaim the Good News of forgiveness through repentance and reconciliation with the Father through faith in His Son, that those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of God might have life in His Name.
God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and the knowledge of the Truth. Jesus loves you and wants to establish a covenant relationship with you that is real and personal. Surrender to Him on His terms and He will give you a brand new life of discipleship and fellowship with Him that is abundant and everlasting. God calls you to faith in Christ and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary to pay your sIn debt. He has provided the only way of reconciliation with God, forgiveness from God, and Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is God the Son, to give you a new life in Christ. Turn away from yourself and your sIn and turn to Him alone for eternal Life, now and always.