Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24- How To Be A Bad King

July 24, 2011

Scripture Readings:
2 Chronicles 11:1-13:22; Romans 8:26-39;
Psalm 18:37-50; Proverbs 19:27-29

2 Chronicles 11:1-13:22

Today's reading is a good example of how to be a bad king.  We saw yesterday that Rehoboam comes into power and arrogantly tells the nation that he is going to be an even harsher master than his father, Solomon.  Way to go, dude.  You are so immature and prideful.  Refusal to lower taxes and compromise with the people of Israel leads to the division of the nation.

After this division, Rehoboam prepares to go on the offensive and attack the 10 tribes who split from him.  God intervenes through a prophet named Shemaiah and tells Rehoboam that the split was God's doing.  God tells Rehoboam not to fight against his relatives up north.  Rehoboam obeys, but returns to the Southern Kingdom and prepares for a defensive existence.  He fortifies his cities, stores up provisions, in case of a seige, and arms the land for battle, in case of attack.  This seems like a short respite of wisdom in this evil king's life.

God makes sure to point out that Rehoboam marries his cousins, one of which has Ammonite blood.  God always highlights the multiple wives of these people, but this is not a confirmation of His approval.  Quite the opposite.  God records this polygamy as a judgment against this behavior.  God clearly established in the Garden of Eden that one man should marry one woman to provide a sacred picture of God's intimate and exclusive relationship with mankind.

Once established and strong, Rehoboam turns against the Law of God and causes the nation of Israel (2 tribes) to follow him. Because of his rebellion against God, the Lord allows the King of Egypt to attack Israel and win.  Shishak conquers Judah's cities and then Jerusalem.  He takes treasure from the Lord's Temple.  Again, God speaks through Shemaiah and tells Rehoboam that because he abandoned the Lord, the Lord has abandoned him.  After this, Rehoboam and the leaders of Israel confess their sin, humble themselves, and repent.  This causes God to relent from destroying them, but they still suffer the consequences of their sin, in that they become the subjects of the King of Egypt.  Rehoboam is considered one of the evil kings of the Southern Kingdom of Israel.

The next king is Abijah.  It is under Abijah that civil war breaks out between the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.  Note that we keep getting the names of the mothers of these kings.  This is because God wants to point out that the good or evil characters of these kings is partially the responsibility of the mother.  This should serve as a warning and an encouragement to any woman who is blessed to raise children. 

Abijah recounts for Jeroboam (king of the Northern Kingdom) that God promised to bless the nation of Israel through King David's line.  He points out that Jeroboam is not following the Law of having only Aaron's sons as priests and Levites only as servants of God's Temple.  During this long speech, Jeroboam sends part of his army to surround Abijah's army and ambush them.  God intervenes and fights for the Southern Kingdom.  They kill 500,000 men from the Northern Kingdom and route the enemy.   Jeroboam, the completely evil king of the North, is struck down by God.  Abijah in the South grows more powerful.

The hand of God is on the nation of Israel, even in this time of rebellion and civil war.  God is a good story-teller.  The way of this fallen world is unfolding.  God works in the details of every person's life, whether they be good or bad, obedient or rebellious.  It all works for His glory.  His story highlights His personality.

Where do you fit in the story?

Romans 8:26-39

Here are more benefits of having the Holy Spirit inside of you:
  • The Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. Vs. 26
  • The Holy Spirit groans with us in our distress. Vs. 26
  • The Holy Spirit communicates our deepest needs to God the Father, because the Holy Spirit is in unison with God's will. Vs. 27
  • Because of the Holy Spirit, we can be confident that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose for them. Vs. 28
  • God chooses His people in advance, who will become like His Son, so that Jesus would be the oldest brother (first fruit) among many brothers and sisters. Vs. 29
  • God calls us to Himself. Vs. 30
  • He gives us right standing (reconciled relationship) with Him. Vs. 30
  • He promises us His glory. Vs. 30
Paul goes on to point out that if all of this is true, then God is for us.  If God is on our team, who can accuse us, condemn us, or separate us from God?  No one!  Do you live in self-accusation or self-condemnation?  These attitudes are the forces of evil trying to separate you from God.  Do not let that sort of thinking enter your mind.  The God of the Bible is a God of fellowship and reconciliation.  He provides the Holy Spirit, so that you can begin to think and live correctly.  You can begin to think truthfully about life according to God's perspective. 

Paul states that nothing can separate us from the love of God.  Here is what cannot serve to separate you from God's love:
  • Death or life
  • Angels or demons
  • Fears for today or worries about tomorrow
  • The powers of hell
  • The heights of the sky and the depths of the ocean
  • Nothing physically can ever separate us
Do you live your life realizing that God loves you and nothing can get in the way of that love?  How can you renew your mind each day to live in the power of this truth? 

I encourage you to memorize Romans 8:38-39.  If you are able to quote this Scripture to yourself, you will be on your way to claiming these promises in your life.

Psalm 18:37-50

Read this psalm in the light of what we have learned about the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Proverbs 19:27-29

Don't turn your back on knowledge.  It is possible to make wrong decisions about behavior.  Don't do it.

What did you notice today?  Please share.


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton

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