2 Chronicles 10
Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
These two young men, Rehoboam and Jeroboam - for we may regard them as such, though the former was forty years old when he began to reign - may be viewed together, as they were brought together, and may furnish us with some useful suggestions for the guidance of our life. We have them -

I. STARTING FROM DIFFERENT ENDS OF THE SOCIAL SCALE. Rehoboam born in the palace, born to the purple, surrounded with every luxury, accustomed to the utmost deference, expecting the greatest things. Jeroboam commencing his career almost at the bottom of the scale, losing his father when quite young, obliged to work hard to sustain his widowed mother, obtaining employment as a workman in connection with one of King Solomon's works, with "no prospects" in life.

II. MEETING MIDWAY IN THEIR CAREER. When they looked one another in the face at Shechem, what was it that each saw in the other? Probably the king's son saw in the son of Nebat a man who was clothed in presumption, who had forgotten his position, who was entertaining a daring and criminal purpose in his heart. And probably Jeroboam saw in the enthroned monarch a man who was unfitted for his post, unequal to the strain that would be put upon his powers, a feeble man who would prove an easy prey to his own designs. No kindly feeling, we may be sure, shone in the eyes of either prince or subject as they confronted one another that day at Shechem.

III. CHALLENGED TO MAKE A CHOICE ON A CRITICAL OCCASION. Rehoboam was now called upon to decide definitely what policy he would pursue in his administration - whether that of leniency and popularity, or that of stringency and force; whether he would "rule by love or fear." Jeroboam had, at this point in his life, to decide whether he would adopt the safe policy of continuing in retreat, or the bold and venturesome one of heading a national revolt, and being either crushed beneath the feet of authority or raised to the height of a successful revolution.

IV. DISAPPOINTING THE HOPES OF THEIR BEST FRIENDS. Singularly enough, the names of both these men signified "enlarger or multiplier of the people;" they pointed, probably, to the hopes of their parents concerning them. But though they both occupied the throne, and one of them rose to a much higher position than could have been anticipated at his birth, both men failed in the sight of God and in the estimate of the wise. The one by his folly estranged and lost the greater part of his kingdom; the other led Israel into shameful and ruinous apostasy.

1. Be not much affected by social position; very great advantages in this respect will not carry us far along the path of true success; without character their value will soon expire. On the other hand, great disadvantages may be overcome by industry, energy, patience, virtue.

2. Be prepared to make the decisive choice, whenever the critical moment may come. We cannot be sure when this will arrive, but there will come an hour - there may come more hours than one - when a decision has to be taken by us on which the gravest consequences, to ourselves or to others, will depend. Shall we then be equal to the occasion? Shall we be prepared to speak the wise word, to choose the right course, to take the step that will lead upward and not downward? This will depend on the character that we shall have been forming before that time comes. If we shall have been neglecting our opportunity and misusing our privileges, we shall then be found wanting; but if we shall have been gathering wisdom at every open source, we shall be able to speak, to act, to decide as God would have us do, as we shall afterwards thank God we did.

3. Aspire to fulfil the best hopes and prophecies of younger days. We may have a name, a reputation, to uphold. Our parents and teachers may be looking for good and even great things from us. Let us be earnest and eager to live such a life, that not only shall there be no painful discrepancy between the hope and the reality, but that there shall be a happy and satisfying correspondence between the two. - C.

I. THE PERSON OF THE MONARCH. Rehoboam, the man "who enlarges the people," a name upon which his subsequent history was a satire.

1. The child of a heathen mother. This was Naamah, the Ammonitess (ch. 12:13; 1 Kings 14:31), a daughter of the last Ammonite king, Hanun, the son of Nahash (1 Chronicles 19:1, etc.). Rehoboam probably suffered in character and constitution from his taint of heathen blood.

2. The son of a distinguished father. Judged at the worst, Solomon was a great king, no less renowned for administrative faculty than for wisdom and wealth. The first two, it is clear, do not pass from sire to son by the law of heredity. A man may bequeath money to his son, but he is helpless in the matter of intellectual wealth. A king may hand on crown and throne to his descendant, but he cannot communicate capacity to rule.

3. The heir of an extensive empire. The sovereignty of the undivided kingdom and of all the tributary princes fell into his hands on his father's decease.


