And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him.
2 Chronicles 12:8
The history of life is made up of different services. Every man serves something. "Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?"
I. In the service of the world you are always dealing with uncertainties. The things of God are sure and for ever. He who gives is the unchangeable Jehovah, who never recalls a gift, and all His gifts have in them eternity.
II. In the service of the world nothing ever thoroughly satisfies; nothing meets all the aspirations of a man. In God's service a man has just what his soul wants.
III. The Christian service of religion does not work up to get its great objects. It has them. It does not work for wages, for it has received what it wants as a gift. It works out a salvation which it has.
IV. The one service is a service of freedom, the other of bondage. It is bondage to serve where there is no affection. It is bondage to work for what you can get, and not even to be sure that you shall ever get it. But to feel that you are your Father's child, that His eye is looking at you and His hand holding you while you work—that is liberty. It is the same service with that of those servants who serve Him indeed in heaven.
J. Vaughan, Sermons, 10th series, p. 93.
2 Chronicles 12:14Religion is not a matter that can be taken up in a loose, careless, slipshod manner. It claims the whole purpose and energy of the heart, and only then will it prove a blessing and a power in life, when a man makes it his first and supreme concern.
I. The first condition of a fixed heart is a sight of the Cross.
II. The next thing is to "look upon your broidered coat." I want a faultless righteousness to cover me. With no merits of my own to plead, I want the perfect obedience of another laid to my account.
III. In order to fix his heart, Bunyan's pilgrim looked also oftentimes into the roll which he carried in his bosom. Habitual study of the Scriptures is indispensable to a healthy condition of the soul.
IV. "When his thoughts waxed warm about whither he was going," that gave fixedness to Christian's heart. It could not do otherwise to one who was a pilgrim, passing through a strange land. If we were more mindful of our pilgrim state, we would think more of the better country.
J. Thain Davidson, Forewarned—Forearmed, p. 47.
These words contain, in a very short compass, a statement of our great duty in life, of the way in which alone it can be done, and of the certain consequence of neglecting it.
I. "To seek the Lord." This is the one duty of life. Not in the sense of an intellectual discovery; that is partly impossible and partly unnecessary. That which we can know is taught us; that which is not taught us we cannot know. The acquaintance with God which is the life and the glory of man is not an intellectual, but a personal, acquaintance. We must begin by feeling after God, as a man seeks in the dark for an object which he can only discern by touch. By degrees endeavour gives courage, and courage hope. The faith of the understanding passes into the faith of the heart.
II. The text reminds us that there is a condition, a requisite, for this search after God, without which it will fail. "He prepared not his heart to seek the Lord." A preparation of the heart is the condition of our search after God. To seek the Lord is a serious matter, in one sense a difficult and laborious matter; therefore the heart must be prepared, the mind made up, the cost counted beforehand, and the eye fixed steadfastly on an object, not of sight, but of faith.
III. The result. "He did evil," etc. Forgetfulness of God is itself sin. The state of a created being who has broken loose from the bonds of his Creator's love, who is indifferent to his Creator's honour, who is indisposed for his Creator's presence—this is a state of sin, a life of evil; this man has the mark of God's enemy upon his forehead, and shall be pronounced his servant in the day of the manifestation of the sons of God.
C, J. Vaughan, Harrow Sermons, 2nd series, p. 469.
Reference: 2 Chronicles 13:8, 2 Chronicles 13:12; 2 Chronicles 13:15—Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: Genesis to Proverbs, p. 96.
And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD,
With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians.
And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.
Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.
Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous.
And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore 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.
Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.
So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king's house.
And when the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber.
And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that he would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well.
So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.
And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.