Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
2 Chronicles 11:18-23), here takes another turn in his varied course, and this time a decisive one; but we mark first -
I. THE GOOD WORK OF CONSOLIDATION. He "had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself." The reference is, principally though not perhaps exclusively, to the action chronicled in the previous chapter (vers. 5-12, 22, 23). When he found that it was not open to him to regain the seceded tribes by force of arms, he set himself, like a wise man, to secure the fraction that was left him. He may have consoled himself with the thought - which is not only a thought but a truth - that a small estate that is well governed and well kept is far better than a large one that is ill managed, and that, consequently, soon shows signs of feebleness and decline. Those three years of consolidation, spent in the service of Jehovah, and under the sanction of his priests and prophets, were years of real worth to the country, and probably of happiness to Rehoboam. In the conduct of our estate, whether that be some business in which we are engaged, or some institution or Church we are serving, or some character (another's or our own) that we are building up, we spend our time and our strength well in the work of "establishing and strengthening." In the supreme matter of human character we can hardly lay too much emphasis on this matter of consolidation. Character must be fortified by knowledge, by the understanding and the cordial acceptance of Christian principles, by exercise, by the nourishment and growth of a strong love for what is pure and true and generous, and by a hearty hatred of all that is corrupt and mean and false.
II. THE TEMPTATION OF SUPPOSED SECURITY. When Rehoboam had attained to a position in which he felt himself secure, then he relaxed his hold on his early convictions, he surrendered his trust in God, he abandoned the faith and practice of his fathers. While conscious of danger from without, be was glad to be able to look for help to the lower that was above, and he remained loyal to Jehovah; as soon as he felt or fancied himself secure within his ramparts, he flung away his spiritual support. Here we have guilt and folly in equal measure - guilt, for it was singularly ungrateful of him to forsake the God who had so clearly placed his dynasty on the throne, and impious of him to turn from the worship of him whom he believed to be the one true and living God; folly, for he might have known that his material defences would avail him nothing if the anger of the Lord was enkindled and the hand of the Lord directed against him. Supposed security is a strong temptation.
1. When we believe ourselves to be possessed of a sufficiency of material treasure, we think we can afford to be independent of the aid of the Divine provision.
2. When we think we have surrounded ourselves with all needful sources of earthly and human joy, we are apt to think we can dispense with the consolations and the satisfactions which are in Jesus Christ; when we have attained to some strength of mind and of will, to some measure of maturity, we are tempted to suppose that there is less necessity, if any at all, to look upward for Divine support, to lean on the Divine arm. To yield to this temptation is to err sadly, to sin grievously.
(1) To err sadly; for we shall find that no defences or securities that are of earth or that are of man will avail us against all the difficulties and hazards that are around and against us, without the aid of an almighty arm; and the end will be failure and dishonour.
(2) To sin grievously; for God is demanding of us, in terms we cannot fail to understand and with a frequency we cannot fail to mark, that we should put our trust in him, and not in man; in him, and not in ourselves; in him, and not in "the chariots and horses" of this world.
III. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HIGH POSITION. Rehoboam "forsook the Law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. His people were not unaccountable for following him, but how weighty was his responsibility for leading them astray! - C.
I. EARLY IN ITS COMMENCEMENT. After the three years already mentioned (2 Chronicles 11:17). Rehoboam's piety was short-lived, like the morning cloud and early dew (Hosea 6:4), and like the seed upon stony ground (Matthew 13:5). Want of stability and permanence is a chief defect in man's goodness. Many begin well who neither continue long nor end aright.
II. PRESUMPTUOUS IN ITS SPIRIT. Rehoboam's declension began after he had established the kingdom and strengthened himself. His fit of reforming zeal continued no longer than the fear which caused it. When this expired that vanished. So long as the country was defenceless, Rehoboam deemed it prudent to have Jehovah on his side, and with that end in view he patronized Jehovah's altars. The moment his garrisons were erected, manned, and stored, he began to reckon that Jehovah's aid was not so indispensable, and that his reforming zeal need not be so extremely hot. So men still think of God, and assume a semblance of religion when they feel themselves in peril, but the instant peril passes they doff the cloak of piety they have erstwhile worn - like Pharaoh (Exodus 8:8, 15; Exodus 9:27, 34), like the Israelites (Numbers 21:7; Numbers 25:1; Psalm 78:31; Psalm 106:6), like Ahab (1 Kings 21:29), and others.