1. A spot of rare beauty. Eighteen hours distant from Jerusalem, and situated at the foot of Mount Gerizim, in the mountain range of Ephraim (Judges 9:7) - the modern Nablous, near the site of the ancient Shechem, "is the most beautiful, perhaps it might be said the only very beautiful spot in Central Palestine" (Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' pp. 233, 234).

2. A scene of inspiring memories. Patriarchs had pitched tents and erected altars there (Genesis 12:6, 7; Genesis 33:18-20). Thither Joshua had convened the princes and elders, the heads and representatives of the people, when the conquest of Canaan had been completed, and made a covenant with them, setting them a statute and ordinance - so practically constituting Shechem the first capital of the ]and (Joshua 24:1, 25). There Joseph's bodes were consigned to a sepulchre in the parcel of ground which Jacob had bought of Hamor for a hundred pieces of silver (Joshua 24:32). There, on the two mountains which overlooked the valley, Gerizim and Ebal, had been placed the blessing and the curse as commanded by Jehovah (Deuteronomy 11:29, 30; Joshua 8:31, 33). There also the first attempt, though unsuccessful, at king-making had been made (Judges 9:1).

3. A locality unauthorized for coronations. Stanley speaks of it as having been the custom, even after the erection of Jerusalem into the capital, to inaugurate new reigns at Shechem, citing as a modern parallel "the long continuance of Rheims, the ancient metropolitan city of France, as the scene of the French coronations" ('Sinai and Palestine,' p. 239); but, as Rehoboam's is the only coronation that took place at Shechem (in addition to the above-mentioned crowning of Abimelech), one example, or even two, can hardly be said to constitute a custom. The proper place for carrying out such a second coronation as the northern tribes contemplated was Jerusalem, the metropolis of the entire kingdom, just as when they had acknowledged David's sovereignty (2 Samuel 5:1) they came to Hebron, at that time the capital of Judah. Besides, Rehoboam had already been crowned at Jerusalem, and in that act the northern tribes should have taken part. That they stood aloof and claimed for themselves a right of either acquiescing in or repudiating the sovereignty of Rehoboam shows, if not that they still had a right of free election to the crown, at least that their fusion with Judah was not so complete as, after seventy-three years, it might have been. Their intention, probably, was to acknowledge Rehoboam as king, but at the same time to assert their freedom by insisting on his compliance with certain demands and conditions. Hence they abstained from the national gathering at Jerusalem, and summoned Rehoboam to a new assembly at Shechem to receive their fealty as if they were a separate empire. "It was a significant hint to Rehoboam, if he had properly understood it" (Ewald).

III. THE GIVERS OF THE CROWN. All Israel The ten tribes as distinguished from Judah and Benjamin, which had already taken the oath of allegiance to the son of Solomon (2 Chronicles 9:31). The northern tribes, from the time of David's accession to the throne of Saul (2 Samuel 2:4), when they adhered to the sceptre of Ishbosheth, Saul's son (2 Samuel 2:10), had asserted a semi-national independence; this again, after having lain in abeyance for the greater part of a century, suddenly flamed up, and gave ominous outlook of trouble to the young prince.


1. Kings' crowns oftentimes conceal thorns.

2. Those thrones are stablest which rest on the free choice and affection of subjects.

3. Those peoples are best ruled whose sovereigns by their lives show they have been enthroned by God. - W.


1. His name. Jeroboam, "whose people are many;" the son of Nebat. His father was an Ephrathite of Zareda, in Ephraim; his mother a widow (1 Kings 11:26) - which may mean either that he had been born in unlawful wedlock (LXX.), or that his father had died while he was young, leaving him to be brought up by his widowed mother (Josephus).

2. His character. Courageous and industrious, "a mighty man of valour" (Judges 6:12; Judges 11:1), and a man that did work (Proverbs 22:29) - two qualities befitting youth, and almost certain to bring temporal success in their train; two qualities that should never be absent from Christians, who are specially commanded to "add to their faith virtue, or courage" (2 Peter 1:5), and to "be not slothful in business" (Romans 12:10).

3. His promotion. Just when Jeroboam came to manhood, Solomon was engaged in building Millo, and closing up the breach in the city of David (1 Kings 9:15). For these purposes Solomon raised a levy of workmen, not of the Hittites, Amorites, etc. (2 Chronicles 8:7), but of Israelites, who worked by courses of ten thousand a month (1 Kings 5:13; 1 Kings 9:15); or imposed certain burdens in connection with those works which required to be borne by the Israelites. Discerning Jeroboam to be a capable youth, of spirit and energy, Solomon appointed him overseer or governor of all those Israelites employed in or about the works who belonged to the house of Joseph, i.e. who were Ephraimites.

