Day 173.therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat, for the Lord has spoken it.”‘ Arise therefore, go to your house. When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. (1 Kings 14:10-13 ESV)
This is such an interesting passage in which only the child that God is taking in death is there found “something pleasing.” All of Jeroboam’s progeny are to receive the punishment that Jeroboam deserves. This has been the normative throughout the Old Testament. It is something that we, as Americans, cringe to acknowledge because it seems so unfair. What did the children do to deserve the punishment for their father’s sins? But we forget the original sin with which they are born that they inherit from Adam. And we forget that guilt too is inherited from the one in authority over us. History has always played this out. Nations suffer for the mistakes of kings, or receive blessing because of the goodness of their kings. To reject the inheritance of guilt also poses a problem for the Christian, for how can he inherit the righteousness of Christ that he has not earned for himself? This gift comes to us in the same manner that the guilt of our fathers comes down to us.
The good news is that God breaks this pattern at times and covers with mercy and grace. This is the case of Jeroboam’s child. Thank God He does!