May 24

Read 2 Chronicles 10 -- 13

In Today's Reading:

Rehoboam succeeds Solomon; revolt of the 10 tribes; Jeroboam becomes King of Israel; Rehoboam fortifies Judah; Levites move to Judah and Jerusalem; Jeroboam rejects worship of God; Rehoboam forsook the Law of God; Shishak's invasion of Judah; death of Rehoboam; Abijah becomes King of Judah; death of Jeroboam.

Verse for Today:

King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye me to return answer to this people? (2 Chronicles 10:6).

The leaders of Israel met with Rehoboam with a reasonable request -- that he ease the excessive taxes that his father had imposed upon them. They also asked that he discontinue the forced labor which had persisted since they first began building the gorgeous palaces, stables, chariot houses, luxurious parks, and other spectacular structures within Solomon's famous kingdom. If Rehoboam would consent, the leaders agreed to pledge their loyalty to him. But, foolishly, Rehoboam rejected the advice of the old men, who responded: If [you are] kind to [these] people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be [your] servants for ever (2 Chronicles 10:7). He ignored them, choosing instead to adopt the counsel of his young, arrogant advisers by providing no relief from either taxes or forced labor. He proudly boasted: My father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will [add] more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions (10:11).

Rehoboam's first decision as king was a blunder. His unmerciful decision led 10 of the 12 tribes to secede and form the Northern Kingdom. Rehoboam was left with only a small part of the original Promised Land and only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained.

When Solomon was made king, David had urged him: Keep the charge of the Lord [your] God . . . to keep His . . . Commandments . . . that [you may] prosper (do wisely) in all that [you do] (1 Kings 2:3). But, sadly, Solomon disregarded his father's advice. Obviously, there is no record of Solomon urging his son Rehoboam to read all God's Word and remain faithful to the Lord.

Solomon had married Naamah, a Molech-worshiping Ammonitess, even before he became king (14:21). Since Rehoboam was her son, he was influenced by her worship of Molech, the god of the Ammonites. It is no surprise that there is no mention of Rehoboam beginning his reign with altar sacrifices and prayer as his father did. What we do read is that, three years after he became king, he forsook the Law of the Lord, and all Israel [followed] him (2 Chronicles 12:1). How could Rehoboam have made wise choices since he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord?

Notice that it does not say to "serve the Lord." It was not better service that the Lord expected, but for Rehoboam to seek the Lord. The same spiritual principle holds true today. Though we may be unaware of it, if we sincerely seek the Lord, our lives will be guided by His Spirit to accomplish His purposes. On the other hand, those who continue to act independently of God have actually submitted to the influence of Satan, whose ends lead not only to humiliation but to eternal damnation. God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6; see also Proverbs 3:34).

Christ Revealed:

Through the gold candlestick (lampstand) (2 Chronicles 13:11). Jesus is the Light of the world (John 9:5).

Word Studies:

10:10 loins = waist; 11:15 devils = goats, idols, demons.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Gov. John Rowland (CT) · Pray for your Pastor · Country: French Guiana (168,000) on the northern coast of South America · Major language: French · Religious freedom · 88% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your heart to God in prayer (Lamentations 3:41).

Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 11

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 6:17