Daily Reading: 2 Chronicles 11, 12, 13; Acts 5:17-42
When the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and strong, he and all Israel with him forsook the law of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 12:1, NASB95)
2 Chronicles 11 shows how Rehoboam responded to the rebellion of the Northern kingdom (2 Chron. 10:19). Although he wanted to try and take Israel back by force, he listened to the word of the Lord from Shemaiah the man of God, who prophesied that the division “is from Me” (2 Chron. 11:4) He strengthened his kingdom militarily, but also saw it flourish spiritually when godly people from the north supported him (2 Chron. 11:14-17). This blessing was from the Lord because Rehoboam walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years. However, after this, when he was strong, Rehoboam and all Israel with him forsook the Lord with disastrous consequences.
- As a direct result of their disobedience, Shishak came up against Judah and captured all the cities of Judah as far as Jerusalem (2 Chron. 12:2-4).
- God tells Rehoboam, “because you have forsaken Me, I have forsaken you to Shishak.”
- Once again, Rehoboam and Judah humble themselves before the Lord. Four times it’s noted that they “humble” themselves (2 Chron. 12:6-7, 12).
- Total destruction is averted, but Rehoboam loses almost everything (2 Chron. 12:7-9).
There are terrible consequences for forsaking the Lord, but God is forgiving. At the same time, rebellion has consequences that may endure even after forgiveness has been granted. God will always forgive in response to humility and repentance, but that does not mean that choosing to walk in darkness and away from God does not have lasting effects. Do you see that God blesses and protects us as we walk with Him? Do you live in the fear of the Lord and hate the thought of living apart from Him?