Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 13:33-34; 14:1-18, 22-24. 30: 15:1-5; 2 Chronicles 11:5-12, 18-23; 12:1-16; 13:1-22; 14:1
Does it surprise you that Jeroboam and Israel continue on their path of idolatry, even after the altar had been destroyed by the young prophet! Looking at how dense I can be in my thinking – actually no! Besides that, the road is downhill in appointing whoever can bring Jeroboam money! (a money making venture!). If the church or I go by worldly selfish standards – same thing happens!
I smile at the humour of the story, at how religious I can become when I get into trouble, like Jeroboam – his son is sick! Ever wonder why he got his wife to go to the prophet for him? But be assured, you can’t fool God, even when his prophet is blind! God certainly isn’t! How astonishing that God sees that the child is the only one that He considers worthy of being mourned and buried and all the rest of the family would meet with disaster! So I remember that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than my ways or thoughts! (Isa. 55:8) – so it gives me a restful heart to trust when I simply can’t understand God’s thoughts and ways and in quietly trusting Him, I honour my loving Saviour – He is truly worthy of my loving trust!
But Judah is not much better than Israel, because they too under Rehoboam turn towards idolatry! But interestingly, this happens after Rehoboam has been blessed by God in every way (because of his diligent efforts for God? His kingdom is established and he has become strong!) Why is success so subtly dangerous for each of us and we tend to drift so easily away from God!?
And the ever faithful God, who can not bear to see His people drift away from Him, sends the Egyptians to rob Rehoboam of his precious things – the golden shields. How easily the world (Egypt) can rob us of our precious things and maybe the shields speak of protection. I have learned and am still learning, that without the Lord, I’m a sitting duck, easily picked off by Satan’s fiery darts! But thankfully, because of Shemaiah’s faithful warning, Judah and Rehoboam are sensitive enough and smart enough to humble themselves (by God’s loving grace) and they escape complete judgment (but there are always consequences for drifting away from the Lord!)
Interestingly, I have noticed that when Christians are in a bad state, they are always at war with one another like Israel and Judah! Galatians 5:15 warns Christians brothers and sisters not to bite and devour one another or they will destroy one another! (so says the gentle and humble Jesus!). So out of 800,000 of Israel, there are 500,000 causalities. How many causalities am I responsible for, I wonder?
I was quietly, thanking the Lord yesterday, that like King Ahijah, I can sound the trumpets before the Lord, when attacked and the Lord will fight for me! Was that what I was doing when I was crying out to the Lord for HIS protection against temptation? And do we do it together when we so desperately need His help and protection as a little assembly of weak Christians?
And in conclusion about Abijah’s life, I hear God, my Father’s loving voice reminding me, that ‘my heart needs to be fully devoted to the LORD, my God.’ Yet some of Abijah’s blessings from God are because of David, his forefather. ‘For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life — EXCEPT in the case of Uriah the Hittite.’ Dear Lord, help there to be very few EXCEPTs in my life!!