Date: Friday, August 21, 2020.
Topic: Why Do People Abandon God?
Read: 2 Chronicles 12:1-16
2 Chronicles 12:1-16 When Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him.
And in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, because they had transgressed and been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem
With 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen, and the people were without number who came with him from Egypt—the Libyans, Sukkiim, and Ethiopians.
And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came on to Jerusalem.
Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, Thus says the Lord: You have forsaken Me, so I have abandoned you into the hands of Shishak.
Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, The Lord is righteous.
And when 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 deliverance; and My wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.
Nevertheless, they shall be his servants, that they may know [the difference between] My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.
So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house. He took everything. He took away also the shields of gold Solomon had made.
Instead of them King Rehoboam made shields of bronze and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard who kept the door of the king’s house.
And whenever the king entered the Lord’s house, the guards came and got the shields of bronze and brought them again into the guard chamber.
When Rehoboam humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to destroy him entirely; also in Judah conditions were good.
So King Rehoboam established and strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city in which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel to put His Name [and the symbol of His presence]. His mother was Naamah an Ammonitess.
And he did evil because he did not set his heart to seek (inquire of, yearn for) the Lord with all his desire.
Now the acts of Rehoboam, from first to last, are they not written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer regarding genealogies? There were wars between Rehoboam of Judah and Jeroboam of Israel continually.
And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried in the City of David; and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.
MEMORISE: When Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. (2 Chronicles 12:1)
How can people, once they are aware of God, even consider abandoning Him? What led to Rehoboam, son of Solomon to abandon God during his reign? While the writer of king also reports the attack of Shishak on Jerusalem, the Chronicler alone adds the reason for the invasion was because of forsaking the command of God (vv. 1-2,5). There were three possible reasons why Rehoboam abandoned God:
1. Prosperity: In his days of adversity, Rehoboam obeyed the Lord. When he was warned not to go to fight against his fellow Israelites, because to do so, would be equal to fighting against God’s will, the Bible says that he and his people obeyed the Lord (2 Chro. 11:4). Afterwards, his obedience was rewarded, because, the only two tribes he was left with — Judah and Benjamin, were blessed by the Lord. The principle is that, the you walk in obedience, the Lord propers you. That is, obedience brings prosperity. This is not limited to a financial prosperity; I know people who are financially buoyant, but are paupers in other areas of life. Gradually, he became uncontrollable and unmanageable to God.
2. Power: Prosperity and power go together. Because God prospered Rehoboam, militarily he became powerful. He built up defences in several towns and cities, including Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. (2 Ch 11:5ff).
3. Popularity: Because Rehoboam prospered, his prosperity attained him power. Because he was powerful, obviously he became popular among people, both internally and internationally. Sadly, at the height of his popularity and power, the king abandoned the Lord! (2 Chr. 12:2,5) Abandonment is a direct opposite of “seeking the Lord” (2 Chr. 12:14). Often, it is more difficult to be a believer in good times than in bad one. Tough, times push us toward God; but easy times can makes us feel self-sufficient and self-satisfied.
4. Check your life: How was it when you newly got converted? Now that you have ‘arrived’ and recorded some feats, who is God to you. Check yourself (Prov. 30:8,9; Gal. 1:6)
1. Give God praise for all the blessing He has graciously brought into your life.
2. Pray against the Spirit that abandon God.
3. Confess that in season and out of season, by God’s grace you will never forsake Him.
EXTRA READING FOR TODAY: Psalms 57:61; Revelation 15-16