Conflict in the Family

Our passage is from 2 Chronicles 8-13; while it would be easy to get engrossed in the details and extravagance of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, that story is a fleeting one. The Queen was impressed with all the earthly treasures of Solomon and the stories of his wisdom. Her trip to see him seems to be two-fold. First to impress him with her own entourage and wealth and too see if the rumors of his wisdom were true. I guess Solomon passed the test, for she was blown away beyond what she had heard. Sort of reminds me of the people who thronged to Jesus. I am sure that the news of His works and wisdom were echoed across the land. Many followed because of what He could do for them, others came to see for themselves if the stories were true. Sadly, enough there are others that came to Jesus to “prove their worth” to Him. Why is it that man has this insistent desire to prove or out do someone else? Well, we all know that Jesus doesn’t disappoint for He is able to do abundantly and exceedingly more than we ask or think!
The story shifts from Solomon, the son of the famous King David to his successor, Rehoboam. We have read that God was gracious and merciful to Solomon, even in his disobedience because of God’s promise to David. Solomon the wisest man dies, time for the changing of power. Rehoboam was 41 and reigned for 17 years. Rehoboam went to get anointed as the next king over the united 12 tribes of Israel. However, a man or better yet a nemesis named Jeroboam challenges Rehoboam. Rehoboam asks the elders how he should reign, them tell him to back off the harsh rule that was prominent during Solomon’s reign. Rehoboam then asks his own peers what to do – yeah not a good move it turns out. They tell him to increase the burdens. I guess if you are going to lead my “poll results” you will need to be prepared for push back. Leadership is not about popular opinion, but the will of God.
Now this Jeroboam guy didn’t just show up but was in exile because he tried to start a coup during Solomon’s reign. Solomon is dead and Jeroboam rears his rebellious head. Note to us, Satan always plays for another day. We may be successful today, but tomorrow is another day to fight against the wiles of the Adversary! When Israel balks at the Rehoboam national strategy, ten tribes embrace Jeroboam as King and withdraw from Judah and Benjamin, leaving behind a divided nation. Something we must remember Israel [ten northern tribes] have always been rebellious and fighting with Judah., even during the days of David.
Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who is an Ephriamite [Ruth and Naomi]. We find from our reading in Kings, that the sin of Jeroboam was great in that it caused Israel to depart from God and create and embrace the gods of the Canaanites. Rehoboam made a fatal mistake in this case; he didn’t listen to the wise counsel of the people. Rehoboam does go on to reign from 17 years and had some measure of success. There is a verse we need to look at 2 Chronicles 10:13, what happened was the “turn of events from God that He might establish His word. I can’t help but think of how Matthew 21:43 rings loud here. The Jews lost the kingdom of God because of their disobedience; the kingdom was given to another people [Gentiles] who received the Gospel and were redeemed. God is amazing in His plans; He uses the disobedience of one people [His people] to win a people who are on the outside of the commonwealth of God. That work meant salvation to me and everyone else who believes that is not a JEW.
What will be evident from now on in Chronicles will be the somewhat faithfulness of Judah and the idolatry of Israel. Good kings and bad kings; but they were brothers, all from Jacob. Rehoboam and Jeroboam will fight against each other. I am heart broken about the condition in some churches in America – they are fighting against each other – family conflict.

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