After Solomon's death, Rehoboam succeeds him and Jeroboam leads a revolt and becomes king over northern Israel; continuous war between the north and the south; apostasy and judgment. When Rehoboam dies his son Abijah (known also as Abijam) becomes king; war continues; Jeroboam dies; After a three-year reign, Abijah dies.
We are saddened to read: When Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the Law of the Lord (12:1). This is the fatal step in apostasy. Rehoboam, the grandson of the godly King David, promoted the worship of Ashtoreth, images of Baal, and other heathen abominations in the Kingdom of Judah. Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah . . . to Jerusalem because of Shishak (king of Egypt, who soon). . . . took away the treasures of the House of the Lord . . . he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made (12:5,9). This severe loss of wealth and the gold shields was the price he paid when he forsook the Law of the Lord (12:1). Added to that, the Lord said: Ye have forsaken Me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak (12:5). For the first time in more than 500 years since the Exodus, the Israelites were once again in bondage to Egypt.
The splendor of the gold shields was the symbol of the nation's pride and power and preceded the king on his journey from his home to the Temple worship. How foolish for Rehoboam to replace the magnificent shields of gold with worthless shields of brass in his traditional procession! Vain and proud, he was desperate not to appear before his people degraded by the absence of the shields, his wealth, and freedom.
The loving-kindness of God desires that we return to Him and once again enjoy His freedom, the peace that only God can provide.
When God forsakes us, we are unable to resist sin and the enemy can influence us. We do know there is a satanic power that controls this present world system. In times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). This is the summing up of Rehoboam's life — he lived contrary rather than obedient to the true Counsel from Jehovah. In striking contrast to King David who followed the Lord, he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord (II Chronicles 12:14).
Thought for Today:
All who receive Him (Jesus), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13).
Through the Golden Candlestick (Lampstand) (II Chr. 13:11). Jesus is the Light of the world (John 9:5).
10:4 yoke grievous =heavy, severe burdens; 10:10 loins =waist; 11:12 every several =each separate.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Staff: Mike Moore • Government Officials: Rep. Stephen Cohen (TN), Rep. Charlie Dent (PA), and Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO) • Country: Lebanon (4.3 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Arabic and French • Limited religious freedom • 55% Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni); 41% Christian (Maronite, Orthodox, Melchite, Protestant, Chaldean, Assyrian, Syriac); 3% Druze; 1% Others (Jewish, Baha'i, Alawi, Jehovah's Witness) • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for grace to overcome temptation, and God will reward you (James 1:12).
Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 11
Memory Verse for the Week: John 1:6