Daily Thought for: 26th May


2 Chronicles 12. 1-16

We have noticed that although Rehoboam followed bad advice in 2 Chronicles 10, he founded his reign on good principles in chapter 11. Sadly, however, this was not maintained; ‘And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him’, 2 Chr. 12. 1. Whilst we are not told precisely why ‘he forsook the law of the Lord’, the answer may well lie in 1 Chronicles 11. 18-23, with the concluding summary, ‘And he desired many wives’. Was it a case of ‘like father, like son’? He was wise enough to ensure that his large family was sufficiently dispersed, and sufficiently occupied, not to cause problems, but he was certainly lacking in spiritual wisdom. It is perilous to allow anybody, or anything, to override our love for God and His word. 

The excellent features of Rehoboam’s reign described in chapter 11, are now reversed. His obedience to the word of God gave place to disobedience, v. 1, his once spiritually-minded contemporaries joined him in his folly, v. 1, and his ‘fenced cities’ fell, v. 4. We should notice that if we forsake ‘the law of the Lord’, v. 1, we transgress against the Lord Himself, v. 2. Like Rehoboam, this can only leave us powerless against the enemy. Shemaiah’s message is intensely relevant in these circumstances: ‘Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak’, v. 5. It is not without significance that Shishak was the ‘king of Egypt’. The world will ultimately prove to be a hard taskmaster. 

It is encouraging to read that ‘the princes of Israel; and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous’. They learned the lesson, and the Lord granted them ‘some deliverance’. But they were reminded of their past failure every time the guard was on duty. Rehoboam tried to keep up appearances—he knew that the guard carried brass shields instead of gold shields, and the guard themselves must have known this as well, so who was the king trying to deceive? It is hopeless trying to keep up appearances when the reality is gone. Even if we do manage to maintain the façade, we must remember that ‘the fire will try every man’s work of what sort it is’, 1 Cor. 3. 13. 


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