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3. Rehoboam, King of Judah

October 12, 2010

Text:    II Chronicles 11:5-12:16

Harmony Text:            I Kings 14:21-31

Outline:           I.     Rehoboam Establishes His Kingdom, Judah      II Chronicles 11:5-23

II.    Rehoboam Abandons God                                         II Chronicles 12:1-6

III.  Rehoboam Returns to God                                         II Chronicles 12:7-16

Context/Discussion/Comments:

The account in II Chronicles is more complete and, therefore, is the main text.  It appears that Rehoboam started well for at least the first three years.  By year 5 he lost the support of those Levites and Priests who immigrated from Israel to Judah.  Comparing dates, Shishak would have attacked Judah in the 4-5th year of Rehoboam’s rule.  Thus it would appear that Rehoboam  started good, turned bad, humbled himself before the Lord to save Jerusalem, and returned to his evil ways after Shishak’s rule ended in 925 BC.  That would explain Rehoboam’s legacy as a good king turning into a bad king and doing evil in God’s eyes.

Rehoboam returns to Jerusalem as king only over Judah and Benjamin.  He immediately sets out to fortify the main cities to hold on to what he has.  As a result of the split between Israel and Judah, the priests and Levites living in the north move to the south to worship in Jerusalem because Jeroboam rejected them, appointed his own priests, and set up idols.  They supported Rehoboam for only three years.

Rehoboam married daughters of the sons of David.  His wives and concubines bore him 28 sons and 60 daughters.  Ahijah became prince and heir to the throne and his other sons were given positions of responsibility throughout Judea.

Once Rehoboam’s kingdom was established and secure, he abandoned God’s Law and became unfaithful, setting up shines and high places like his father Solomon [Rehoboam’s mother was an Ammonite].  This caused the Lord to raise up Shishak in Egypt to attack Judah, capture its’ fortified cities, and approach Jerusalem.  Shemaiah tells Rehoboam that the Lord has abandoned him in favor of Shishak and declares the Lord’s judgment is just.

Because Rehoboam and his leaders humbled themselves, the Lord changed His mind and did not destroy Jerusalem but allowed Shishak to pillage the treasuries of the Temple and the palace such that Judah became subject to Egypt.  Rehoboam then replaced the stolen gold shields with bronze shields and continued to humble himself before the Lord.

The southern kingdom was firmly established by Rehoboam who ruled for 17 years.  Although Rehoboam humbled himself to the Lord, his overall record is considered to be evil in the eyes of the Lord.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. God values continuous faithfulness to Him and to His Word.
  2. Sin always has consequences.
  3. Stay humble.  Don’t let initial success cause you to become proud and cloud your actions.
  4. Take note when fellow believers no longer support your behavior.  Pride, arrogance, and/or wrong objectives are most likely the cause.  Seek repentance and forgiveness quickly.
  5. Beware of the ungodly influences in your life, particularly from family members close to you.  Guard your heart against evil influences and learn to lean on God.
  6. Seek out and accept the advice of known Godly men and women.
  7. Sin bears consequences but God is merciful to those who repent and humble themselves before the Lord.  Thank and praise God for His grace and mercy.
  8. After the Lord grants you grace and mercy and life becomes more normal and stable, take care not to return to your old habits which caused God to discipline you.
  9. Starting well and/or ending well does not guarantee one a positive legacy.  Honor comes from a consistent continuous steadfast faithfulness to the Lord God and His Word.

 

 

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