2 Chronicles 10-12
Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Chronicles%2010-12&version=NLT
Take a look at a map you have seen before but LOOK for where the Southern Kingdom is including the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin (R’s rule) Look for Jerusalem. And then look at the rest of the map noticing where the Northern Kingdom ruled by “J” is located.
Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday’s reading (so if you missed yesterday’s reading and comments you may want to check those out…much more detail.). In keeping with form, the Chronicler does not dish out the “bad stuff.” As we remember the purpose of the Chronicles which is Covenant and History, we understand why the Chronicler never felt it necessary to give all the “juicy” details. If you notice he is actually quite optimistic noting that there was actually some good with the Kings.
In today’s reading I was encouraged as I read 11:13-17, reading about ALL the Levites and priests left the entire Northern Nation of Israel (where Jeroboam ruled — and whom I will call “J”), leaving their pasturelands and property to come to Judah (the Southern Nation) to join Rehoboam (whom I will call “R”). Remember the Levites really had NO possessions of their own, no land, since their purpose was to take care of, maintain, and daily set up the workings in the Temple. However, they left their homes from ALL the Northern Nation of Israel to come to Jerusalem where the Temple was located. THEY strengthened the kingdom of Judah.
We are told a little more about who R married. Although he had a total of 18 wives, and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters, he LOVED Maacah (daugher of his Uncle Absalom, so yes… his cousin.) These “men of old” must of had GREAT memories to remember ALL their wives’, concubines’, and childrens’ names. My Mom and Dad were married to each other for 63 years and had three children and I would often hear them call each name until they got to the one they wanted …and then there was the “combo” of names trying to get to the right one —“La-Dan-G”!! LOL!!!
Anyway out of R’s deep love for Maacah, R made sure that one of their sons, Abijah would become the next King of Judah. Because of R’s unfaithfulness (they abandoned GOD) a King of Egypt, Shishak attacked Jerusalem in R’s 5th year of reigning. When God saw that ALL the Southern Nation of Judah humbled themselves his wrath was eased and would not pour out on Judah. HOWEVER, BECAUSE of THEIR CHOICES….they would live with some CONSEQUENCES…..they would serve the King of Egypt!! (12:6-8)
I know I glazed over this fact yesterday but R was 41 years old when he became King of Israel. He will be the LAST King of the UNIFIED Israelite Nation, and the unity under him was short lived!! He reigned 17 years. Isn’t it amazing that R was 41 years old, King, had it ALL, could have had ALL of Israel eating out of his hands it ONLY he would have listened to the advice of the wise elders who had also counseled his father Solomon? In yesterday and today’s readings I assumed R was young and immature……well….he was old enough to be mature but age, hair color, money, power, etc…..do NOT make anyone wise. He is a great example that wisdom does not necessarily come with age!!!
We see from R that he was more interested in temporal things….CHOOSING idols (distancing himself from GOD to satisfy his sensual needs, and with an entire nation following him…it would all be acceptable—right? PLUS turning to idols could become a trade from a healthy body to one focused on temporary pleasures?), CHOOSING power…which he ALREADY had…. I mean the dude had EVERYthing….his Dad WAS Solomon (when he was harsh to his people who asked him to be easier on them than his father but he REFUSED the wisdom of the elders….THIS MOMENT was the MOMENT in HIS reign that he could have CHOSEN to be kind and keep the unity, but God KNEW his nature and knew his selfish decision would destroy the entire nation…fulfilling of prophesy), CHOOSING imitations (like making the bronze shields when the Egyptians took the gold from them Temple) over the REAL PERMANENT things of God, CHOOSING fast fading wealth over personal integrity, and CHOOSING his selfish ways rather than CHOOSING God’s wise guidance!!! In terms of today… GOD is MUCH MUCH MUCH better than coke…. because HE IS THE REAL THING>>>>the only REAL thing for all eternity!!! Do R’s choices make you rethink your own choices and your own heart’s desires? What is it that you crave….is it of God or strictly selfish? Where is your heart….desiring the temporal things of this world…or the FOREVER things of God? Ummmmm Ummmm Ummmm……his choices CERTAINLY make me think of my own priorities…..time to do a little regrouping!!
Everyone have an awesome Sunday and give The Lord an extra praise for something in your life!! But BEWARE….when you begin thanking HIM….. it’s kind of like the old advertisement for some kind of potato chips… “betcha can’t give JUST one.”
Sharing HIS love,