In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah began to reign over Judah. He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.
Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah went out to battle, having an army of valiant men of war, 400,000 chosen men. And Jeroboam drew up his line of battle against him with 800,000 chosen mighty warriors. Then Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim that is in the hill country of Ephraim and said, “Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel! Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord, and certain worthless scoundrels gathered about him and defied Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and irresolute and could not withstand them.
“And now you think to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of the sons of David, because you are a great multitude and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made you for gods. Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes for ordination with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of what are not gods. But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him. We have priests ministering to the Lord who are sons of Aaron, and Levites for their service. They offer to the Lord every morning and every evening burnt offerings and incense of sweet spices, set out the showbread on the table of pure gold, and care for the golden lampstand that its lamps may burn every evening. For we keep the charge of the Lord our God, but you have forsaken him. Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed.” 2 Chronicles 13:1-12.
During the worst of times, an individual can stand up and distinguish himself. And he can inspire the faith of his people and lead them to victory.
Each new generation is a chance to get it right. And each new generation is called to sustain it. This is why it is so important to reach the children, before they become hardened in the ways of the world.
When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, because they had 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—Libyans, Sukkiim, and Ethiopians. And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak.’” Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is righteous.” When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.” 2 Chronicles 12:1-8.
Every generation removed from David seems to take God more and more for granted. David had to wait for the crown while he was on the run from Saul. He learned to trust God during the bad times. Solomon remembered David and learned from him and received great benefits from that. He became wealthy. Then there was Rehoboam, entitled and imperious. Neighboring kings were not in awe of his inheritance. They thought it was time to pluck him.
Second and third generation Americans are like this. They are entitled and foolish, not needing to work as hard as previous generations. Now the immigrant no longer ones to prove himself and Be a part of America. They brazenly break the law to come here and pillage it of its benefits. We have forgotten our God and His commands, so He is forgetting us.
And the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel presented themselves to him from all places where they lived. For the Levites left their common lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons cast them out from serving as priests of the Lord, and he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat idols and for the calves that he had made. And those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers. They strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and for three years they made Rehoboam the son of Solomon secure, for they walked for three years in the way of David and Solomon. 2 Chronicles 11:13-17.
Jeroboam and the rest of the kingdom had gone full pagan, even exiling the priests and the Levites. How could this have happened so quickly?
Our own nation only appears to have gone to hell so quickly. But if you’ve been paying attention, the veneer of Christianity has been getting thinner and thinner, being replaced by a religious culture of political activism. Both the conservative and liberal wings have replaced the commands of God with their own traditions. We are now the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, “Come to me again the third day.” And the king answered them harshly; and forsaking the counsel of the old men, King Rehoboam spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord might fulfill his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 2 Chronicles 10:12-15.
Rehoboam was the son of Solomon and one of his idol worshipping wives. Solomon had ignored the instructions for kings in the law. He took many wives, some of whom were from among the people God specifically said NOT to marry. He indulged their paganism, so God said the kingdom would be torn from him, but not until after he died. And so it happened.
Soloman, a man of breathtaking wisdom, was too dumb to follow simple instructions. He was too smart for his own good, believing those instructions were for lesser mortals.
We see it all the time. People of great education doing the most stupid things. They believe it is their great skill at handling complexity that allows them to make laws and systems that are too big to fail. And the new generation of hotheads is no wiser.
America must return to God or be utterly destroyed. For all our wealth and power, we can’t enforce our laws, tell boys from girls, or respect our neighbors. We are a nation of self-important bullies who want everything our way.
Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions, having a very great retinue and camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. And Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his cupbearers, and their clothing, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her.
And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me; you surpass the report that I heard. Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the Lord your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. There were no spices such as those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 2 Chronicles 9:1-9.
These offerings that came to Solomon were mind boggling. God had not only given him great wisdom, but favor with all other rulers. And these gifts made him even more impressive and caused his visitors to be even more impressed. There was a sense that he was worthy to be honored.
In the future, kings of Israel who were less Noble would show off these gifts, and the visitors would plot to loot this treasury.
America used to take people’s breath away. They brought their talents and made it greater still. Today, they just want to loot America, suck it dry and abuse it’s citizens. Perhaps it’s because we are less wise and noble now