Fear Not Blog Graphic


As I said in Part 1 of this series, t, I’m doing this workshop on fear. Quite honestly, I was sort of overwhelmed on what to speak about that would be the most helpful. I mean, as we saw, there are literally dozens of people who allowed fear to make them do some pretty dumb things. However, as I prayed about it, God brought to mind the stories of two different kings. Each faced fear, but one handled it well and one didn’t. Today, I’m going to talk about the guy who completely missed the mark – Jeroboam.

To understand the story, we need to get a little context going. The nation of Israel had three kings: Saul, David and Solomon. Saul screwed up (because of fear mainly) and God removed the kingship from his family. Most people are familiar with David and his story. He was a man after God’s own heart, and so God promised Him that David’s line would continue and produce the Savior of the world. Solomon started out pretty good, but he had a big Achille’s heel – women! In fact, he had 1,000 wives and concubines, and the Bible says that Solomon was not wholly devoted to God, so all of these wives (many from foreign countries that worshiped false gods) turned Solomon’s heart from God and he started also worshiping false gods. This was the one thing that God absolutely would not tolerate (and god the nation of Israel in trouble over and over and over again). So, God said He was going to take the kingdom away from Solomon’s family, but since He made that promise to David, God would allow Solomon’s son Rehoboam to retain two of the 12 tribes of Israel: Judah and Benjamin.

Enter Jeroboam. We find the story in I Kings 11. The Bible says that Jeroboam was a valiant young man, and Solomon noticed him and gave him some authority. God also noticed Jeroboam and sent a prophet to chat with him. The prophet basically tells Jeroboam that because Solomon has wholeheartedly followed God, God was going to remove all but the 2 tribes from his son, and God had decided to make Jeroboam the king of the other 10 tribes.

The prophet Ahijah tells Jeroboam just what God wants from him in verses 37 and 38, “I will take you, and you shall reign over whatever you desire, and you shall be king over Israel. Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.”

It’s pretty clear cut. God is promising Jeroboam that if he just follows God, Jeroboam will make his house prosper like David’s house. That was a pretty hefty promise. God is offering Jeroboam the throne and a legacy if Jeroboam just follows after God and obeys His commands.

So, it happens just as God told Jeroboam it would. Solomon dies. Rehoboam loses most the kingdom. God even intervenes when Rehoboam decides to go after Jeroboam to get his torn kingdom back together, sending a prophet to tell Rehoboam not to fight Jeroboam.


Unfortunately, Jeroboam is fearful of keeping his throne. In I Kings 12:26 and 27, it says, “Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” (emphasis mine)

If you read I Kings 11 and 12, you’ll notice that nobody is even talking about returning to Rehoboam. There are no murmurings against Jeroboam. All these fears are in his own head, and instead of remembering the promises God had made to him, Jeroboam nurtures these thoughts until his fears make him do something really, really dumb. He makes two golden calves and sets them up in two different places for the people to worship. If you know anything about the history of Israel, the previous golden calf thing didn’t turn out so well for them. Not only that, but he makes up a feast and an entire alternative religion for the Israelite people to practice.

You know, right after God removed Solomon’s son from ruling over most of the tribes of Israel for worshiping other gods. God had promised Jeroboam the throne. He had delivered on that promise.  The very first threat to Jeroboams reign as king, God diffuses.

In response to this, Jeroboam somehow comes to the conclusion that his throne is in jeopardy if the people go to Jerusalem to worship (which was in Rehoboam’s territory), so he needs to make false gods.

Yep, that makes total sense.

You’ll notice the fears that Jeroboam has all originate in his own head. Satan is a master at taking the areas we are insecure and with a few well-placed whispers, fanning the flames into all out terror and fear. In our panic, we end up doing something really stupid just like Jeroboam.

I can point my finger at Jeroboam all I want, but I tend to have short term memory loss when it comes to remembering God’s promises and the ways He has come through for me, too. How about you?

I think we can learn something from Jeroboam though. We can learn the art of taking our thoughts captive, because if Jeroboam had immediately recognized that his thoughts had run away with him, he could have at least tried to reign them in.

We actually have an advantage over Jeroboam. No, we don’t have prophets that come to our doorstep and share directly from God, but we have God’s Word written down that we can turn to anytime we want. God has given us a grid through which to run our thoughts and fears. It’s in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” The word dwell here is the Greek word logizomai which means to reckon or count over. Vine’s says it means, “to think upon a matter by way of taking account of its character.”


So, that means we are to take account of the character of our thoughts. Are they true, honorable, right, pure, lovely of good repute or excellent? If so dwell on those things. The opposite is implied here. If they aren’t, don’t count them over.  The idea of recounting something brings to mind someone obsessively counting their money or of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings taking out his ring and continually rubbing it and calling it, “His precious.”

Quite honestly, if we only ask ourselves about the truth of our thoughts, we’d be much further ahead. How many times have you worked yourself into a knot over something that isn’t even true? We fret and worry and freak out over something that we don’t even know to be true. We treat our “what ifs” like they are gospel truth, and the more we repeat them to ourselves, the more likely it seems like they will come true.

So how about you? What are your thoughts like? Is the inward soundtrack in your mind feeding your fears? If so, what can you do today to turn the sound track off and start playing some truth instead? I’d love to hear about it!

Blessings, Rosanne


3 Comments on Part 2: A Lesson in How Not to Deal with Fear

  1. I believe one of the crucial ways we fight back against lies is to just saturate our minds with truth. I’m sure this looks different for everyone, but for me it means daily time in God’s Word first thing in the morning, Christian music playing in my home regularly, reading spiritually-oriented books throughout the day, and listening to daily audio Bible in the afternoons/evenings. It might seem like a lot, but if I fail to keep bringing my heart back to truth, it doesn’t take long for my heart to start believing lies.

    Thanks for this! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.