2 Chronicles 12
-Rehoboam inexplicitly forsakes the law of the LORD, which had been so good to his father and grandfather, a few years into his reign when he was established and strong (in his own eyes, not God’s). The LORD stirred up and sent Shishak king of Egypt with men too numerous to count against the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem when there came a repentant turning to the LORD by the king and his princes of Israel. Shemaiah the prophet was instrumental in bringing the word of the LORD, which was, “You have forsaken Me, so I also have forsaken you to Shishak (2 Chronicles 12:1-5).” At this point, in desperation and facing annihilation, they humbled themselves before the LORD declaring Him righteous (2 Chronicles 12:6). When the LORD saw that they had humbled themselves, He sent word again to the prophet that He would not destroy them but grant them some measure of deliverance from His wrath, which was by means of the Egyptians (2 Chronicles 12:7).
-However, the children of Israel did become Shishak’s slaves for the purpose of discipline by the LORD. This was done so that they would learn the difference between the LORD’s service and the kingdoms of the countries (2 Chronicles 12:8). *Application* Hebrews 12, the LORD always chastises those whom He loves with a corrective purpose. We need to realize His righteousness and His rule is always for our best well-being. God is not trying to sap our blessing and joy. He instead wants to multiply it. It’s sad how we often forsake His law ourselves when we feel strong and established. This can have to do with ease, rebellion, self-sufficiency, complacency, apathy, pride, and a host of other things contrary to the Word of God. The most dangerous time for us can be when we forget about the goodness of God and His provision in our sustenance and stability. Always rely on Him and depend on His strength, not your own. This is the lesson from this king and this time in Israel’s history.
-What was left was a hollow reminder of the riches of David and Solomon. The gold turned to bronze, as with the shields and armor. While conditions returned to good in the land of Judah, it was never the same as it had been. Rehoboam successfully reigned in Jerusalem for seventeen years after he learned his lessons and humbled himself before God. Nevertheless, his lasting legacy read like this, “He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the LORD (2 Chronicles 12:9-14).” He slept with his fathers in the city of David and Abijah became king in his place in Judah as a descendant of David (2 Chronicles 12:16). *Application* To leave a lasting legacy of righteousness and goodness seek the LORD with a whole heart (2 Chronicles 16:9). This becomes a major overriding theme of the Scripture, and it should be indicative of our lives before Him. It’s all about the heart. Is yours for God or other things? Humble yourself before Him that He might exalt you (1 Peter 5:5-6).
Verse to Memorize: 2 Chronicles 12:2