Read II Chronicles 10 -- 13
When Solomon was made king, David urged him: Keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His . . . commandments . . . that you may prosper (do wisely) in all that you do (I Kings 2:3). But, sadly, there is no record of Solomon urging his own son Rehoboam to read His Word and remain faithful to the Lord.
Neither is there any mention that Rehoboam began 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 . . . he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord (II Chronicles 11:17; 12:1-14). After his father's 40-year reign, the spiritual influence of his godly grandfather no longer existed.
Where were the prophets or the priests? It is evident that the advice of spiritual advisors, though prominent in David's life, were ignored by Solomon. He had married Naamah, a Molech-worshiping Ammonitess, even before he became king (I Kings 14:21). Since Rehoboam was her son, it is probable that he was influenced by her to worship her god.
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, and 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 said: If you are kind to these people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be your servants for ever (II Chronicles 10:6-7). He ignored them and he adopted the counsel of his young, arrogant advisors and let the people know that there would be no relief from either taxes or forced labor. He added: 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 intolerance led 10 of the 12 tribes to secede and form the Northern Kingdom, as foretold by Ahijah the prophet (I Kings 11:31). Rehoboam was left with only a small part of the original Promised Land. Only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained. But, how could he have made wise choices since he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord (II Chronicles 12:14)?
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 principles hold 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 purpose. 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).
Christ Revealed: Through the gold candlestick (lampstand) (II Chronicles 13:11). Jesus is the Light of the world (John 9:5).
Word Studies: 10:10 loins means waist; 11:15 devils means goats, idols, demons.
Government Official: Gov. John Rowland (CT) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KIBC-FM, Burney, CA · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer Group · Country: Israel (6 million) in the Middle East · Major languages: Hebrew and Arabic · Witnessing to Jews about Christ the Messiah is actively discouraged · 88% Jewish; 8% Muslim; 2% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 11
Memory Verse for the Week: I Timothy 2:8