Rehoboam-Do You Know Him? An Important Message About Divisions

Rehoboam, do you know him? Probably not unless you study the Old Testament or have a fondness for Biblical history.  But there’s a really important and relevant lesson about division and decline to be learned from the life of this man.

2 Chronicles 10:6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked. 7 They replied, “If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.” 8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9 He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’? 10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “Tell the people who have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter’– tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.'” 12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from God, to fulfill the word the LORD had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.

Rehoboam’s father was Solomon, who started great with a request for wisdom and ended poorly with excesses, many foreign wives, and idolatry.  Because of King David (who was Solomon’s father), God pronounced that His judgment would not happen in Solomon’s lifetime.  (1 Kings 11:31-39)

But judgment would certainly happen and the cause of judgment was human sin.

It would result in a divided kingdom: North (Israel) and South (Judah).  As people abandoned their God, He left them to their own judgments and it would prove punishment enough to start God’s judgment process that would continue into captivity.

The kingdom, once unified under David’s and Solomon’s reigns, began its descent into division.  The 10 tribes of Israel hit the road for the north, one tribe (Levi—the priests) had no land allotted and the only tribe remaining as part of the south was Judah (out of which would come the Messiah).  All the tribes would experience God’s judgment, but Judah alone would be greatly humbled and eventually restored for the sake of David.

Rehoboam was the king under whose authority all this transpired. 

God not only allowed it.  God designed it for judgment against all the people who had left God behind in favor of human power and human rule.

Rehoboam was a foolish man whose arrogance gave him the false impression of his own greatness.  He was around 41 years old when he began to reign as king.  He rejected the genuine wisdom of other generations suggesting that treating people with kindness wins their hearts of willing service, and instead Rehoboam sought the advice of his political appointees and friends.  He rushed headlong into despotic measures that oppressed and alienated the 10 tribes.  The people in the 10 tribes rebelled and eventually left under the leadership of another.  The result was the Davidic Kingdom—once a world power with great respect and stature with the divine favor of God as His chosen people—was reduced to a humbled state of division and weakness, ultimately being taken over by Assyria (the fate of the northern tribes) and Babylon (taking Judah into captivity).

Do you see the similarities?  How do we in the United States overcome a similar division already underway before it leads to our demise?

First, we do not abandon God in the process.  We stand firm in our faith, looking to God for guidance.

Second, we pray for our leaders to make godly decisions that are generous, benevolent, and serve the people who elected them.  We pray against a spirit of selfishness, greed, idolizing power, signature achievements to make a name for the leader at the expense of the people, and arrogance in all its forms…whether red or blue.  We pray against the actions designed to harm other people, particularly the most vulnerable.  We pray that God will restore in His timing what is presently being divided by human and frankly, demonic means.  There is no excusing anyone who claims to follow Jesus for intentionally hurting innocents out of a vindictive spirit.

Mr. President.  Mr. Reid.  Mr. Boehner.  Mr. Cruz.  Ms. Pelosi. All of you CLAIM to follow Christ. 

Do you REALLY follow Him? This is the question I want each of you to seek God to answer. 

Who is the genuine follower?  The one who loves Jesus, loves and serves his neighbor and enemies, and the one who protects innocents, even sacrificing himself for them.

Third, we do what we can in our power to remind our elected officials that the Rehoboams of this world will have as their legacy the destruction of what was once good and honorable.  By their pride, they oppress those they took an oath to serve!

Fourth, we vote with our dollars against a media (and against all their advertisers) because they deny the truth.  They’ve already chosen sides and are doing propaganda instead of news.  Refuse to purchase products advertised on propaganda sources and write to the advertisers, send them emails, call them, and tell them that’s what you’re doing and ask for them to support media that are still telling the truth instead.   I’ve been set against JC Penney for a while now and I told them why.  Repeatedly.  Their persistence in leaving me, a loyal customer, behind is leading to their ruin.  (Not because of the power of Barb, but because there are a million “me’s” out there doing exactly what I’m doing).  JC Penney knows what they need to do to earn back my support. I stand for something and will not return until they acknowledge they’re reaping what they’re sowing.  Mistreat loyal people and they’ll leave.  Rehoboam learned that one.

I stand for something.  How about you, my readers?

We can effect a change by demanding that our news media—protected by the First Amendment—honor the reason they’re protected by our laws.  A free nation needs a free press. 

If they won’t tell me the truth, I’ll boycott them with every dollar I spend and will support those who will inform me with the facts. I’ll tell advertisers why I must leave them behind so long as they support a media that acts dishonestly and peddles lies.  And then I stand firm.

Rehoboam presided over the divisions that led to the demise of a nation.  Far be it from us to fail to learn the lessons of history.  Tell your elected representatives at all levels that you expect better from them, particularly those who call themselves Christian.

Frankly, negotiation is only as good as the love and truth behind it.

Jesus wouldn’t compromise with the devil, but He would stand firm for the truth and love.  He will win out in the end.  Let’s stand firm with Jesus.  It’s how we’ll overcome.  Even if our country heads the direction of demise at least we will have had no share in it.

1 John 3:8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

rehoboam pic


Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on October 14, 2013

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