To Seek God’s Own Heart

So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, “The Lord is righteous.”

Now when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance. My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they will be his servants, that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kingdoms of the nations.” 2 Chronicles 12:6-8 NKJV

King Rehoboam’s life was quite a rollercoaster!!! Filled with poor choices, repentance, more poor choices and more repentance.  Actually, in a lot of ways it reminds me of me. And it reminds me of his grandfather David – but here we see the Bible make a clear distinction between these two men – the difference will teach us all we need to know about how we should approach God.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Second Chronicles chapters 10-12 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).

Yes, it feels very much like yesterday’s reading – it is another version of Rehoboam’s reign. The Book of Chronicles is not just a repeat – and I suppose it is time to give a quick lesson on the overview of Kings Vs Chronicles, why they are different in purpose and why both are included and important.  Chronicles for example, follows the messianic bloodline from David – and all the kings over Judah. As we see Israel is now divided. Benjamin and Judah under David’s bloodline and these are the lines focused on in Chronicles.  Both the remaining 10 tribes and Judah’s kings are written about in Kings.  Kings explores God rescuing Israel despite their failures.  Chronicles, through chronicling the kings and events emphasizes God’s never ending Love, His grace, and reaffirms that He chose these people – hope, messianic promises and end time prophesy are thematic and reflected in the events. Slightly different concepts – and while we are reading both together in chronological order we will see the overarching sovereignty of God.

For example, yesterday we read about Rehoboam’s life, it was similar. Yesterday we saw the evil of the northern kingdom and how they started off rocky.  But here is Chronicles all it says is that the two kingdoms we at odds the whole time of Rehoboam’s reign.  No real details about the north.   But Chronicles was written after the exile of Daniel and after they returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple with a sword in one hand. It was written during a time when the people thought the messiah should have already come and the people were desperate for HOPE.  It was written to show that all that has happened truly did happen to lead us to the Messiah and He is still coming! We should still seek Him! 

So let’s get back to the beginning of today’s devotional. Rehoboam made a mess, God warned he was sending judgment, Rehoboam repented, God had mercy and repeat. This is Daivid’s story – this is my story – this may be your story – this is the story of the whole nation of Israel!

But we see a few differences in David’s story and Rehoboam’s:

Consequences, for one. David was in most cases wrongfully accused and therefore God saved him from consequences. And when David was wrong they were merciful and lightened.  But Rehoboam seems to never avoid consequence and he also is never portrayed as innocent.

The second, major difference and the sum of all we need to know about approaching God is in relation to the state or condition our hearts are in. David was described as a man after Gods own heart. But Rehoboam is described as evil:

“And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 12:14

Could it really be this simple? Prepare your heart for God and seek Him like David and have all the blessings and go down in history as David did – or don’t and have hard consequences and go down in the books as “evil”.  Note the grace, though. That when the evil man humbles himself, God response just the same as when a righteous man like David humbles himself.  God responds to humility no matter who you are. God is hoping that through that humility you will press in – into the next step, seeking Him!

The way to God, I have learned is a tiny door on the floor of a smoke filled room. Get low and seek it. It is through humility you find the way to God – but you cannot find it if you do not seek it!

He stands at the door and knocks – He begs to be let in and have a relationship with you to be the groom who came for His bride. He longs to transform you, save you, forgive you of all that you have done and start over fresh and new.  You need to seek Him first – then it all can be added unto you.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is month two of the two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 2 Chronicles 10-12 NKJV

The Revolt Against Rehoboam

10 And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. So it happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it (he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), that Jeroboam returned from Egypt. Then they sent for him and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”

So he said to them, “Come back to me after three days.” And the people departed.

Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, saying, “How do you advise me to answer these people?”

And they spoke to him, saying, “If you are kind to these people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be your servants forever.”

But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. And he said to them, “What advice do you give? How should we answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?”

