Tag: departing from the Lord
Scripture reading for April 26th: 2nd Chronicles 10-12
God doesn’t take rejection lightly. He is a jealous God and loves His children enough to discipline them when they need it. He allows consequences to come that He has foretold so that His people understand His Father’s heart and grace. In today’s reading, consequences of sin bring humbling and repentance.
King Rehoboam was a young son of Solomon who was given rule of Judah. He began his reign by consulting the elders who had served Solomon for some advice on how to govern the people. The people had been under a heavy load of taxation because of the requirements of King Solomon in building the Lord’s house and then his own house. The elders recommended that Rehoboam lighten their load and treat the people kindly. (2nd Chronicles 10:7)
King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders and next consulted some of his younger friends. They recommended harsh treatment and a heavier yoke! This response caused division among the people instead of unity. The people grumbled against Rehoboam. Rehoboam sent Adoniram, one of his overseers of the forced labor out and the people stoned him! Rehoboam was going to muster an army and fight against his own brother, but was warned by God not to do it. He did listen.
Rehoboam grew strong and then lead the people in departing from the Lord. The Lord allowed Shishak, king of Egypt to attack Jerusalem. Shishak had a large army and many horse and chariots. The prophet Shemaiah gave the word to Rehoboam, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.'” (2nd Chronicles 12:5b) Rehoboam acknowledged that the Lord was just and that he needed to humble himself. God relented from totally destroying Rehoboam but still allowed Shishak to attack and plunder the temple. The reason given was so that Israel and Rehoboam would learn the difference between serving God and foreign kings.
There are some lessons for us in this passage. First, it is good to listen to wise advice from the elders. The wisdom from above brings peace and unity, not strife and division. When we depart from the Lord, He wisely allows consequences. He warns of what is ahead and hears when we humbly ask for mercy. Living under His rule is always better than captivity! Let’s learn by reading and not by experience!