III. THOROUGH-GOING IS ITS CHARACTER.
1. Negative. He forsook the Law of the Lord, probably by violating its moral precepts and discontinuing its ceremonial rites, by abandoning the worship and deserting the altars of Jehovah.
2. Positive. He returned to the heathen idolatries which for three years he had neglected (1 Kings 11:7, 8), like a dog to his vomit, etc. (2 Peter 2:22). So a merely negative declension in religion is impossible. He who abandons the service of God cannot stop short of serving the devil. No man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24); but every man must serve one.
IV. CONTAGIOUS IN ITS INFLUENCE. As Achan perished not alone in his iniquity (Joshua 22:20), so Rehoboam sinned not alone in his apostasy, but by means of his royal example or command drew all Israel after him. "One sinner destroyeth much good" (Ecclesiastes 9:18); "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (1 Corinthians 5:6). One asks, where were the priests and Levites who had so bravely, resisted the profanations of Jeroboam, and rather sacrificed their suburbs and possessions than defile their consciences (2 Chronicles 11:14)? and where were the pious Israelites who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel (2 Chronicles 11:16)? In one short year their fervour had been quenched, their fidelity shaken, their courage damped.
V. DISASTROUS IN ITS CONSEQUENCE. "Evil pursueth sinners" (Proverbs 13:21), and in two years Nemesis overtook Rehoboam in the shape of an Egyptian invasion. Of all sinners it is true, "their feet shall slide in due time" (Deuteronomy 32:35); of apostates it is written, "I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord" (Ezekiel 11:21). Learn:
1. The sin of apostasy.
2. The danger of prosperity.
3. The impossibility of neutrality.
4. The fickleness of crowds in religion as in politics.
5. The corrupting influence of evil example.
6. The certainty of retribution. - W.
I. AS EXPERIENCED BY THE KING OF JUDAH. First of all, following fast on his transgression, came:
1. Divine displeasure and humiliating defeat. There came in to his palace-gates the stern spokesman for God, the prophet of Jehovah, with the language of cutting censure on his lips, "Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, therefore have I also left you," etc. (ver. 5); and with this anger of the Lord came disgraceful defeat on the field of battle. Those strong places he had so carefully fortified, of which he was so proud, and on which he so much relied, went down one after the other at the approach of the enemy, and left the capital at his mercy (vers. 3, 4). Then came:
2. Spiritual agitation. Shame, fear, confession. Rehoboam was ashamed of his great folly; he was afraid for the safety of Jerusalem, and even for his own liberty or life; he made a humble confession of his sin. He and his princes "humbled themselves" before God (ver. 6). And then came:
3. The Divine clemency.
(1) God took him back into his forgiving favour (ver. 7). "The wrath of the Lord turned from him" (ver. 12).
(2) He promised him deliverance in a short time, and he graciously fulfilled his word; for Shishak went back without destroying or sacking the capital, and without taking the life or liberty of the king.
(3) His mercy included discipline. God let Rehoboam be subject to the Egyptian king for a while that he might know the difference between a degrading servitude and an ennobling service (see next homily); and he suffered Jerusalem to be stripped of some of its proud treasures, that the king and his princes might learn that their strength and wealth were as nothing in comparison with the favour of God, and would be forfeited by their disobedience and disloyalty. God's mercy was of such a kind as to justify repentance, but to discourage rebellion and wrong-doing.
II. IN OUR OWN EXPERIENCE. Following our sin against the Lord, whether this be some special act of transgression, or whether it be the condition of estrangement and separation from him, is:
1. The Divine rebuke. This comes to our heart through the written or uttered Word of God, or through the pricking and piercing of our own conscience, or through the coming of God to the individual soul by his Divine providence. In some form or other God says to us, "Thou hast sinned, and done evil m my sight."
