2 Chronicles 11:1–13:22
Unlike the the books of 1 and 2 Kings, which covers the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, Chronicles covers only the kings of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. It only mentions Israel as it pertains to Judah.
When Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, began his reign, he mustered up an army of 180,000 valiant soldiers to attack Israel and reunite the kingdom, but the LORD sent a man of God named Shemaiah, to halt the attack, informing the king that this division was of God. It was part of the consequences the nation had to pay, due to the fact that Solomon’s heart had turned away from the LORD (1 Kings 11).
King Rehoboam submitted to God’s prophet, halted the attack and began to build up his defenses. The Southern Kingdom actually started off on the right foot. As the priests from the north, migrated south, and then the Levites, and others. We read in:
2 Chronicles 11:16 (NKJV) “And after the Levites left, those from all the tribes of Israel, such as set their heart to seek the LORD God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD God of their fathers.”
There was an influx of people who sought the LORD. It started well. The kingdom was established under the leadership of Rehoboam, because they walked in the ways of David and in the way that Solomon started his reign. But King Rehoboam did not finish well.
2 Chronicles 12:1 (NKJV) “Now it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, that he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel along with him.”
It’s just crazy, foolish! Why don’t people stay on track with God? I see it time and time again. Things went well, life got easier and the king led the people away from the LORD. This resulted in God taking down His walls of protection and allowing the Pharaoh (king of Egypt) to conquer Judah. The prophet explained:
2 Chronicles 12:5 (NKJV) “Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah, who were gathered together in Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: ‘You have forsaken Me, and therefore I also have left you in the hand of Shishak.’’”
Judah suffered for their sins. It didn’t take long for the king of Egypt to plunder the temple and strip them of the gold shields Solomon had made. Thankfully, the leaders DID humble themselves when they were rebuked by the prophet, they knew the Lord was righteous in His punishment. God softened the blow.
God help us to learn from these kings. 1 Corinthians 10:11 informs us that the examples in the Old Testament are given for our warning, so that we’d learn from the things they did right, and the things they did wrong. We read this sad summary about Rehoboam:
2 Chronicles 12:14 (NKJV) “And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD.”
Let’s do the opposite. Let’s do good by setting our hearts to seek the LORD.
Reheboam’s son Abijah did better. We read about Judah’s great victory over Israel. How did they do it? They lived their life according to God’s Word in the palace as well as the Temple, they trusted in God. When they found themselves surrounded by the armies of the enemy, “they cried out to the LORD” (2 Chronicles 13:14) and God gave them the victory, wiping out 500,000 choice men of Israel.
The reason is reiterated in:
2 Chronicles 13:18b (NKJV) “…and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the LORD God of their fathers.”
That’s all we need to do friends. Rely on the Lord…just pray and obey.
We’ve been reading in this chapter how the Holy Spirit gives us victory over our flesh (fallen nature). Here we even read how He helps us pray! (Romans 8:26-27) Christians can pray in tongues (those who have that gift), pray with groanings, and pray with hearts lined up with the Lord, because the Holy Spirit within us, helps us to pray.
Paul then goes on to say that “We know that all things work together for good…”
Do you know that Christian friend?
The tough times, the excruciatingly painful times, the times that make no sense to us, make perfect sense to Him, and He’s working it all out for good. I hope you know that. It doesn’t mean we won’t cry or hurt, it just means we trust Him and won’t/don’t lose heart.
One day we will be completely conformed into the image of Christ. One day we WILL be glorified, in heaven (Romans 8:30).
We will go through many “things” in life. What should be our response?
Romans 8:31 (NKJV) “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Since God is on our side, we have nothing to fear, we cannot be moved. As a matter of fact, we read in:
Romans 8:37 (NKJV) “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
The very things that the enemy intends to weaken us, strengthens us; the things he thinks will make us faint, are the very things used by God to make us – not just conquerors, but MORE than conquerors!
We will go through tough times. We will be accused, we will be condemned by our enemies. We will experience: tribulation, calamities, and persecution. We might experience: hunger, poverty, danger, even death – but it’s all for the glory of God.
Nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from God’s love. We need not fear death, or demons, or anything in the future, no creature or created thing is able to sever us from the love and the life God has for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!
What an epic truth!
David is praising God for the way He has defeated his enemies and fulfilled His promise to make him king. It was a word David heard as a young man, when no one else believed in him, not even his dad, but God did, and God anointed him through the prophet Samuel promising that one day he would be king (1 Samuel 16:1-13).
The prophet pointed to that destiny, but the path didn’t. David’s path of preparation was dirty, dusty, demonic, and diabolic; it led to the double-edged sword of doubt and discouragement, deep, deep depression, and even despair.
Had God changed His mind? No, He hadn’t, and in His perfect timing God’s dream for David came to pass. This Psalm praises Him for that.
All our enemies will be defeated. All our enemies will be “under our feet.” And it’s all because of God and His grace. God is not dead and uninvolved, He’s alive, He’s our Rock, and He lifts us up, to put us where we belong…one day that’ll be our home in heaven.
Can you imagine the day when we look back with that same perspective? (Joshua 23:14; 1 Kings 8:56) One day my Christian friend, one day.
Psalm 18:46 (NKJV) “The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.”
Proverbs 19:27 (NKJV) “Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.”
This is why it’s so important to constantly saturate ourselves in the Word of God. Let’s read it to heed it. Let’s listen, learn, and endeavor to live the Bible. It’s tragic that some stop seeking God, cease listening to the Lord, and end up losing in life.
Proverbs 19:28 (NKJV) “A disreputable witness scorns justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.”
God is a God of justice! We read in Psalm 89:14a, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne…” So God calls all judges, witnesses, and people to justice. Imagine someone doing the time who didn’t do the crime – due to false witnesses?
It’s not just a little insignificant lie. It’s the scorning of justice, it’s iniquity, and it’s something God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19). As a matter of fact, in the list of 7 things that God hates, 2 of the 7 were lying, and false witnesses!
Proverbs 19:29 (NKJV) “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, and beatings for the backs of fools.”
No one can say God didn’t warn them. Non-believing scoffers and fools will be judged and beaten…especially those who knew better.
Luke 12:47 (NKJV) “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.”
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.