2 Chronicles 12: 12And when he humbled himself, the anger of the LORD turned away from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and also conditions were good in Judah.
The Hebrew story is repetitive, and presents a theme not unlike our own. There are times under faithful leaders who turn the nation back to God and times where the leaders turn away from God. Like Rehoboam, whom God has given His city, Jerusalem, as a safe home, we are always in a position where God is nearby and all we need do is reach out to Him. He is indeed, the God of second chances.
2 Chronicles 10
Rehoboam’s Reign of Folly
1Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3So they sent and summoned him. When Jeroboam and all Israel came, they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4“Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” 5He said to them, “Return to me again in three days.” So the people departed.
6Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?” 7They spoke to him, saying, “If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. 9So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” 10The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to the people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us.’ Thus you shall say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! 11‘Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”
12So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13The king answered them harshly, and King Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the elders. 14He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of events from God that the LORD might establish His word, which He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them the people answered the king, saying,
“What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
Every man to your tents, O Israel;
Now look after your own house, David.”
So all Israel departed to their tents. 17But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the forced labor, and the sons of Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
2 Chronicles 11
Rehoboam Reigns over Judah and Builds Cities
1Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. 2But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 3“Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, 4‘Thus says the LORD, “You shall not go up or fight against your relatives; return every man to his house, for this thing is from Me.”’” So they listened to the words of the LORD and returned from going against Jeroboam.
5Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built cities for defense in Judah. 6Thus he built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, 8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin. 11He also strengthened the fortresses and put officers in them and stores of food, oil and wine. 12He put shields and spears in every city and strengthened them greatly. So he held Judah and Benjamin.
13Moreover, the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel stood with him from all their districts.
Jeroboam Appoints False Priests
14For the Levites left their pasture lands and their property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had excluded them from serving as priests to the LORD. 15He set up priests of his own for the high places, for the satyrs and for the calves which he had made. 16Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the LORD God of their fathers. 17They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon for three years, for they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.
18Then Rehoboam took as a wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse, 19and she bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. 20After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom, and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines. For he had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as head and leader among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. 23He acted wisely and distributed some of his sons through all the territories of Judah and Benjamin to all the fortified cities, and he gave them food in abundance. And he sought many wives for them.
2 Chronicles 12
Shishak of Egypt Invades Judah
1When the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and strong, he and all Israel with him forsook the law of the LORD. 2And it came about in King Rehoboam’s fifth year, because they had been unfaithful to the LORD, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem 3with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. And the people who came with him from Egypt were without number: the Lubim, the Sukkiim and the Ethiopians. 4He captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. 5Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, ‘You have forsaken Me, so I also have forsaken you to Shishak.’” 6So the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The LORD is righteous.”
7When the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves so I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some measure of deliverance, and My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by means of Shishak. 8“But they will become his slaves so that they may learn the difference between My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”
Plunder Impoverishes Judah
9So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s palace. He took everything; he even took the golden shields which Solomon had made. 10Then King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place and committed them to the care of the commanders of the guard who guarded the door of the king’s house. 11As often as the king entered the house of the LORD, the guards came and carried them and then brought them back into the guards’ room. 12And when he humbled himself, the anger of the LORD turned away from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and also conditions were good in Judah.
13So King Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned. Now Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen from all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 14He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.
15Now the acts of Rehoboam, from first to last, are they not written in the records of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, according to genealogical enrollment? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 16And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David; and his son Abijah became king in his place.
God’s Goodness and Israel’s Waywardness.
FOR THE CHOIR DIRECTOR; ON THE GITTITH. A PSALM OF ASAPH.
1 Sing for joy to God our strength;
Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.
2 Raise a song, strike the timbrel,
The sweet sounding lyre with the harp.
3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
At the full moon, on our feast day.
4 For it is a statute for Israel,
An ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5 He established it for a testimony in Joseph
When he went throughout the land of Egypt.
I heard a language that I did not know:
6 “I relieved his shoulder of the burden,
His hands were freed from the basket.
7 “You called in trouble and I rescued you;
I answered you in the hiding place of thunder;
I proved you at the waters of Meribah.