4. His incipient rebellion. Serving in this office, he began to commune with his own thoughts about raising a revolt. Either as an Ephraimite he felt humiliated at being obliged to work in the capital of Judah, or being a youth of aspiring mind he was not content with the elevation suddenly thrust upon him, and wished to climb higher; but in any case, when the "mood" was on him, an incident occurred which, chiming in as it did with his own aspirations, pricked the sides of his intent, and bore him onwards in his dangerous career of ambition. That incident was his meeting with Ahijah the Shilonite, who told him that Jehovah intended to wrest ten tribes from the Davidic kingdom and give them to him, Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:29). A perilous communication for a youth like Jeroboam to carry about with him! Josephus states that it prompted him "to persuade the people to forsake Solomon, to make a disturbance, and to bring the government over to himself" ('Ant.,' 8:7.8).

5. His precipitate flight. His treason having come to the king's knowledge, he was obliged to save himself from well-merited execution by suddenly withdrawing from the land, and seeking refuge in Egypt under the sceptre of Shishak (see on 2 Chronicles 12:2).


1. Its date. When Solomon was dead. A king's life is sometimes a kingdom's best bulwark against revolution. So long as Solomon lived, insurrection under Jeroboam was impracticable. Yet a king's life may be the greatest barrier to the progress of a good work. Moses could not return to Egypt to resume his emancipation work until Rameses II. was dead (Exodus 2:23). Joseph could not return from Egypt with Mary and Jesus until Herod was dead (Matthew 2:19).

2. Its occasion. The invitation of the northern tribes (ver. 3). This, addressed to Jeroboam while at the court of Shishak (1 Kings 12:2; Josephus, ' Ant.,' 8:8. 1), was probably the medium through which he learnt of Solomon's decease. Not necessary to hold. that it was only despatched to Jeroboam after the tribes had assembled at Shechem (Bahr), since it may easily have been sent immediately on Solomon's death, between which event and the gathering at Shechem twelve months intervened. Jeroboam, however, is commonly supposed (Bertheau, Bahr) to have returned from Egypt ex proprio motu, and to have been residing with his wife and child at Zareda or Sarira, when summoned to Shechem. The suggestion (Keil) is probably correct that two invitations were addressed to Jeroboam - the first while he was yet in Egypt, to return to his native land; the second while he lingered at Zareda, to come to Shechem.

3. Its object. Whether of his own accord, or in obedience to the summons of the tribes, Jeroboam returned from Egypt; his ulterior aim, there can be little question, was to further his own ambitious projects.


1. The value to a young man of energy and talent.

2. The danger as well as sin of harbouring ambitious thoughts.

3. The hatefulness of treachery.

4. The possibility of a wicked man's schemes furthering God's designs. - W.


1. A public grievance stated. The northern tribes, through Jeroboam, complained to Rehoboam that Solomon had made their yoke grievous. Whether this was tree or not has been much debated.

(1) That it was largely used as a pretext to justify their subsequent behaviour is not without support. In the first place, it was put forward by tribes already disaffected, and through the medium of one who had formerly shown himself a traitor. Then, that Solomon, in making a levy of his subjects for carrying on his numerous buildings, was only acting in accordance with the custom of Oriental monarchs generally from Egypt to Babylon, must be conceded. Besides, it may be assumed that no more oppressive tasks were laid on the northern than on the southern tribes, from none of which complaint was heard. Further, if heavier burdens than before were placed upon the people by Solomon, that was largely inevitable from the magnificence of his court and the extensive building operations demanded by the safety as well as glory of the kingdom. And finally, if the people were heavily burdened under Solomon, they still enjoyed considerable advantages of peace and prosperity.

(2) In support of the assertion made by the tribes, attention may be called to the facts that neither Rehoboam nor his counsellors denied, but rather both undisguisedly admitted, its truth (ver. 11); that the complaint was not that of the house of Joseph alone, but of "all Israel;" and that the circumstance of Judah and. Benjamin refusing to back it up is not sufficient to demonstrate its falsehood.