2. Spiritual agitation and return. Our heart is humbled; we are conscious that we have violated the Law and grieved the Spirit of God, and our soul is filled with a holy and a manly shame. And then our heart turns toward God; we "set our hearts to seek the Lord God," our Father and our Saviour and our Friend; we earnestly desire to be taken into his service. And then comes:
3. Divine forgiveness. God receives us fully into his favour; he takes us back to his heart and to his home, so that we are no longer aliens or enemies, but children at his hearth and table. Yet he makes us to know that our past sin has left some of its marks behind it. It has robbed us of some treasure; it has injured us, perhaps in our circumstances; certainly in our soul. We cannot break his righteous Law, we cannot oppose his holy and loving will, we cannot violate the laws of our own spiritual nature, without being something the poorer for our folly and our guilt. Nevertheless, the capital is not taken, the enemy withdraws; we have left us our liberty, and our power to serve the righteous and the loving Saviour. - C.
I. THE INVADER. Shishak King of Egypt, the Sesonchis of Manetho, the Shashanq I. of the monuments (s.c. 966). Originally the son of an Assyrian king named Nimrod, "who had met his death in Egypt and been buried at Abydos," Shashanq I. of the twenty-second dynasty established his seat of royalty at Bubastis, in Lower Egypt (Brugsch, 'Egypt under the Pharaohs,' 2:215, 216; Ebers, in Riehm's 'Handworterbuch,' art. "Sisak;" 'Records of the Past,' 12:93). His mother's name was Tentespeh, his wife's Tahpenes (1 Kings 11:19). One of his wife's sisters married Hadad the Edomite; another became the wife of Jeroboam (Stanley, 'Jewish Church,' 2:275; Ewald, 'History of Israel,' 3:217; 4:32).
II. THE ARMY.
1. Chariots. In ancient times a common instrument of war (Exodus 14:9; 2 Samuel 15:1; 1 Kings 20:1). Shishak had twelve hundred, or twice the number of Pharaoh's chosen chariots in the time of Moses (Exodus 14:7). The Philistines once collected against Israel thirty thousand (1 Samuel 13:5). Solomon had fourteen hundred (1 Kings 10:26), Rehoboam likely not so many in consequence of the disruption of the kingdom.
2. Horsemen. Sixty thousand; five times as many as had belonged to Solomon (1 Kings 4:26), and twelve times as many as the Philistines had brought against Israel (1 Samuel 13:5). Forty thousand mounted warriors once fell before David's troops (2 Samuel 10:18).
3. Infantry. Without number, composed of native forces and mercenaries or foreign troops - Lubims, Sukkims, and Ethiopians.
(1) The Lubims, or Libyans (2 Chronicles 16:8; Daniel 11:43), the Lehabim of Genesis 10:13, the Temhu, or Tehennu, or more accurately the eastern portion of this people, the Lubu of the monuments (Ebers, 'Egypt and the Books of Moses,' p. 104), were the inhabitants of the districts of Marcotis and Libya west of the Canopic arm of the Nile (Knobel), or in the larger sense the Liby-AEgyptii of the ancients (Keil), the people dwelling between Lower Egypt and the Roman province of Africa (Kautzsch in Riehm, art. "Libyer").
(2) The Sukkim were aborigines of Africa, "cavemen," troglodytes (LXX., Vulgate), "probably the Ethiopian troglodytes upon the mountains on the west coast of the Arabian Gulf" (Bertheau), whom Strabo and Pliny mention, the latter speaking of a troglodyte city Suche, which has been identified with Suakim (Kautzsch).
(3) The Ethiopians, or Cushites, introduced among the forces of Shishak (cf. Nab. 3:9) were drawn from the African territory south of Egypt.
III. THE REASON.
1. Shishak's. Perhaps to assist Jeroboam in his measures of hostility against Rehoboam, and eventually to secure the supremacy of Judah, possibly also of Israel as well.
2. Jehovah's. To punish Rehoboam and Judah for their apostasy. Though second causes need not be overlooked, they must not be permitted to obscure, far less to deny, the first. Had Rehoboam remained faithful to Jehovah, all the intrigues of Jeroboam would have failed to start Shishak on the extradition here reported.
