Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 4 July 20:
2 Chronicles 10:19 — So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
Solomon’s sin, Rehoboam’s folly, and God’s plan.
2 Chronicles 9 concludes the story of Solomon’s life by telling of his wisdom, and his wealth. Ecclesiastes gives us perspective on all that – “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity…. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 1:12; 12:12-14) Ironically, in his pursuit for wisdom and wealth, Solomon departed from the source of all wisdom and riches, God. Consequently, he failed to fulfill his primary duty: love, obey, and serve God wholeheartedly. Solomon’s story is sobering because it reveals how even the wisest man on earth can drift away from what was once a life of commitment to the Lord due to the influences of the world, the flesh and the devil.
– Matthew 16:26 — For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
What was God’s law concerning the kings of Israel? “Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold. And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:16-20) Despite his great wisdom, Solomon chose to disobey God’s instructions, and his heart turned away from God. Subsequently, Solomon set the conditions for Rehoboam’s folly and the permanent dividing of the kingdom.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17) “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
Despite Solomon’s sin, Rehoboam conceivably had a chance to rule well, but he took bad advice from his hot-headed buddies, rejecting the godly advice of the older wisemen who counselled Solomon. This is an obvious mistake from the reader’s perspective. However and more importantly, it would appear that he never went to the Lord in prayer for wisdom, and he didn’t test the advice he had received from God’s word. Rehoboam’s big mistake was that he chose the wisdom of men over the wisdom of God.
“So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord might fulfill his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” 1 Kings 11 explains that God had intended to tear the kingdom away from Solomon – “the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, ‘Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.’” (1 Kings 11:9-11) God didn’t cause Rehoboam to sin, rather God allowed him to experience the consequences of his worldly decisions.
– Proverbs 19:21 — Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
– Isaiah 14:24 — The Lord of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand….
Despite our sinfulness and foolishness, the Lord’s plans prevail. Seek God’s plan in your life, not your own. Trust in Him and His word and not your own understanding. Wait upon the Lord. And never lose sight that God’s goal for you is Himself – unity with Him and with others in Him. It’s not what you do but rather who you are doing it with. Walk with Jesus.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 4 July 20: Today, endeavor to walk with Jesus and follow His lead rather than just following your own goals and judgment. See what God is doing around you, and be a part of it.