2. A measure of relief demanded. "Make the heavy yoke of thy father lighter." Not only was this reasonable, but it should, have been a point in their favour, that they sought redress for their grievance by the peaceful method of conference rather than by immediately resorting to the sword. Instead, however, of granting their request, Rehoboam temporized, put them off, asked for three days to consider the matter, promising at the end of that time to give them a definite and final answer. Never before had there been in Israel's history such a critical "three days," unless, perhaps, "the three days'" start on leaving Egypt (Exodus 8:27, 28), or the three days' preparation for the conquest (Joshua 1:11). The issue of this "three days'" deliberation on the part of Rehoboam was momentous. According as it should be should likewise be the after-course of history, not for Israel alone, but for the world, Almost always dangerous, delay was in this case disastrous.


1. The king's aged advisers. It argued some sense on the part of Rehoboam that he first solicited advice from the experienced statesmen of the kingdom, and the privy councillors of his late father - perhaps for a moment he was of opinion that "days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom" (Job 32:7); it proved him possessed of little sense that he closed his ears against their prudent suggestions (Proverbs 23:9).

2. The king's best course. "The accumulated wisdom of the Solomonic era recommended concession, The old councillors gave just such advice as might have been found in the Book of Proverbs" (Stanley). They advised acquiescence in the popular demand. They urged the king to win the people by kindness. The beautiful antithesis of the Book of Kings, "If thou wilt be a servant unto this people, and wilt save them... then they will be thy servants for ever" (1 Kings 12:7), is here awanting, but the sentiment is the same. The aged senators believed that kindness held the key to the human heart, and that "a soft answer turneth away wrath" (Proverbs 15:1; Proverbs 25:15) as much in nations as in individuals; they knew that one must often stoop to conquer, and that he who would be served by others should ever exhibit a readiness to serve others (Matthew 7:12); nay, that the true function of a king is to serve his people - a thought happily expressed by the Ich dien of the Prince of Wales's crest.

3. The king's consummate folly. "He forsook the counsel of the old men." Had he not been a fool, for whom wisdom is too high (Proverbs 24:7), in whose eyes his own way is always right (Proverbs 12:15), and who, as a consequence, walketh in darkness (Ecclesiastes 2:14), he might have discerned that the situation was critical, that rebellion was in the air, and that the old experienced statesmen of the last reign were the only pilots competent to steer the ship of state through the breakers. Unlike the men of Issachar, who were men that had "understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do" (1 Chronicles 12:32), Rehoboam was "a strong ass" (Genesis 49:14), impatient of control and incapable of guiding either himself or others. Some men never see the right thing to do until it is too late.


1. Its proposers. "The young men that were grown up with him" - either the statesmen of the new reign whom Rehoboam had appointed from among his own companions, or young courtiers who had danced attendance on his person while heir-apparent to the crown, and now clung to the steps of the throne in the hope of preferment. Though afterwards spoken of as young (2 Chronicles 13:7), Rehoboam was at this time over forty years of age.

2. Its proposals. Not concession, but coercion, should be the order of the day. Their complaints should be silenced, not removed. Their appeal for lighter service should be answered by a heavier yoke. For Solomon's whips they should have Rehoboam's scorpions. Other rulers besides Rehoboam have tried to still the complaints of their subjects by more and heavier oppression; e.g. Pharaoh (Exodus 5:15-19), and the Stuarts of England, not to mention others.

3. Its pursuance. Rehoboam hearkened to the counsel of the young men, and at the close of the stipulated three days answered Jeroboam and his co-deputies "roughly," in the terms put into his mouth by his hot-headed advisers. "It was the speech of a despotic tyrant, not of a shepherd and ruler appointed by God over his people" (Keil). It undid in a moment the work of centuries. It shattered the kingdom which David's sword and Solomon's wisdom had built.


1. The Divine purpose. The division of the kingdom. Foretold by Ahijah (1 Kings 11:31), the hour had struck for its accomplishment. Jehovah doeth according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth (Daniel 4:35). Yet all the free actions of men have their places in his world-embracing plan. Man's actions may seem contingent; God's purposes are not. What he determines he can effect.

2. The Divine instrumentality. The foolishness of Rehoboam. Not that Rehoboam was under any internal or supernatural compulsion to act as he did any more than were Pharaoh (Exodus 14:4; Romans 9:17) and Judas (Matthew 26:25) to act as they did. Simply, Jehovah decreed to permit Rehoboam's folly as a means of furthering his own designs. Divine sovereignty and human freedom not contradictory, though mysterious.