IV. THE PROGRESS. Shishak captured all the fenced cities of Judah in which Rehoboam trusted (2 Chronicles 11:5-9), and encamped his army before the walls of Jerusalem. Vain, after all, had been Rehoboam's confidence. His garrisons and soldiers had yielded the first assault, The props on which men lean often prove broken reeds. The shelters to which sinners run in the day of calamity mostly turn out refuges of lies (Isaiah 28:17). Lessons.
1. The certainty of sin being sooner or later overtaken by retribution (Numbers 32:23).
2. The weakness of all defences, whether for nations or for individuals, when God is not within them (Psalm 127:1).
3. When God has a sinner to chastise he can easily find an instrument wherewith to do it (Isaiah 10:5). - W.
I. A MESSAGE OF WARNING. (Vers. 5, 6.)
1. By whom sent. Shemaiah the prophet, or man of God (2 Chronicles 11:2). When Jehovah has a message for any age, people, or individual, he can always find a messenger to bear it - a Moses to go to Pharaoh, a Samuel to speak to Saul, a Nathan to send to David, an Elijah or a Micaiah to warn Ahab, a John the Baptist to preach to Israel and testify against Herod. The hour never comes without the man. When a Paul or a Polycarp, an Athanasius or an Augustine, a Calvin or a Luther, a Knox or a Wesley, is needed in the New Testament Church, he appears at the moment when most required.
2. To whom addressed. To Rehoboam and the princes of Judah whom Shishak's invasion had caused to convene in Jerusalem. They had come together to consult about the safety of the capital; they had not called Jehovah to the council. They had not realized that in such a crisis as had arisen "vain was the help of man," and "through God alone could they do valiantly" (Psalm 60:11, 12); that unless God kept the city, they the watchers would watch in vain (Psalm 127:1). Yet they seem to have discerned that their best efforts would prove ineffectual, and they were filled with fear. Happily Jehovah thought of them, though they forgat him.
3. In what terms it ran.
(1) It intimated a fact: "Ye have forsaken me." This showed that Jehovah had been cognizant of all that had taken place since Rehoboam got his garrisons erected, had witnessed the idolatries and unspeakable abominations of the faithless king and his coward princes, though perhaps they had reasoned that, as God was in the height of heaven, he could not know what transpired upon the earth (Job 22:12-14). But though they had not seen him, he had observed them (Proverbs 15:3; Amos 9:8).
(2) It announced a consequence: "Therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak." Thus did Jehovah signify that it was he himself even more than Shishak that had come up against Rehoboam and his princes; Shishak had not appeared before their gates without his permission; and without his assistance nothing they could do would prevent them falling into Shishak's hand. Jehovah, indeed, could avert that calamity. He could put a hook into Shishak's nose and lead him back by the way he came, as he afterwards did to Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:28; Isaiah 37:29); but in the mean time, as they had left him for the calves of Egypt, he had left them to be the prey of Egypt's lord.
4. What effect it produced.
(1) Contrition, or at least seeming contrition: "They humbled themselves." To be sure, their penitence, like their previous reformation, was only skin deep. Nevertheless, it had the semblance of reality, and God accepted it as such.
(2) Confession: "They said, The Lord is righteous," i.e. in punishing them as he had done; in which was implied an acknowledgment that they had sinned. This the design of all God's chastisements, whether national or individual, to excite personal humiliation and hearty recognition of the holiness and justice of God (Deuteronomy 8:5, 16; Ezekiel 20:37, 43; Hosea 5:15). Only confession may be on the lip where no real contrition is in the heart.
II. A MESSAGE OF MERCY. (Vers. 7, 8.)
1. Its occasion. The success of the first message in the (at least seeming) penitence of the king and his princes. "God speaketh once, yea twice (Job 33:14), to men, even to his people, who often fail to understand his first voice (1 Samuel 3:4; Daniel 12:8; Mark 9:32; John 11:13), or understand but refuse to hear (Isaiah 65:12), though occasionally also they listen and submit (Jonah 3:5). In the first case, his second speaking may be nothing more than a repetition of the first, or an explanation of its contents; in the second, it commonly assumes the form of increased warnings and severer threatenings; in the thirds it is usually a voice of mercy following on a voice of judgment. It was so with Rehoboam and the princes of Judah.
