Learning the Hard Way (King Rehoboam)

Whenever I read through the books of Kings and Chronicles it is so easy to get confused about the details of their life. We will spend a few weeks looking at the lives of the kings of the divided kingdom. During Solomon’s reign, He rejected God and the Bible says his heart was turned by his wives. God’s punishment to Solomon was to divide the kingdom and give the largest part to a servant of Solomon (Jeroboam). Rehoboam was the son of Solomon who was to reign and there are some great truths about his life for us to consider. I only gave references to save space, so read the verse in your Bible and think about the truth.

1. His heart was fixed on the wrong things (1 Kings 12:6-8; 2 Chronicles 12:1, 14)

1 Kings 12:6-8 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:
2 Chronicles 12:1, 14 And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him. And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.

Have you ever learned things the hard way? Maybe you had to fail miserably or get hurt before you learned not to do something. That is the life of Rehoboam. He could have listened to the counsel of the old men, but learned the hard way (kingdom divided). Thought he was great because of the cities he had built, and learned the hard way when Shishak king of Egypt pillaged Israel. We see that Rehoboam pleased God for three years (2 Chronicles 11:17). That’s it! Three years out of seventeen and then we see failure. Why? Because his heart was not fixed or determined to seek the Lord. He didn’t have a passion to direct His life according to the Word of the Lord. He was going to live by his standard and it hurt him every time.

2. His heart was fake in the right things (2 Chronicles 12:9-10)

2 Chronicles 12:9-10 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made. Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king’s house.

Shishak ruins Rehoboam’s strong cities and takes the treasures from the Temple. Among those treasures were the golden shields Solomon had made. Solomon had made 200 body-length shields and 300 smaller shields out of pure gold. Rehoboam couldn’t replace them with gold, so he used brass and polished them so they would look like gold. Whenever Rehoboam went to the Temple, the soldiers that accompanied him would carry these shields and then they would store them in the guard’s chambers. They looked like gold, but they were hid so no one would find out they weren’t.

Are you like Rehoboam? Is your heart fixed on the wrong things and are you fake in the right things? If so, you will learn the hard way. Today, make a decision to learn by being submissive to God’s will and genuine in your heart.