1. With popular enthusiasm. "All Israel," with the exception of those members of the northern kingdom who dwelt in Judaean cities, joined in the cry, "What portion have we in David," etc.? The unanimity of the movement showed that it was not without ground.

2. With fierce indignation. The cry which had once before been heard in Israel (2 Samuel 20:1) expressed the people's sense of wrong in being cast off by Rehoboam, treated no longer as free subjects, but as conquered slaves. It proclaimed the deep-seated contempt they now cherished for the son of Jesse, as they now designate the dynasty of David.

3. With implacable resentment. "Struck by the king's words as by an iron hammer, and grieved at them," the people rejected his friendly overtures for reconciliation conveyed through Hadoram. If this was the son of David's tribute officer (2 Samuel 20:24), he must have been at this time an old man about eighty. Hence he was probably the Adoniram, son of Abda, who was over the levy (1 Kings 4:6). Though not likely that he advanced towards the people with a small force as if to enforce submission (Bertheau, Ewald), but rather that he approached them alone (Josephus), a more unfortunate selection of one to act as ambassador could scarcely have been made. Most likely one of the older counsellors who recommended moderation, Hadoram was yet the man who was "over the tribute," i.e. was the tax-collector of Rehoboam, and as such could hardly fail to be obnoxious to the angry multitude. Regarding him as an enemy, they sprang upon him with murderous fury: "they stoned him with stones till he died," thus inflicting on him a death usually reserved for traitors and blasphemers. This was the one dark spot which marked what would otherwise have been a bloodless revolution.

4. With final decision. The murder of his plenipotentiary convinced Rehoboam that the opportunity for parley was over, that fair speeches would no longer suffice to quell the insurrection, and that the revolt of Israel was an accomplished, most likely a permanent, fact. Mounting his chariot in haste, and with alarm for his safety, the king who had come to Shechem to obtain a crown returned to Jerusalem, having lost a kingdom.


1. The danger of oppression (Ecclesiastes 7:7).

2. "In the multitude of counsellors is safety" (Proverbs 11:14), only when all are wise (Proverbs 12:5), and he who is counselled is not a fool (Proverbs 12:15).

3. He that hesitates is lost - exemplified in the case of Rehoboam.

4. The rashness of youth - shown in the second company of the king's advisers.

5. Quem dens vult perdere prius dementat.

6. "Better is a wise child than a foolish king" (Ecclesiastes 4:13).

7. Good men often suffer for the sins of others, and even lose their lives when working for the good of others - illustrated in Hadoram.

8. Wicked men would often like to flee from the sight, and much more from the consequences, of their own wickedness. - W.

We have here -

I. THE LEGACY OF BRILLIANCE. "Thy father made our yoke grievous" (ver. 4). No man ever had a nobler opportunity than Solomon had. His father handed to him a united nation, a country whose enemies were subdued, the kindly and helpful shadow of a great name and a beloved disposition and an illustrious career. He was endowed by God with great talent and surpassing wealth. He had before him an object of honourable ambition, which would be acceptable to Heaven and gratifying to his subjects. But, instead of pursuing the path of usefulness and the prize of a people's gratitude, he aimed at overwhelming splendour. And what did he gain by his pursuit? Forty years of selfish gratification, not undimmed (we may be sure) by many cares, disappointments, difficulties, in his home (or harem) and in his court; and when he died he left a kingdom less compact, a dynasty less secure than he found when he took the reins of government from his father David. All his brilliance ended in a popular sense of injury, in a general consciousness that the people had been weighted with needlessly heavy burdens, with a store of suppressed popular discontent ready to burst out and blaze forth at the first opportunity. Brilliance is a very fascinating thing, whether it be on the throne or in parliamentary government, or in the courts of law, or in business, or in the school. But what is its end? To what issues does it lead? Usually it conducts to poverty, to serious error, to discomfiture, often to a catastrophe. But, where brilliance breaks down and is ruined, steady and conscientious faithfulness, under the guidance of heavenly wisdom, will succeed - will lead on to a real enrichment, to a lasting safety, to an honour that may be accepted and enjoyed.

