Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 11:1-23. Let’s go!
2 Chronicles 11:4 (NIV) 4 ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.'” So they obeyed the words of the LORD and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.
On verses 1-4: King Rehoboam had a very spotty reign as king of Israel. He is best known for failing to heed his elders’ advice at the beginning of his reign and as a result losing the entire kingdom of Israel (except for the lands of Judah and Benjamin) to Jeroboam. But in verses 1 to 23, we see some good things that Rehoboam did as king. Let’s take a look starting with verses 1-4. Here Rehoboam is about to go to war against Israel to regain the kingdom that he lost. But the Lord speaks through the prophet Shemaiah, warning Rehoboam against going to war and encouraging Rehoboam to surrender his plans to God. Rehoboam and his troops obey the Lord’s words, and thus save themselves from unnecessary losses and embarrassment.
What can we learn from this? Before waging war against someone, or making an important decision, seek the Lord’s advice and heed His warnings.You are always better off following the Lord’s advice on any matter.
2 Chronicles 11:12 (NIV) 12 He put shields and spears in all the cities, and made them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.
On verses 5-12: Here we see Rehoboam building towns in Judah and Benjamin to protect themselves against potential attacks by Jeroboam. In so doing Rehoboam strengthens his hold over Judah and Benjamin. What can we learn from this? Be careful to protect what God has given you from the enemy’s attacks.
2 Chronicles 11:16-17 (NIV) 16 Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the LORD, the God of their fathers. 17 They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon three years, walking in the ways of David and Solomon during this time.
On verses 13-17: While Jeroboam has corrupted the rest of Israel, turning Israel into a place of rampant idolatry, Rehoboam maintains Judah and Benjamin as a place where they will worship the Lord. In so doing Rehoboam secures the devotion and support of the priests and Levites (v13) and those in Israel who are set on worshiping the Lord (v16-17). What can we learn from this? When you are the minority among an idol-worshiping majority, stand your ground, keep worshiping the Lord, and God will bring to you others who share your vision and commitment so that you can be strong together.
2 Chronicles 11:22-23 (NIV) 22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah to be the chief prince among his brothers, in order to make him king. 23 He acted wisely, dispersing some of his sons throughout the districts of Judah and Benjamin, and to all the fortified cities. He gave them abundant provisions and took many wives for them.
On verses 18-23: Here Rehoboam in some cases repeats his father Solomon’s mistakes and in other cases tries to avoid them. For example, like Solomon, Rehoboam takes for himself many wives and concubines (although not as many as his father Solomon) (v18-21). At the same time, Rehoboam seems to be more intentional than Solomon was about preparing his sons to take over leadership of the kingdom. Rehoboam names Abijah the chief prince so as to prepare him to be the next king. He also gives his other sons responsibilities in Judah and Benjamin and provides wives for them (v22-23). What are some mistakes that those before you have made that you must be careful to avoid?
Heavenly Father, thank You for all the lessons we can learn from Rehoboam’s reign as king. Like Rehoboam, may I protect what You have given me against the enemy’s attacks, and may I also be intentional and proactive about preparing and equipping the next generation for success. May I not conform to the idolatrous pattern of the world around me, but stand my ground as a worshiper of God and a follower of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!