In our daily Bible readings this week, we've read the story of Jeroboam and Rehoboam. Jeroboam was the king of Israel after it split from Judah following the death of Solomon. Jeroboam decided to create his own temple, altars, ordain his own priests, and set up worship in the north. This was done to keep the people from taking the required pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship God. Thinking if they did, then they might not follow him anymore. As a result of his disobedience God tells him, "The LORD will raise up for Himself a king over Israel, who will eliminate the house of Jeroboam." In addition, "He will uproot Israel from the good soil that He gave to their ancestors." (1 Kings 14:14, 15) A prophetic word about the exile.
Rehoboam, Solomon's son and king of Judah, wasn't much better. 2 Chronicles 12 tells us that Rehoboam abandoned the Lord. As a result the king of Egypt came up against Judah. After their battle, King Shishak carried off the holy vessels of gold and silver from the temple and palace. Rehoboam did repent and was not destroyed, but the damage had been done.
These two stories illustrate that there are consequences to our actions, especially when we sin against God. God does forgive us and promises to cleanse us when confess (1 John 1:9). This can restore our relationship with God like Rehoboam did, but we still have to live with the consequences of our actions. We see this principle throughout the Scripture. So what do we do? We study the Word of God and do our best to learn all we can so we can discern how to live for God everyday of our lives and reap blessings rather than the bad consequences.