II. THE WISDOM OF CONTEMPLATION AND CONSULTATION. "He said... Come again unto me after three days And he took counsel" (vers. 5, 6). It is, indeed, true that no good ultimately came of this delay and this consultation. But that was because Rehoboam consulted the wrong men. He did well in asking for time and in appealing to others at this critical juncture. Supposing that this demand took him by surprise, nothing would have been more foolish than to have given a reply offhand. A remonstrance is very likely to excite anger in the first instance, and no wise man will come to an important decision when he is out of temper. It is in the hour of complete self-control that we should settle grave matters affecting our destiny. Moreover, we do well to take the judgment of others. It was due to the nation that his father's wise statesmen should be asked for their advice in a great national crisis. It was due to himself that his inexperience should secure the inestimable advantage of their ripe sagacity. It is always due to ourselves that we get the additional light which can be gained from an impartial judgment. No man can possibly look at his own affairs in a perfectly pure atmosphere; no man can take an entirely unbiassed view of his own temporal interests. Men who look from outside see what we cannot possibly see, and their counsel is sure to be worth our consideration. "The physician who prescribes for himself, or the lawyer who advises himself, has a fool for his patient or for his client." This saying will hold good in every department of human action. Take time for thought, and invite the frank and full counsel of your true friends.


1. They who have had an opportunity of knowing. The young men whom Rehoboam consulted could have given him very good advice on some subjects, on those that belonged to their period of life - athletics, fashions, etc.; but of statesmanship what could they tell? We should take care to consult those who know, who have learned in the best schools.

2. They who give us frank rather than palatable counsel; who will tell us what they believe to be for the best, rather than that which will humour our own fancies.

3. They whose counsel makes for peace rather than for strife. There are times when the wisest will be for war, but in nine cases out of ten the true Christian advocate will urge conciliation and concord. - C.

For the son of Solomon and the grandson of David to meet the tribes of Israel in solemn assembly, and, after holding conference with them, to have his officer and ambassador scornfully stoned to death, and then to betake himself to his chariot with all speed and flee to Jerusalem, - this was a pitiable illustration of human ignominy. We Almost pity the abject prince for his misery as much as we blame him for his folly.

I. THE SOURCE OF IGNOMINY. What is it that brings men down to such dishonour? It is:

1. When they assume a position to which they are not entitled; when they take a higher place than they can fairly claim, and the "more honourable man" comes in to supplant them, and they "begin with shame to take the lower place" (Luke 14:9). An assumption of social or literary or ecclesiastical superiority, unwarranted by the facts, must sooner or later end in an ignominious surrender.

2. When they undertake a task for which they are unfitted. The son of Gideon wisely shrank from the act of execution for which his immaturity rendered him unfitted. "As the man is, so is his strength," said he. Youth must not undertake the task of manhood, nor ignorance that of learning, nor inexperience that of trained and proved ability, nor mental feebleness that of intellectual vigour, nor moral frailty that of spiritual strength. Else it will sustain an ignominious fall.

3. When they adopt a course which should have been scrupulously avoided. What could have been the result of such insensate folly as that of which Rehoboam had just been guilty but this ignominious flight? When his far stronger father had incensed the citizens by heavy and burdensome taxation, what a ruinous mistake it was for him to declare that he would go even further than Solomon himself had gone in this direction! To take a course which conflicts with men's natural rights, or which kindles their just indignation, or which wounds their keen susceptibilities, is to invite dishonour to our door; it is to robe our own shoulders with the mantle of shame.

4. When we credit ourself with a character which we have not gained; when we assume that we are in spirit and in principle what in truth we are not, that we have moral qualities which we really do not possess; - in this case, the dishonour that awaits us may come either in this world or the next.

(1) We may be found unable to resist the temptations which we encounter, and our lamentable failure may expose us to the rebuke and the condemnation of man (see Acts 5:1-11; Acts 13:13; Acts 15:38; 2 Timothy 4:10).

(2) We may find ourselves rejected and expelled on the great day of judgment (Matthew 6:21-23; Matthew 25:44, 45).

II. THE AVOIDANCE OF IGNOMINY. If we would not be put to shame by our fellow-men or by the Divine Judge, we must do these things:

1. Study until we know ourselves; examine our hearts until we know what is in them - what is the spirit we are of, what are the principles at the root of our behaviour.

2. Be content with the position and the work which our heavenly Father has assigned us (see Psalm 84:10; Psalm 131:1).

3. Make continual and earnest supplication that God will reveal us to ourselves (Psalm 19:12; Psalm 139:23, 24). Then, instead of an ignominious retreat, our path will be that of the just, shining more and more; we shall advance from honour to honour; God himself will crown us with his Divine commendation. - C.

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