1 Kings 11-14: Fear Makes Us Stupid!

1 Kings 11-14 tell the story of the division of the Kingdom of Israel.  We spent a few minutes setting up the circumstances surrounding the division of the kingdom as outlined in 1 Kings 11-12.  After establishing the narrative where Jeroboam decides to set up false worship in the northern kingdom as related in 1 Kings 12:25-33, we had a great discussion in class outlining Jeroboam’s problem and illustrating it in the lives of the youth.

Jeroboam is operating under the fear that if he doesn’t do something, his people will go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to Jehovah, wind up sympathetic to the Kingdom of Judah, follow Rehoboam, and eventually forsake and kill him (1 Kings 12:26-27).  I asked the class, “How are we like Jeroboam?  When do we operate out of a state of fear and make stupid decisions?”  Another question that garnered a response was, “Can you think of a time in the scriptures when someone makes a decision based on fear?  What happened?”

Some examples brought up in class include:

1.  Herod killing the children out of fear that he would be replaced

2.  Laman and Lemuel’s fear of Laban causing them to act irrationally

3.  Saul acting out of fear led him in his attempt to kill David

We had a great discussion in class analyzing how people sometimes make decisions based on fear.  We talked about how teenagers fear certain things and situations and how these irrational thoughts are manifest in behavior.  Some illustrations include: dating, parenting, applying for a job, and taking part in school activities. 

I ask you, the reader of this blog, what are some examples in the scriptures or from life where you have seen someone make a bad decision based on fear?

President Packer said: “My counsel can be said in seven words: Do not take counsel from your fears.” He cited scriptures in which the Lord said: “Fear not, little flock” (D&C 6:34; see also D&C 35:27 and Luke 12:32), and “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.)[see: http://bit.ly/zBsZaL ]

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About LDS Scripture Teachings

I write about ways scripture applies in our lives: LDSScriptureTeachings.org
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5 Responses to 1 Kings 11-14: Fear Makes Us Stupid!

  1. Simon says:

    Joseph Smith allowing Martin Harris to take the 116 page manuscript seems to be another illustration. Joseph felt that Martin was essential to the success of the translation and feared losing his support, and it seems he took counsel from his fears rather than taking counsel from his God. (D&C 3:7)

  2. Kim says:

    Here is an obvious one: Peter denying Christ.

  3. Drew says:

    Eli’s passive parenting of his rebellious sons Hophni and Phineas may be another example of someone taking counsel from their fears. There was a great talk on “Courageous Parenting” given recently which works well with that story. Interestingly — Hannah, who is certainly a courageous parent and gives her son Samuel into the Lords care, gives him to Eli at the temple.

  4. FRANCIS MWANGI says:

    Fear is natural in human beings and we should be ready to face it as sons of christ and not let it face us..

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