It is so easy to criticize someone, to comment on what someone is doing because we assume we can do better. Whether in the world or at church, we are always inclined to aspire for more than we can handle. My brother, my sister, it is important for us to look into the behaviours of the characters of the Bible to learn from them, adjust our own behaviours when necessary and mainly to learn from the Lord.
Rehoboam was Solomon’s son. He came to power after the death of his father. And, as we know, he inherited a mighty kingdom. So, everything he could ever want was given to him. Yet, Rehoboam did not recognize why he had so much or how it had been obtained, so he was negligent. My friend, when you don’t know how someone started something, don’t ever assume you can handle it better than them, especially with regards to the work of God… The Bible says, during Rehoboam’s reign, “Judah did evil in the eyes of the Lord. By the sins they committed they stirred up his jealous anger more than those who were before them had done” (verse 22). God became angry because people’s eyes were more on wealth, idols and immorality and no longer on Him or His principles. So, to teach Rehoboam a lesson, He allowed Shishak of Egypt to invade Judah and Israel. My friend, this is a time when Egypt was no longer strong enough to destroy Judah and Israel. But Shishak managed to weaken them.
Yes, just five years after Solomon died, the Temple and the palace were ransacked by invaders. How quickly the glory, power and money disappeared! So much that where Solomon had previously put gold shields, Rehoboam replaced them with bronze shields! We can imagine Solomon turning in his grave as they say in the world. My friend, this should teach us that when God is not in our lives, everything else is worthless and useless: wealth is worthless if it is achieved without God; marriage is worthless unless God is with us every day; children are worthless if God is not in their education, even if the parents are able to send them to the most expensive university in the world; work is worthless if the principles of God do not lead us… because the only reality there is in this life is the one that begins and ends with the Lord Jesus who gives us access to God the Father.
Solomon was the richest man on earth: he loved God, but above all he had the fear of God, so much that he started everything with Him and always put Him first. Rehoboam lost everything because he ignored the foundation, not to say the source, of the wealth he inherited from his dad: the Lord! So, let’s never assume we can handle something better than someone else, because we do not know the source of their success, the source of their peace, the source of their faith, the source of their achievements… Despite his many mistakes, God continued to grant Solomon’s reign with favour, power and glory, while Rehoboam’s reign was detestable to God. It is not because you think you can better take care of something that God will necessarily give you the same success as anyone else. That is the reason why He is asking us not to compare ourselves to others, not to judge, not to covet, not envy, in other words to look at what we do ourselves: what are you doing with what He has given you? No one shall be judged by the behaviour, mistakes, failures of others! God deals with each of us individually! And it is individually that we will answer for our words, our choices and our actions. Let’s learn from Rehoboam today that, it is not the title, experience or position that gives success, it is God and the relationship we have with God that give success. King David knew it that’s why He could pray like this: “Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone” (1 Chronicles 29:12). Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.