10 Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you should speak to the people who have spoken to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter on us’—thus you shall say to them: ‘My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s waist! 11 And now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with [a]scourges!’ ”

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, “Come back to me the third day.” 13 Then the king answered them roughly. King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders, 14 and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, [b]“My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with [c]scourges!” 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from God, that the Lord might fulfill His word, which He had spoken by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

16 Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying:

“What share have we in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
Every man to your tents, O Israel!
Now see to your own house, O David!”

So all Israel departed to their tents. 17 But Rehoboam reigned over the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah.

18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was in charge of revenue; but the children of Israel stoned him with stones, and he died. Therefore King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

Rehoboam’s Reign in Judah

11 Now when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled from the house of Judah and Benjamin one hundred and eighty thousand chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might restore the kingdom to Rehoboam.

But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You shall not go up or fight against your brethren! Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me.” ’ ” Therefore they obeyed the words of the Lord, and turned back from attacking Jeroboam.

Rehoboam Fortifies the Cities

So Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah. And he built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth Zur, Sochoh, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and Benjamin, fortified cities. 11 And he fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine. 12 Also in every city he put shields and spears, and made them very strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.

Priests and Levites Move to Judah

13 And from all their territories the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel took their stand with him. 14 For the Levites left their common-lands and their possessions and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them from serving as priests to the Lord. 15 Then he appointed for himself priests for the [d]high places, for the demons, and the calf idols which he had made. 16 And [e]after the Levites left, those from all the tribes of Israel, such as set their heart to seek the Lord God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers. 17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years, because they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.

The Family of Rehoboam

18 Then Rehoboam took for himself as wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliah the son of Jesse. 19 And she bore him children: Jeush, Shamariah, and Zaham. 20 After her he took Maachah the [f]granddaughter of Absalom; and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Now Rehoboam loved Maachah the granddaughter of Absalom more than all his wives and his concubines; for he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and begot twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22 And Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maachah as chief, to be leader among his brothers; for he intended to make him king. 23 He dealt wisely, and [g]dispersed some of his sons throughout all the territories of Judah and Benjamin, to every fortified city; and he gave them provisions in abundance. He also sought many wives for them.

Egypt Attacks Judah

12 Now it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, that he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel along with him. And it happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the Lord, with twelve hundred chariots, sixty thousand horsemen, and people without number who came with him out of Egypt—the Lubim and the Sukkiim and the Ethiopians. And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came to Jerusalem.

Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah, who were gathered together in Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says the Lord: ‘You have forsaken Me, and therefore I also have left you in the hand of Shishak.’ ”

So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, “The Lord is righteous.”

Now when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance. My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they will be his servants, that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kingdoms of the nations.”

So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house; he took everything. He also carried away the gold shields which Solomon had made. 10 Then King Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who guarded the doorway of the king’s house. 11 And whenever the king entered the house of the Lord, the guard would go and bring them out; then they would take them back into the guardroom. 12 When he humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and things also went well in Judah.

The End of Rehoboam’s Reign

13 Thus King Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned. Now Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king; and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. His mother’s name was Naamah, an Ammonitess. 14 And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.

15 The acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days. 16 So Rehoboam [h]rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David. Then Abijah[i] his son reigned in his place.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 10:11 Scourges with points or barbs, lit. scorpions
  2. 2 Chronicles 10:14 So with many Heb. mss., LXX, Syr., Vg. (cf. v. 101 Kin. 12:14); MT I
  3. 2 Chronicles 10:14 Lit. scorpions
  4. 2 Chronicles 11:15 Places for pagan worship
  5. 2 Chronicles 11:16 Lit. after them
  6. 2 Chronicles 11:20 Lit. daughter, but in the broader sense of granddaughter
  7. 2 Chronicles 11:23 distributed
  8. 2 Chronicles 12:16 Died and joined his ancestors
  9. 2 Chronicles 12:16 Abijam, 1 Kin. 14:31

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