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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Arminian Theology in View, Part 3

OK...in my daily reading (and hopefully your's too, Victory Baptist Church!) I came across a passage that was very appropriate to my recent readings in the Arminian Theology book I've recently commented on. When you read in 1 Kings 12 you find Solomon dead, the people asking for a reprieve of all the tasks...and his son Rehoboam listening to the competing counsel of his father's advisors and his own young, inexperienced strap-hanging friends. Rehoboam is not sure what to do...be lenient or harsher on the people. He decides the latter. Here is the passage:

  • 1 Kings 12:14-15- "And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 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."
So...why did Rehoboam do what he did? Was it because he was evil and depraved...of course! But what is the ultimate reason why he did it according to the text? It was the Lord's sovereign will..."for the cause was from the LORD" that He would fulfill the prophecy from 1 Kings 11:31-36.

  • 1 Kings 11:31-36- "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: 32 (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:) 33 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. 34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes: 35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes. 36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there."
According to Professor Olson's book God didn't want to do this...but because He loved Rehoboam he had to respect his free will and let him do it. How does this kind of logic explain that the passage in chapter 12:15 which says "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."

In verse 15 the Hebrew word means "turn of events/turn of affairs." This turn of events was of the Lord for His own glory and according to His all-wise and eternal, redemptive purposes. Personally I think we need to stop trying to get God "off the hook" and let His Word speak for itself.
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> posted by Jim Leavenworth at

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