“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 10:15
Solomon with his wisdom had established Israel as a great empire. During his life the country achieved its greatest expansion and influence far beyond its own borders. But Solomon failed to keep his heart faithful to the Lord and there would be consequences.
After the greatness of Solomon, Rehoboam, his son and heir, made one very foolish mistake at the very beginning of his reign, that cost him everything. The greatness of Israel came to an immediate end. The country split into two and would never again achieve the power, wealth, and influence it had enjoyed under David and Solomon.
Rehoboam was a spoiled child who had grown up with all the privileges of being the Crown Prince to a mighty king. He had the elitist mentality of entitlement that assumed that all the wealth and power were his birthright and could never be taken from him. He was “too big for his britches,” as the saying goes.
He was completely astonished when his arrogant answer to the people’s request for lower taxes and less government control over their lives resulted in a general insurrection and loss of his government.
But the Bible tells us that all of this: Rehoboam’s arrogant attitude, the people’s demands, the appearance of Jeroboam on the scene, and the dividing of the nation, were by God’s design. God had decided to take this empire down, for His own purposes.
God rules over the nations. He makes empires strong and deposes governments as He sees fit. And He says that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
We are no exception in this regard. God has blessed our country for over two hundred years as we have sought to be a good and righteous people in His eyes. We have become the world power that we are today because, albeit in an imperfect, sometimes stumbling way, we have consistently chosen to be in line with God’s Word.
Will we continue to do that? Everything depends upon it. There will always be forces that resist godly living and righteous laws, because after all, we live in a fallen world. But which way will the nation go?
The elections are 70 days away. Determine now that we, at least, will live and govern our own lives and vote according to God’s Word. Maybe not perfectly, but wholeheartedly, and counting on God’s grace and forgiveness every day. And pray that God’s will would be done.
Heavenly Father, give to Your children a heart to be faithful. Forgive our failures and keep our hearts and minds close to You. Hear our prayers for our country, for our governing authorities at every level, and for the elections that are coming. Let Your good and gracious will be done on earth, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles