By the time Rehoboam had secured his kingdom and was strong again, he, and all Israel with him, had virtually abandoned God and his ways. (2 Chronicles 12:1 MSG)
Rehoboam. Son of Solomon. Wisest of all of the Kings of Israel (and of any other country). Abandoned God.
Solomon. Built the Temple of God. Son of David–the man after God’s own heart.
David. Shepherd boy turned King. Catalyst to Israel’s Golden Age. Successful in all his ventures because of his devotion to God.
Upon Solomon’s death, Rehoboam becomes King. However, his brother, Jereboam, soon leads a rebellion and the kingdom is split.
Nevertheless, Rehoboam gets off to a pretty good start. He seeks after God, and follows His commands. But then…
As his kingdom becomes secure, he abandons God.
How often do we do the same? When things are tough, we follow God. We listen and obey.
Our kingdom is made secure, and we abandoned God. We develop a self-security. We fall into the mode of thinking, “Look what I did.”
We abandoned God.
Like Rehoboam, we build up defenses in a vain effort to protect “our kingdom”. We built strong fortresses and high walls. We put our trust in our own devices.
Yet, notice what happens later. Egypt decides (at God’s behest) to attack Rehoboam’s nation. Rehoboam has his back to the wall–the wall he built. God uses the prophet to tell him that this mess was of his own making. And Rehoboam repents.
After the battle is over, we find that Rehoboam’s shields of gold have been replaced with shields of bronze that are only brought out in times of defense. Rehoboam turns his attention back to God. Recognizing God as his protector. Remembering the songs of his grandfather, David, he recognizes God as his shield.
In the end, though, Rehoboam is listed as a bad king. God wasn’t central to his life. God was an after-thought. God, to Rehoboam, was sort of a protector-in-a-bottle. As long as things are good, I did it. When things get tough, then I need God.
The lesson for us is to trust in both the good and the bad times. To need God when we are on the mountaintop and when we are in the valley.
To live one life.
A life of constantly trusting God. Of viewing Him as our sole source.
Live one life!