IV. THE REIGN OF JEROBOAM OVER ISRAEL
A. Reigning for Forty-one Years in Samaria
Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in the fifteenth year of Amaziah king of Judah and reigned for forty-one years in Samaria (v. 23).
B. Doing What Was Evil in the Sight of Jehovah
Jeroboam did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah and did not turn away from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, by which he caused Israel to sin (v. 24).
C. Restoring the Border of Israel
from the Entrance of Hamath to the Sea of Arabah
Jeroboam restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the sea of Arabah, according to the word of Jehovah spoken through the prophet Jonah. Jehovah had seen the affliction of Israel, that it was bitter, for there was neither bond nor free left, nor was there anyone to help Israel. Jehovah did not say that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, so He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam (vv. 25-27).
D. Sleeping with His Fathers
Jeroboam slept with his fathers, the kings of Israel, and his son Zechariah succeeded him (vv. 28-29).
At this juncture I would like to say a word concerning the relationship between the Old Testament history and the fulfillment of God’s economy in the New Testament. The history in the Old Testament is a type. The fulfillment of the type is in the New Testament.
Regarding this we need to see that the prophetic books go together with the history of Israel. For example, Isaiah helped Hezekiah. In Isaiah two verses are very striking. Isaiah 7:14 says, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Immanuel means "God with us." This is the Triune God becoming a child. As Isaiah strengthened and helped the kings of Israel, he prophesied that the very God of Israel would become a human child born of a virgin.
Isaiah 9:6 says, "Unto us a child is born..and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father." This is God becoming man for the purpose of accomplishing His economy by making man God in life and in nature (but not in the Godhead). His becoming a man was for the purpose of making man God in life and in nature through the process of incarnation, human living, crucifixion, an all-inclusive death, and resurrection. In resurrection He, as the last Adam in the flesh, became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b). This life-giving Spirit is the very God who became a man, lived on earth in humanity for thirty-three and a half years, died on the cross, and entered into resurrection, in which He became the life-giving Spirit.
This One is very wonderful. First, He was God becoming a human child. As a result, He was no longer just God but a God-man in the flesh. Paul calls Him the last Adam, meaning that He is the conclusion of mankind. As the last Adam in the flesh, He became a life-giving Spirit in resurrection. This all-inclusive Jesus Christ is the life-giving Spirit who regenerated us, who is God within us, and who is not only dwelling in us and living in us but also building Himself into our being to form a house for Himself within us. As believers in Christ, we should now live, move, and have our being in this Spirit and according to this Spirit (Rom. 8:4; Gal. 5:25; Col. 2:6).
Through all the steps in the process of transformation (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18) God is making us Himself in life and in nature. Even the Lord Jesus Himself passed through a transformation. His humanity was transformed into divinity through the steps of death and resurrection. Our transformation involves the same steps. The Lord Jesus went through death and resurrection in less than three days, but our transformation lasts our entire life. Whether we are transformed in this age or in the next, we will be transformed.
God is making us, His redeemed people, to be Him in life and in nature. He is making us His enlargement and His expression by transformation with the element of Himself as life. This means that the Triune God transforms us with His life, the divine life, as the element. Today this divine life is altogether the life-giving Spirit.
To be proper believers in Christ, we do not need to take care of many things. Rather, we need only to take care of living, walking, and having our being in the Spirit and according to the Spirit. The all-inclusive Spirit—containing all that Christ is, all that Christ has accomplished, and all that Christ has obtained and attained—is mingled with our regenerated spirit. We simply need to live, walk, and do things according to this mingled spirit.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Kings, Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)