bible-lovingkindnessIt only took 5 years…

In 2 Chronicles 9 we see the great wealth and influence of King Solomon. All of the kings of Arabia heard of his wisdom and traveled, bearing gifts, to speak with him (vs 14). He had so much gold coming in that he crafted 300 golden shields and placed them in the house of Lebanon (vs 16). He crafted a throne of ivory, overlaid with gold – his ships returned overwhelmed with riches – and silver was as plentiful as mere stones in Jerusalem (vs 17-27). The kingdom of Israel was at it’s strongest, all because David had loved the Lord and was blessed – along with Solomon.

But then Solomon dies… and his son, Rehoboam takes the throne. He started out correctly. For his first 3 years he served the Lord – expelled the false worship out of Israel, and the Lord helped him weather the storm of Jeroboam But then things take a turn.

When Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him.” – 2 Chron 12:1 Amp

Once Rehoboam was comfortable and established (after Jeroboam had rebelled), notice how quickly he forgets who had established him! His grandfather and father had built a powerful kingdom – more or less upon the adherence to the Law of God. But, just 3 years into his reign and Rehoboam is already forgetting who got him there.

It has been just 5 years after the death of Solomon, and already the once great kingdom had been divided 10-2 tribes and there was civil war. Not only that, but now Rehoboam was leading the 2 tribes into further sin and a rejecting of God’s ways. Reading on, we find out that now a foreign king, Shishak of Egypt, comes up and destroys this once great city – plundering her vaults of riches. The very kings who had once paid tribute to hear his father’s wisdom, now rose up against Rehoboam and all of Israel (vs 3). Literally, within the course of just a short time, Shishak comes in and completely reverses all the good that had come upon David & Solomon. The wisdom is replaced with folly. Even the golden shields Solomon had made are now carried off back into Egypt (vs 9).

(Do you notice the irony of Egypt’s role in all of this? Once a slave… still a slave…)

Unlike 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings, which focuses more on the details and history, here we are given insight into the WHY this all happened.

And he did evil because he did not set his heart to seek (inquire of, yearn for) the Lord with all his desire.“2 Chron 12:14 AMP

The real issue for Rehoboam was his heart… it was in his heart that sin and rebellion began. Because he did not “set his heart to seek the Lord” – then all sorts of evil followed. Because his heart was turned towards different directions, Rehoboam quickly found himself on the outside looking in. It was this simple act of failing to “set his heart to seek the Lord with all his desire” that Rehoboam would “forget the Law of the lord” once things began to go well for him. Furthermore, as Rehoboam went, so followed the entire nation of Israel.

What can we learn from Rehoboam’s mistakes? Well, like Solomon, God desires to bless us so that our influence will fill the earth and show them what it is like for those who place Him first. But, like Rehoboam, we must work to ensure that our hearts are set upon seeking the Lord for all we desire. When things are going well, when we have a good job and a comfortable home, when our health is good and our families are safe… it is at that time when we need to seek Him MORE. (Deut 8:10-14)

By forgetting the Law of the Lord, and turning inward towards himself, Rehoboam invited the destruction over Israel that we shall see come to pass over the next 388 years. Had he instead kept his heart set on the Lord, sought Him as the source of all his blessing, and kept his eyes focused on the Law (Word) of God… then this history of Israel could have been much different!

Be Fruitful & Multiply,