Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 9 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 121
Read the “0519 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Read a previous post from this passage – “Not Happy Anymore”
“13 And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts. 14 For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest’s office unto the LORD: 15 And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made. 16 And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers. 17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon.” (2 Chronicles 11:13-17)
In today’s reading we see the wisdom and tremendous success of Solomon in chapter nine, which was even noticed by people from distanced lands such as the Queen of Sheba. Unfortunately, though Solomon started out very wisely, he chose to forsake the wisdom of God as he got older, and made a bunch of mistakes that affected the entire nation in a negative way. When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, took over the kingdom, the people of Israel were a little disgruntled because of the oppressive burdens that were put upon them by Solomon. In chapter ten, Rehoboam has an opportunity to correct some of the abuses brought on by his father, but he instead listened to the unwise counsel of his young friends and make the situation worse. As a result, the northern tribes of Israel split off from the kingdom and created their own kingdom to the north. So, now there are two kingdoms, Israel in the north, and Judah, in the south.
The biggest problem caused by this rift was that the people from the north were separated from the Temple, which was located in the southern kingdom of Judah. The new king of Israel, Jeroboam, did everything in his power to keep the people from the north from traveling down south to worship the Lord. He was afraid that if they went to Jerusalem to worship that they would be tempted to reunite with the southern kingdom. He even set up two golden calves in the northern kingdom so that people could have something to worship. Unfortunately for him, many of the people living within his kingdom were never going to accept a false worship system; they were going to continue seeking and serving the Lord (v. 16).
The Levites who were not part of the tribe of Judah and lived throughout the northern kingdom, moved south to be near the Temple. And also many people, common people from every tribe who were not full-time ministers for the Lord, moved south as well. Some of them probably left family and friends of a lifetime because of their love and devotion to the Lord. This was not a time of great spiritual revival; it was a time of war and division, a period where many were forsaking God and His Word, but there were some that were still seeking Him. There will always be a remnant of people who will choose the Lord over every other thing or person in their lives.
Elijah discovered this very same principle. He thought that he was the only one that loved the Lord. God reminded him that there were many others, a remnant that loved God and were faithful to Him.
“18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18)
It has always been a great encouragement to me when people show up, seemingly “out of the blue,” because they believe that the Lord wants them to be part of our ministry. Sometimes this happens when we are going through a spiritual slump as a church. I remember years ago, a man showed up at the church and told me after the service that God brought him there. He is still there and has been a tremendous blessing to me personally and also to the church. God always gives us what and who we need.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.