“Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city that the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite.”
1 Kings 14:21
All the kings of Judah were descendants of King David. Some were very good, some were very bad, and the rest were somewhere in between.
Take Rehoboam, for example. David was his grandfather. Solomon, the wisest of all kings, was his father. But Solomon, in spite of his wisdom, married many Pagan women who eventually led him into idolatry, just as God had said would happen. Rehoboam’s mother, Naamah, was one of these Pagan princesses, an Ammonite, and we see her influence in her son.
Rehoboam started out by rejecting the wise counsel of his father’s advisors and going with the foolish advice of his cronies who had grown up with him. That cost him ten of the tribes of Israel. Then he proceeded to establish in Judah the worship of the idols that his mother’s people worshiped, including all kinds of perverted behavior that was a part of their religion.
These decisions of Rehoboam caused the people of Judah no end of confusion and heartache over the next 350 years. The sinful behavior he brought in to the country was never successfully rooted out of the nation until the Babylonian captivity.
The influence of one man in a key position, and the influence of one mother for good or for evil, is illustrated throughout History. It’s not the big decisions or the big battles that lie at the heart of massive cultural change. It’s the way we raise our children, and the cumulative effect of a lifetime of small choices, that turn the course of history and determine the outcome of those momentous decisions before they are made.
We are at a crossroads in our own nation’s history. The cumulative effect of the small decisions we are making today will determine the moral direction our country will go for generations to come. Choose wisely. Children are watching. God is watching. History is watching, even when “no one sees.“
Lord, help us to raise up a generation of leaders who will choose the right and reject evil in their own daily decisions. Forgive our many shortcomings and have mercy on us as we seek your face. Strengthen the moral backbone of our nation, beginning with me. In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles