"After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the LORD." 2 Chronicles 12:1
Growing up as a child I had a fascination with the Bible. Over time I began to read it on a consistent basis, but as I did I found myself more prone to read the New Testament than the Old Testament. I struggled to understand the meaning of many of the Old Testament narratives and found myself asking the question, Why is this even in the Bible? To be honest, sometimes I find myself asking the same question; and that’s okay. In fact, a key to gaining a correct interpretation must begin with this very question.
As years pass I find myself more drawn to the narrative portions of Scripture because there is something powerful about stories. Our lives are stories, and we get to read the lives of folks in ancient times. When we look at the nation of Israel we will find a concurrent theme resurfaces: despite Yahweh’s faithfulness, Israel was consistently unfaithful. In the passage above we see a peculiar account of king Rehoboam. At first glance, his decision (along with Israel’s) to abandon the word of God once they had become solidified in terms of power and strength appears to be a ludicrous decision. But when you sit down and think about this dynamic and reflect upon our own propensity to go our own way when we feel self-sufficient, we should see a little bit of ourselves in Rehoboam and Israel. Much like the familiar line in the song Come Thou Fount that sings “prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love,” such is the default nature of the human heart. One of our greatest dangers is to assume otherwise. On this side of Eden we’re more inclined to go our own way when we reach a point where we feel like we no longer need God.
No one consistently finds God apart from intentionality. Scripture tells us that “if you seek Him you shall find Him” (Jer. 29:13) but even when we do find Him no such guarantee exists that we will not try to leave Him. This is, in part, why it is important to surround ourselves with folks who will encourage us to seek God when they see that our hearts are beginning to drift away. Indeed, “be careful the company you keep.” We are immensely impressionable people who are “prone to wander.” We must be careful to seek the Lord when times are tough, but especially when times seem great.
Word for the Way: Don’t be a Rehoboam.
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