2. Its contents.
(1) Their humiliation had been observed and accepted: "They have humbled themselves." So God still sees and regards with favour all who abase themselves before him (Jeremiah 31:18; Psalm 9:12; Psalm 10:17; 1 Kings 21:29).
(2) A degree, at least, of clemency would be extended towards them: "I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and. my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak." So God delights to meet the first advances of returning penitents with such foretastes of mercy as will lure them on to desire its full fruition.
(3) Nevertheless, a measure of correction would be laid upon them. Though Shishak should not be suffered to work his will either upon them or their city, they would, nevertheless, fall into his hand. They' should be his servants, either as captives or as tributaries; and would learn the difference between Jehovah's rule and the domination of foreign kings. So God still deals with his people - forgives them, but permits them to reap the temporal fruits of their transgression, that they may know what an evil and bitter thing it is to forsake God (Jeremiah 2:19), and how much more easy is Christ's yoke (Matthew 11:29, 30) than that of sin (Lamentations 1:14). Learn:
1. The omniscience of God: "All things are naked," etc. (Hebrews 4:13),
2. God's compact with the soul: "The Lord is with us," etc. (ch. 15:2).
4. The misery of sin: it ever entails sorrow (Psalm 32:10).
shall be servants to him [for a short time], that they may discern my service and the service of the kingdoms of the lands; i.e. that they may see that my rule is not so oppressive as that of foreign kings (Keil). God would let Rehoboam and the princes of Judah be for a time subject to Shishak - be in his power, be at his mercy, be compelled to go through the miserable humiliation of buying him off - that he might be able to contrast the honourable and happy service which he had known for three years (2 Chronicles 11:17) with the unendurable subjection to which he was now reduced. He should feel and know that the way of transgressors is hard; that between the bonds of the Lord and the yoke of the stranger there was all the difference between blessedness and misery, between a holy service and a degrading servitude.
I. THE DEGRADING SERVITUDE. "Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants [or, 'slaves'] ye are to whom ye obey?" "Ye were the servants [slaves] of sin; ... Being made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:16-18).
1. Sin is a foreign power. It is a stranger; it is an interloper; it has stepped in between ourselves and God; it is like the Egyptian forces that came up against Judah and Jerusalem, and sought to bring the people of God into captivity. Sin is our natural enemy, whom we have greatest reason to dread.
2. Sin proves a hard master, and forces to a cruel bondage. It is the ultimate source of poverty, and that is a hard master; it leads to vice, and that holds its victims in the most degrading thraldom; it throws around its subjects the coils of procrastination, and these hold the spirit in an evil circle from which it tries vainly to escape; it takes men further and further away from God, and leads them down to sources of satisfaction that are sure to fail and to end in disappointment and heart-ache; it is a sorry servitude in which to suffer; it is in very striking contrast to -
II. THE HOLY SERVICE OF THE SAVIOUR. TO recognize the claims of our Divine Father and Redeemer, to yield ourselves in glad self-surrender to him, to spend our days and powers in his service - what is this?
1. It is the one right thing to do. It is to be fulfilling the greatest and strongest of all obligations.
2. It is the path of true liberty. Every servant of a Divine Saviour can say and sing -
"In a service which thy love appoints 3. It is the secret and the source of lasting peace and of abiding joy. 4. It is the commencement of that life which is "life indeed," which is the beginning and foretaste of "eternal life" - the life which is of God, for God, with God, in God. - C.
3. It is the secret and the source of lasting peace and of abiding joy.
4. It is the commencement of that life which is "life indeed," which is the beginning and foretaste of "eternal life" - the life which is of God, for God, with God, in God. - C.
I. ITS HISTORIC CERTAINTY. That Shishak gradually drew his lines closer round the capital, and in the end stormed its citadel, has received confirmation from the monuments.
