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In spite of the fact that the kingdom had divided into two separate kingdoms Rehoboam had a few good years of success. Things changed when he also turned his back on the law of the LORD. Sadly, his final epitaph says that he did evil because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
Does God issue any commands?
- Through the prophet Shemaiah God told Rehoboam not to fight against the Israelites of the northern kingdom of Israel because the country division had happened at the word of the Lord.
Does God make any promises?
- When they failed to follow His laws God punished Rehoboam and his sons with an invasion led by Pharaoh Shishak of Egypt. But when they repented God promised not to destroy them but to grant a measure of deliverance. Jerusalem would be spared but the coffers would be ransacked. Shishak took the golden treasures from the Temple and from Solomon's palace. The prophet Shemaiah delivered two messages to Rehoboam accordingly.
Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?
- Rehoboam made several of the border cities in the south to be defensive cities. He equipped these strongholds with weapons, food supplies, and military captains. The Bible often calls God our stronghold or fortress. (See Nahum 1:7; Psalm 27:1; Joel 3:16; Psalm 9:9; Psalm 46:1; John 10:28-29; Philippians 4:7; Psalm 62:2; Psalm 71:3; Matthew 23:37; Proverbs 18:10; ) Ephesians 6:12-13 also says that we do not battle against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high place so God has properly equipped us with weapons of warfare but we are always safe within His refuge.
- All of the priests and Levites left the northern kingdom of Israel and resettled in the southern kingdom of Judah where Rehoboam ruled because Jeroboam had stopped them from executing their offices when he instituted the worship of the calves. Jesus is our High Priest. The world does not want Him as their intercessor and substitutes their own form of worship for the Way, the Truth, and the Life but those who trust in Him as their Savior know that He is the only mediator between God and man.
- Rehoboam is an antitype of Jesus. Rehoboam inherited all the glory of his father and was proud because of it. He did not seek God in humility. Jesus, on the other hand, left the glory of His Father and became a man of humble birth. He then sought to do only God's will in all humility.
Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?
- The glory of the kingdom in Jerusalem was lost under Rehoboam but one day its glory will not only be restored but surpassed when Jesus rules there.
- The final spiritual evaluation of Rehoboam said that he did evil because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD. One day everyone reading this will meet the LORD. Prepare your heart now to seek Him so that your final evaluation (and the most important one of all!) will not read like that of Rehoboam!