In my chronological read of the Bible, Solomon has just passed away…but not before the Lord telling him that the kingdom, due to his turning from the Lord, is about to be ripped from him. He is done. Kingdom? Yeah…not yours anymore: [1 Kings 11:6]
6So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done.
You would think that his son, Rehoboam, would have known better. Then again…his Father, Solomon probably witnessed the whole grandfather David-Bathsheba disaster and yet it was women (strange foreign women) who turned his heart from the Lord. (11:4). Why would Rehoboam then not guard his heart?
What struck me today was how God deals with the turning of Rehoboam’s heart. After the kingdom has been divided and torn from him as God predicted, Rehoboam becomes unfaithful to the Lord. In 2 Chron 12 the Lord says very clearly “You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you.” Rehoboam promptly gets run over by the Egyptian King, Shishak – who takes everything.
But then something interesting happens, God actually spares the wayward Rehoboam…why?. 2 Chron 2:12-13 —
13(C) So King Rehoboam grew strong in Jerusalem and reigned
When he humbled himself, the Lord took his wrath away from him. I don’t think the key here is acting a certain way gets treats from God…but rather the key is humbling yourself puts you in a proper perspective to a Holy, Righteous God.
James 4:10 says “Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you”.
Matthew 23:12 says “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
It instantly makes me think of the process that God uses the foolish things to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1). God uses them because then there is nothing to get in the way of bringing glory to God.
People thought it was insane that we worship a God who was crucified. Showing utter “weakness” unto death on a Roman, criminal cross. Yet he was the God of the universe in the flesh of a man. He came in weakness, and humbled himself, and became obedient to death…even death on a cross (Phil 2).
Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place – to the glory of God.
Therefore, as followers of Christ – He is our model. Having all of the “you” smashed out of you so that you are empty enough of you for you to glorify God. Not that God wants us to be beaten down…no self esteem, whoah as me…he wants us to find all our joy in Him. Because in “Him is fullness of joy.” Not in ourselves, or heck…even anything besides God.
I was reminded in a great sermon I heard on the drive into work today of how undeserving I am of God’s amazing grace that he lavished on us. I was humbled and immediately had to repent my reactions the things in my life that currently seemed to be mounting up that just weren’t going right and how I felt that I “deserved better.” No…actually I deserve Hell…but our Father in his amazing mercy and love reconciled me to Him thru Christ. Why can’t I then pour myself out in love and mercy to others? Why do I ask God to work in my heart, give him all my concerns…and then take them right back and begin to worry over them? Friends…that is the sin of unbelief! Let us give our concerns to our Father in prayer, seek His wisdom, act in His strength, act in mercy and grace towards others…and leave it up to Him for His glory.