Saturday, July 30, 2016
Turn Back to God
Read 1 Kings Chapter 12.
After Solomon died, his son, Rehoboam, went to Shechem, because all of Israel had gathered in Shechem to make him king. Jeroboam of Nedat, who had went to Egypt to get away from Solomon’s . attempts to kill him when the prophet foretold that Jeroboam would get to rule ten of the tribes of Israel and leave Solomon’s son only one, heard of the coronation. So he and his household came to Shechem and told Rehoboam, “Solomon gave us a hard time. If you will not give us a hard time, we will serve you.”
Rehoboam told him to leave for three days so he could think about what was said, and then come back, so Jeroboam and his house left.
First, Rehoboam went to the old men and asked them how they thought he should proceed. They told him, “Do as they asked you to and you won’t have any problems from them.”
But Rehoboam then went to his peers, his childhood friends and asked them, and they said, “Jeroboam is being a smarty-pants to you. Be a smarty-pants back and make him rue the day he ever came to you.”
Rehoboam listened to the young men instead of the old men, and all of Israel rebelled, so that the only place he was safe was in Jerusalem. Even the tax collector Rehoboam sent to collect the taxes was stoned to death.
When all of Israel heard that Jeroboam was there, they made him King instead of Rehoboam. Only the tribe of Judah stayed with Rehoboam. So Rehoboam gathered together his warriors to go to war to get Israel back from Jeroboam; but, Shamaiah the prophet told him not to go fight, that all this was part of God’s plan. Rehoboam listened, and did not go.
Because the House of God was in Jerusalem, Jeroboam was afraid that the people would go and make sacrifices there and worship God and turn back to Rehoboam instead of him. So he built two golden calves and put one in Bethel and one in Dan and told the people that that was the god that brought them out of Egypt, and they began to worship the calves. He coincided all of Israel’s feasts and holidays to honor the calves.
Now if you go to the book of Proverbs, you will see the book that Solomon wrote to advise his son in the way he should go. Proverbs teaches that it is wise to seek the advice of the older generation. Rehoboam started out doing this, but rejected it’s counsel and took the younger generation’s counsel instead. As in all generations, the young are impatient, angry and rebellious.
When things started falling apart, he then decided to go ahead and follow his father’s advice, who also taught in the book of Proverbs that God is the beginning of all wisdom. When the prophet relayed to Rehoboam a message from God, he took it. Had Rehoboam followed the advice of the elders of Israel, he may have delayed the chaos that came because of God’s judgment.
So what I have learned here is that, even though we have to pay for the sins that are committed, the payment will be a lot easier to bear if we turn back to God. He may even shorten the punishment.