Thought to Guide Your ReadingRehoboam went down the same path as Jeroboam but changed when God punished him.
Summary in 100 Words or LessRehoboam became king. Israel asked for lighter work. Rehoboam's elders counseled him to grant the wishes. His peers wanted to intimidate Israel. Rehoboam listened to his peers and lost the kingdom, fulfilling God's promise to Solomon.
Rehoboam built forts throughout his land. At first, God prevented civil war between the two kingdoms. Later they skirmished for years.
All of the God-worshipers moved to Judah to escape Jeroboam's evil. This lasted three years.
Rehoboam stopped worshiping God. Shishak, king of Egypt, plundered Jerusalem and the Temple. Rehoboam repented and God relented.
Rehoboam died with a reputation of not obeying God.
How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right
People will only work hard for leaders willing to be a servant and to accomplish a specific task.We must be careful reading too much into what happened to Rehoboam, since God was behind everything. However, what the text wants us to see is that Israel was willing to follow Rehoboam like his father but only if they had lighter loads. They had faithfully obeyed Solomon to build the Temple, houses, and other important buildings in Jerusalem. Once he died, they wanted rest from the work. Unfortunately, Rehoboam's peers decided they needed a swift kick in the rear instead of lighter loads. Because he listened to his peers instead of the elders, Rehoboam lost the kingdom. There is so much Rehoboam could have done to keep his kingdom: asked God to remove the punishment, listened to the elders and followed their advice, or quickly rescinded his words once the people began to rebel. Unfortunately, he was too spoiled to do this. It is better for people to follow because they believe in the purpose of the task than obey because they fear the repercussions.
Rehoboam went down the same path as his father.Rehoboam only learned from his initial setback until he fortified the kingdom. He continued to worship at the shrines his father erected. He abandoned God. So God punished Rehoboam with the loss of the riches Solomon had amassed over his 40-year reign.
Unlike Jeroboam, Rehoboam learned from his mistakes and returned to God.Shemaiah and the refugees of Israel came to Rehoboam and all repented of abandoning God. Because they repented God blunted the punishment. However, they were not free. God wanted them to see the difference in serving God and serving humans. That lesson taught the people to obey God for the remainder of Rehoboam's life. When we learn from our mistakes and repent God will remove or blunt our punishment.
Have you seen the difference in serving God vs. serving humans?
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