Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rehoboam-There Was Some Good in Judah

By Mary Vee
I Kings 14, II Chronicles 11, 12

From Rehoboam's Journals

As king of Judah and Benjamin, I kept my promise to build up the defenses of the cities in my districts and put commanders in them with food, olive oil, and wine. I supplied the army in each city with shields, spears making each strong.

Next I married only women from the line of my grandfather, David. I married Mahalath, David's niece. She bore me three wonderful sons. Next I married Maacah, Uncle Absalom's daughter. She bore me four sons. In truth, I loved Maacah the most. In all I had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.

I appointed Maacah's oldest son, Abijah as the chief prince. He would be next in line for the throne. I moved my sons to homes throughout the districts of Judah and Benhamin, supplying them with plenty of provisions. When they grew old enough, I gave them the wives I had selected.

Now, comes the time to confess my bad decisions. I didn't see a need to follow all of those commands the priests told us to do. Our cities had become strong. We didn't need all that religious stuff to protect us. We could take care of ourselves.

It pleased the people when I set up the same idols other countries had. What's the big deal about a few Asherah poles? We had men working in the shrines who's job was to please the people. Everyone seemed to have fun . . . and in truth, no one thought about God.

In my fifth year of reign, a messenger informed me Shishak, king of Egypt was on the move. He planned to attack Jerusalem with twelve hundred chariots, sixty thousand horsemen, an innumerable amount of troops of Lybyans, Sukkites, and Cushites. He captured my fortified cities and drove on to attack Jerusalem.

Shemaiah, the prophet interrupted a meeting I had with the leaders of Judah. Before I gave him permission to speak he said, "This is what the Lord says, 'You have abandoned me. Therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.'"

We didn't need to hear more. All the leaders and I fell to the floor and humbled ourselves before the Lord and cried, "The Lord is just."

Shemaiah interrupted our cry and said, "The Lord has heard you and said, 'Since you have humbled yourselves, I will not destroy you but will soon give you deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. You will, however, become subject to him so that you may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands."

Shishak did indeed attack Jerusalem. He took our best gold armor, treasures from the temple and from the royal palace. Once he left, I made new shields from bronze and gave them to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. Where ever I went, the guards went with me carrying their shields.

Because the leaders and I humbled ourselves before the Lord, His anger turned away from us and Judah was spared from complete destruction. 

Indeed, I now see the benefit to worshipping God.

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photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com

1.  What did Rehoboam do first to help the cities he ruled?
2.  What did Rehoboam do next to protect his kingly line?
3.  What did Rehoboam confess?
4.  What punishment did he receive?
5.  When the prophet told Rehoboam what was about to happen what did he and his leaders do?
6. Did it make a difference?
7. What did Rehoboam learn in the end?

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