II Chronicles 11-13
Now that Rehoboam is King over Judah (the southern kingdom), the question remains of what the relationship will be between Rehoboam and Jeroboam (king over the northern kingdom Israel)? The answer is a clear division where Rehoboam seeks to remain faithful to God, but Jeroboam creates a kind of syncretistic religion involving gods of goats and calves (11:15). For this reason, chapters 11-13 make clear that God is on the side of the southern kingdom. This however is tested in chapter 12 when the author begins with the sentence, “When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the LORD” (12:1). Therefore, God allows Egypt to plunder Jerusalem under the reign of King Shishak. Verse 9 is particularly poignant, where the reader sees the extent of the plundering reinforced by the language, “He took away everything” (12:9). Imagine the devastation of the people of Judah, to have the Lord’s house plundered, the heart of the nation. There is hope however for God is willing to forgive Rehoboam when he humbles himself. Nevertheless, Rehoboam is not viewed positively by the writer (12:14). The confession and repentance of Rehoboam makes way for Abijah the son of Rehoboam in chapter 13 to remain faithful to God. War continues to rage between the Northern and Southern kingdom, brothers killing brothers. At the end of chapter 13 we read that God’s command has apparently changed to not engage in fighting against Israel, and the writer says, “Thus the men of Israel were subdued at that time, and the men of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers (13:18).
Reflect: The most relatable section of scripture in these chapters is when we read that because Rehoboam grew strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord. There is a close relationship between Rehoboam’s willingness to keep God’s law and God’s view of Rehoboam’s fidelity. Have you noticed in your own life, that when you feel strong, you are less likely to keep God’s law? Is there a universal principle of strength that correlates to rebellion against God? Are there exceptions? In what ways have you seen strength play out in faithfulness or rebellion? Take some time to pray ask for God to humble you, that you may always be dependent upon him.
Connect: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.