“Jeroboam reigned in Israel twenty-two years. When Jeroboam died, his son Nadab became the next king. Meanwhile, Rehoboam son of Solomon was king in Judah. He reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen from among all the tribes of Israel as the place to honor His Name” (I Kings 14:20, 21b, NLT).
As we looked at yesterday, Jeroboam ruled Israel throughout the reign of two kings of Judah, Rehoboam and Abijah, and on into the rule of Judah’s third king, Asa. But God, as always true to His Word, carried out the sentence against Jeroboam’s lineage just as He said He would do. Jeroboam’s son Nadab succeeded him as king, but “Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of King Asa’s reign in Judah, and he became the next king of Israel” (I Kings 15:28).
Baasha’s next move was to kill all of Jeroboam’s remaining family members, “so that not one of the royal family was left, just as the Lord had promised concerning Jeroboam by the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh. This was done because Jeroboam had provoked the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by the sins he had committed and the sins he had led Israel to commit” (I Kings 15:29b-30).
Covering the death of Jeroboam moved us well past Rehoboam’s lifetime. Remember, Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, succeeded him on the throne of Judah, which consisted of the remaining two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the other ten tribes having been taken away from Solomon’s lineage because of Solomon’s disobedience to God.
Rehoboam had started off on the wrong foot, listening to bad advice and refusing to “be a servant” (I Kings 12:7b) to the people the Lord had entrusted him to rule. This was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back and the time when the ten tribes sided with Jeroboam and refused to be subjects of Rehoboam. So how did Rehoboam fare as the leader of Judah?
“Rehoboam married his cousin Mahalath, the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Eliab son of Jesse. Later Rehoboam married another cousin, Maacah, the daughter of Absalom. Maacah gave birth to Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. Rehoboam appointed Maacah’s son Abijah as leader among the princes, making it clear that he would be the next king” (II Chronicles 11:18, 20, 22).
"But when Rehoboam was firmly established and strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord, and all Israel followed him in this sin. Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, King Shishak of Egypt came up and attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam’s reign. He came with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horses, and a countless army of foot soldiers, including Libyans, Sukkites, and Ethiopians. Shishak conquered Judah’s fortified towns and then advanced to attack Jerusalem.
The prophet Shemaiah then met with Rehoboam and Judah’s leaders, who had all fled to Jerusalem because of Shishak. Shemaiah told them, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have abandoned Me, so I am abandoning you to Shishak’” (II Chronicles 12:1-5).
God’s chosen people had been freed from slavery and given a land of their own. In return for God’s goodness, they had turned their back on everything He had commanded them. And when the Lord allows Judah to be attacked, who but the very people under whom Rehoboam’s people had lived as slaves were the ones to do it!
Folks, we have two choices in life: slavery to sin or devotion to Christ. Every moment of every day we choose one or the other. Consciously choose Jesus.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates