Exposing Our Hearts
Today's Scripture: 2 Chronicles 11
And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam.1
2But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
3Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,
4Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this thing is done of me. And they obeyed the words of the LORD, and returned from going against Jeroboam.
5And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah.
6He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa,
7And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam,
8And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,
9And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah,
10And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities.
11And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine.
12And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.
13And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts.
14For 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:
15And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.
16And 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.
17So 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.
18And Rehoboam took him Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David to wife, and Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse;
19Which bare him children; Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham.
20And after her he took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.
21And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.)
22And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king.
23And he dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his children throughout all the countries of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fenced city: and he gave them victual in abundance. And he desired many wives.
Today's Scripture Meaning:
Rehoboam forbidden to war against Israel. (1-12) The priests and Levites find refuge in Judah. (13-23)
Verses 1-12: A few good words might have prevented the rebellion of Rehoboam's subjects; but all the force of his kingdom cannot bring them back. And it is in vain to contend with the purpose of God, when it is made known to us. Even those who are destitute of true faith, will at times pay some regard to the word of God, and be kept by it from wrong actions, to which they are prone by nature.
Verses 13-23: When the priests and Levites came to Jerusalem, the devout, pious Israelites followed them. Such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel, left the inheritance of their fathers, and went to Jerusalem, that they might have free access to the altar of God, and be out of the temptation to worship the calves. That is best for us, which is best for our souls; in all our choices, religious advantages must be sought before all outward conveniences. Where God's faithful priests are, his faithful people should be. And when it has been proved that we are willing to renounce our worldly interests, so far as we are called to do so for the sake of Christ and his gospel, we have good evidence that we are truly his disciples. And it is the interest of a nation to protect religion and religious people.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of 2 Chronicles with Chapter 11 and we see Israel and Judah are now 2 divided kingdoms. What catches my eye is how the Lord allowed the split of His chosen nation. Instead of removing Rehoboam as the driving force between the split the Lord allowed the hearts of the nation to be exposed. In the days to come we see a constant battle between worshiping pagan gods and the one true God. In making application we see a glimpse into why God may allow many divisions in families, Churches, and even nations today. To Expose Our Sinful Hearts. At the base of any division is a heart that is far from God. Until that heart is exposed it cannot come to a place of repentance. God does not force His Will on any of us, He has made a way for us to have our sins forgiven through Jesus-Christ but we must receive this free gift. It is a loving God that allows this to unfold. It is not His will that any of us should perish but all to come to repentance. How about you? Have you been involved in a division between you and others? Let us learn from our text today to see the Lord allows division in our lives to to expose the hearts involved so all can come to repentance.