1. In the temple of Karnak, at Thebes, on the walls of which Soti I. and Rameses II. had by means of pictorial representations and hieroglyphic inscriptions preserved a record of their victories, Sheshonq, on returning from Palestine, caused a bas-relief to be executed in commemoration of his expedition.
2. On the south wall, behind the picture of the victories of Rameses II., to the east of the hall of the Bubastids, appears a colossal image of the Egyptian sovereign, arrayed in warlike costume and dealing heavy blows with a club or iron mace upon his captives, who are Jews or, at least, Asiatics, whom he grasps.by the hair of their heads.
3. In another representation he is depicted as leading captive a hundred and thirty-three cities or tribes, each one of which is personated by the figure of a chief whose name is written on an embattled shield, and whose physiognomy has been supposed (Lenormant) to declare them Jews, though this is probably imagination.
4. In the lists of names occur those of
(1) cities of Judah proper, as e.g. Adoraim (Adurma), Aijalon (Ajulon), Shoco (Shauke), Gibeon (Qebeana), etc;
(2) Levitical cities of Israel, as e.g. Taanach (Ta'ankau), Rehob (Rehabau), Mahanaim (Mahanema), etc.; and
(3) Canaanitish cities, as e.g. Bethshan (Beithshanlan), Megiddo (Makethu).
5. Among the names is one styled Judah-Malek; not "the King of Judah" (Stanley), but "the kingly Judah" (Ebers), or "Judah a kingdom' (Rawlinson), which is supposed to point to Jerusalem.
6. The conquered nations are designated as the "'Am of a distant land," and the Fenekh or the Phoenicians. The former expression, "'Am," answers exactly to the Hebrew word for "people," and may have been intended to denote the Jews (Brugsch, 'Egypt under the Pharaohs,' 2:215-219; Rawliuson, 'Egypt and Babylon,' 334-339; Ebers, in Riehm, art. "Sisak ").
II. ITS ACTUAL EXTENT. Whether Shishak ravaged the city is doubtful. The plundering reported suggests that he did (Bertheau, Keil), but, "like Hezekiah on the occasion of Sennacherib's invasion (2 Kings 18:13-16), Rehoboam may have surrendered his treasures (1 Kings 14:26) "to save his city from the horrors of capture" (Rawlinson). In any case, Shishak carried off valuable spoil.
1. The treasures of the temple, or house of the Lord, the sacred utensils employed in worship, which were then material, and the loss of which greatly hindered the observance of religion - a calamity which cannot now befall the Church of God in gospel times, since in Christian worship the outward ritual is nothing, but the inward spirit everything.
2. The treasures of the palace, or king's house in the city of David, i.e. the regalia or crown jewels, which are always more or less an object of desire to victorious generals and armies - a smaller calamity than the former, as the destruction of a nation's wealth is a lesser evil than the extinction or suppression of its religion.
3. The golden shields in the house of the forest of Lebanon (2 Chronicles 9:16), which Solomon had made, the LXX. (1 Kings 14:26) adding that he likewise carried off the golden armour David had taken as spoil from the King of Zobah (1 Chronicles 18:7) - the least calamity of the three, the shields being luxuries of which king or nation might be deprived without hurt, and the armour spoil of which either might be deprived without wrong.
III. ITS SPEEDY REPARATION.
1. The nation's loss concealed. Rehoboam covered up as far as he could the damage wrought, especially in his palace, by constructing shields of brass to take the place of those of gold which had been abstracted (see next homily).
2. The king's vanity soothed. He also endeavoured to heal his own wounded vanity, by causing these brazen shields to be borne before him in state procession every time he entered the temple. Just as they had done before with the golden shields, the guards fetched out their spurious substitutes with solemn pomp on every ceremonial day, and when the show was concluded replaced them in the guard-chamber, the spectators probably not being aware of the imposition.
1. The instability of earthly things. A greater king than Shishak will one day plunder kings and common men alike of their material possessions.
2. The facility with which men impose upon themselves, the efforts they make, and the stratagems they resort to, to prop up their fallen greatness or restore their faded glory. Solomon's weak and vain son not the only man who has made brass shields do duty for golden ones.
