So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord (II Chr. 12:13-14).
Eighty years before, when David was crowned king over Judah (and later over a united Israel), he began his reign by inquiring after the Lord (II Sam. 2:1). When David turned the kingdom over to Solomon 40 years later, he urged him; And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and His commandments, and His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself (I Kings 2:3). Although Solomon later stumbled, Scripture records that he began his reign wholly devoted to God (I Chr. 29:21). Yet, when Rehoboam became king, Scripture makes no mention of either altar sacrifices or prayer. Instead, we find his entire reign can be summed up with this ominous proclamation: And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.
Upon taking the throne, Rehoboam's lack of preparation was immediately apparent. When Jeroboam, representing the ten northern tribes, came before him with the people's request that he lower the excessive taxes and lessen the forced labor that had been imposed by Solomon, his father, Rehoboam made an exceedingly foolish blunder. Instead of consulting with the Lord, he turned to the advice of men. Furthermore, he arrogantly dismissed the advice of those that had experience serving under his father. He ultimately decided to go with the advice of his younger, inexperienced and highly egotistical friends. The consequences of his decision were as devastating as they were predictable. Jeroboam led the 10 tribes in secession, and together they formed the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Rehoboam, although technically his kingship was still intact, was left with only the smaller kingdom of Judah.
When we do not prepare our hearts to seek the Lord, we are setting ourselves up for catastrophic failure. But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6). Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18). Time and time again God warns us of the dangers of relying on ourselves and ignoring the presence of God. We do not have to deny His existence to harden our hearts against Him, Pride in our own will can cause us to ignore what we view as His "moralistic" presence in favor of our own assumed intelligence. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north (Is. 14:13). Unless we prepare our hearts to seek our Savior, we will never be in a position to receive His saving grace.
He came unto His own, and His own received him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name (John 1:11-12).
Thought for Today:
It is not our words, but our life that reveals what is in our hearts.
Through the Golden Candlestick (Lampstand) (II Chr. 13:11). Jesus is the Light of the world (John 9:5).
10:4 yoke grievous = heavy, severe burdens; 10:10 loins = waist; 11:12 every several = each separate.
James 1: 8 - 14
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.