Because they had been unfaithful to the Lord , Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam. – 2Chr. 12:2 NIV
Please click the link above to download the full text of this Ministration.
King Rehoboam, son of King Solomon, who reigned over united Israel, after the death of his father, had rejected the advise of the elders, that he should grant the request of his people, to have their burden lightened – 2Chr. 10:1-15. He instead, accepted the advise of the young men that, the burden be increased, a decision which seemed part of a divine plan, aimed at the fulfilling the word of God against his father, Solomon, that most of the tribes of Israel will be taken away from the leadership of his descendants, as a punishment for allowing his wives to lead him into Idolatry – 1Kgs. 11:9-13.
Rehoboam had on that occasion wanted to lead the army of Judah and Benjamin, numbering a hundred and eighty thousand fighting men, into war with Jeroboam and the army of Israel, in order to quell their rebellion against his leadership, but was cautioned against such move by Shemaiah, the man of God, who relayed the message from God that He, was the one behind the rebellion – 2Chr. 10:16-11:4.
On learning of this, he did a quick retreat and returned to organise whatever was remaining of the kingdom, which biblical scholars have since referred to as the Kingdom of Judah or the Southern kingdom of Israel. He armed the army of Judah and fortified the cities in Judah and Benjamin. Jerusalem eventually became the home of all the Priests and Levites throughout Israel as Jeroboam, who was now the king of the fraction of Israel, referred to as the Northern kingdom, made up of all the other tribes aside from Judah and Benjamin, had rejected them and their services, preferring instead to appoint his own priests. However, all the people who had their hearts on seeking the God of Israel exclusively, took a decision to follow the Priests and Levites to Jerusalem, and together they all supported Rehoboam in building a strong Southern kingdom of Israel – 2Chr. 11:5-17.
Unfortunately, Rehoboam chose to remain faithful to the Lord for only three years. In his thinking, that his position as king was firm and secured, he concluded he no longer needed the support of the Almighty God, and so he abandoned the law of the Lord – 2Chr. 11:17; 12:1. The foundation scripture for today’s Devotional reveals the reaction of the Almighty God to this act of unfaithfulness of Rehoboam. Jehovah, after five years of kingship of Rehoboam, two of which was spent in the act of being unfaithful, instigated Shishak, king of Egypt, who with the support of innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukites and Cushites, attacked Jerusalem with twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen, and successfully captured those same cities that Jeroboam had thought were fortified. He was almost going to run over Jerusalem when the Prophet Shemaiah, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, informed Rehoboam and the elders of Israel, of the anger of the Lord against them for their decision to become unfaithful to Him and how He also, had chosen to abandon them.
Their decision to immediately humble themselves in a manner that was glaring to the Almighty God, made the same God, promise not to allow their destruction, and instead, promised to save them from being destroyed. Nevertheless, they will still experience his wrath, which will serve as their punishment for their act of unfaithfulness, but that will not be through Shishak as they were only going to serve Shishak, in order for them to learn the difference between serving Him who is the Sovereign God and serving kings of other lands. The prompt display of humility by Rehoboam had saved not only himself, but the entire Jerusalem and its occupants from destruction – 2Chr. 12:12.
The Christian today has lots to learn from the events around King Rehoboam some of which are listed below;
- The Almighty God will always be unhappy with the act of unfaithfulness by His children. It is simply shocking how short lived human memory can be. The last person expected to put up an act of unfaithfulness is Rehoboam. This is because he had experienced the extent to which Jehovah will go, in expressing His discontent with such acts, by his been denied the opportunity to rule the single and united kingdom, due to similar act of unfaithfulness by his father, and one would have expected that lesson to remain with him, but alas, he still went ahead to commit similar error. His attempt then to resist the rebellion was unsuccessful due to the intervention of Jehovah, in support of Jeroboam – 1Kgs. 12:21-24.
- The Almighty God will always punish the act of unfaithfulness, for as long as men choose to do so. Unfaithfulness simply makes the Christian an enemy of Jehovah and in such state, anyone should expect the wrath of God, which is mostly characterised by losses of different dimensions. There is simply no limit to what can be lost in such situations – 1Kgs. 11:1-13.
- The Almighty God can empower anyone, including friends and family members to fight His course. Today’s Christian has been made to believe that the Almighty God will not be involved in acts that negatively impact on them. They have erroneously concluded that such actions will only be done by people they have classified as enemies. Well, no better now, that anyone can be the tool of God, to punish an act of unfaithfulness. The less focus is placed on such people and greater concentration is placed on rectifying those errors that Jehovah is frowning at, the more one is on the path to receiving succour from all the stress that is been experienced – 2Chr. 12:2; 1Kgs. 11:14-40.
- The solution to the predicament of the Christian who is being penalised for such acts by Jehovah, is simply humbling him/her self before Him and accepting one’s errors, as any other action will simply unsuccessful attempts at challenging Him in a battle that one will never win. Quickly admit those errors of unfaithfulness and doing the needful, will save one from further pain and discomfort – 2Chr. 12:6.
- Jehovah may withdraw the weapon of correction He used to bring the Christian back on track, but He will still penalise the error. It will be wrong, all day long, to assume that cessation of the pain associated with the correction will be all that will be experienced – 2Chr. 12:7-8.
In summary, Christians must avoid the act of unfaithfulness to God as the repercussion of such errors can be very grave. Not only are unusual enemies raised by Jehovah, but severe losses and pain are experienced by the Christian, and it still does not end there as the Almighty God still reserves punishment for another occasion.
You may be experiencing such unusual uprising of people, who hitherto were no where near been considered as enemies. The solution will not be for you to muster counter force as all indicators point to the fact that you will always be the loser. It may seem to you that you are fighting that seen enemy, but in actual fact, you have the Lord of Hosts as the enemy in that Battle. That is one battle that you will always lose. Rather than gathering weapons of war and getting set for battle, go down on your knees in humility and repentance, plead with Him for forgiveness and thereby save yourself and all that is yours from destruction. You should always remember that if God be for you, no man can be against you and succeed – Rom. 8:31-39. Ensure that you always have Him on your side, and that will be by remaining faithful to Him. That is the only way you can avoid all those unnecessary battles that are threatening to consume you. May God grant us all the Spirit of faithfulness to Him, all our lives in Jesus name. Amen.