3. The historic credibility of Scripture. The Shishak invasion is not the only instance in which the monuments have surprisingly corroborated Bible history. - W.
I. A VIRTUE. To content one's self with shields of brass when shields of gold cannot be got. "Be content with such things as ye have" (Hebrews 13:5).
II. A HYPOCRISY. To pretend that brazen shields are golden, either:
1. To hide the truth, that our shields of gold have been stolen, lost, or never had an existence: "Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees," etc. (Luke 12:1, 2); or:
2. To keep up appearances, and so gratify our vanity by seeming richer or more socially exalted than we are: "Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes," etc, (Luke 20:46).
III. A SERMON
1. To such as serve God with brass when they should do so with gold - an exhortation to liberality.
2. To those who serve God with the appearance of gold when the inward reality is awanting - a discourse upon sincerity.
3. To them who would serve God with gold but have only brass - a promise of better days when Jehovah's word shall be fulfilled, "For brass I will bring gold" (Isaiah 60:17). - W.
I. A PENITENT MONARCH.
II. A MERCIFUL GOD.
III. A RESTRAINED ENEMY.
IV. A PROSPEROUS PEOPLE. - W.
I. HIS ANCESTRY.
1. The son of Solomon, the son of David. 2. The son of Naamah the Ammonitess, the daughter of Hanun the son of Nahash (2 Chronicles 10:1). II. HIS KINGDOM. 1. Its extent. Judah, with a portion of Benjamin. 2. Its capital. Jerusalem, the city of the great King. III. HIS REIGN. 1. The beginning of it. When he was forty years of age. 2. The length of it. Seventeen years; short in comparison with that of Solomon. 3. The character of it. (1) Vigorous: "he strengthened himself" (ver. 13). (2) Idolatrous: "he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord" (ver. 14). (3) Troubled: "there were wars continually between him and Jeroboam" (ver. 15). 4. The end of it. Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. IV. HIS ACTS. 1. All written. From first to last (ver. 15). What a calamity to any man it would be to have all his deeds recorded on the page of history! Yet first and last every action of every man is being engrossed upon the page of God's book of remembrance. 2. Where written? In the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and in that of Iddo concerning genealogies. A small honour compared to being written in the book of life. Not so serious a matter to have one's deeds inscribed upon a perishing page by a human biographer as to have them graven "as with a pen of iron in the rock for ever," by the hand of God's recording angel upon the tablets of eternity. V. HIS SUCCESSOR. 1. His name. Abijah, or Abijam (2 Chronicles 13:1). 2. His rotgut. In Rehoboam's stead. An honour to Rehoboam that he had a son like Abijah; a mercy to Judah that Abijah was better than his father. - W.
2. The son of Naamah the Ammonitess, the daughter of Hanun the son of Nahash (2 Chronicles 10:1).
II. HIS KINGDOM.
1. Its extent. Judah, with a portion of Benjamin.
2. Its capital. Jerusalem, the city of the great King.
III. HIS REIGN.
1. The beginning of it. When he was forty years of age.
2. The length of it. Seventeen years; short in comparison with that of Solomon.
3. The character of it.
(1) Vigorous: "he strengthened himself" (ver. 13).
(2) Idolatrous: "he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord" (ver. 14).
(3) Troubled: "there were wars continually between him and Jeroboam" (ver. 15).
4. The end of it. Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.
IV. HIS ACTS.
1. All written. From first to last (ver. 15). What a calamity to any man it would be to have all his deeds recorded on the page of history! Yet first and last every action of every man is being engrossed upon the page of God's book of remembrance.
2. Where written? In the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and in that of Iddo concerning genealogies. A small honour compared to being written in the book of life. Not so serious a matter to have one's deeds inscribed upon a perishing page by a human biographer as to have them graven "as with a pen of iron in the rock for ever," by the hand of God's recording angel upon the tablets of eternity.
V. HIS SUCCESSOR.
1. His name. Abijah, or Abijam (2 Chronicles 13:1).
2. His rotgut. In Rehoboam's stead. An honour to Rehoboam that he had a son like Abijah; a mercy to Judah that Abijah was better than his father. - W.