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 12:1
Solomon had turned away from God and worshiped the gods of his many wives. His sin led Israel astray and brought God’s wrath upon Israel. His son, Rehoboam, succeeded him as king over all Israel, but God tore the northern 10 tribes away and turned them over to Jeroboam to rule. During his reign, Rehoboam strengthened his lower kingdom and established himself as king of Judah. Once he had done this, he followed his father’s example and abandoned God and his Law (or word). God brought Shishak, Pharaoh of Egypt, against Judah to attack it and show Judah that there is no other way than to serve Adonai.
The Bible clearly warns us that pride precedes self-destruction and arrogance before a downfall. In fact, Rehoboam’s father, Solomon, taught us that lesson in Proverbs 16:18, but his son never seemed to learn that lesson until later in life. When Shishak sacked Jerusalem and Judah, then Rehoboam learned this vita lesson but not before the kingdom was torn away from him leaving only Judah to be ruled by him.
Pride has a nasty habit of causing people to think they can provide for themselves and secure their destiny by their doing rather than by God’s doing. People seem not to heed God’s word that he sets people into power and removes from power whomever he wants. We need to take Rehoboam’s abandonment of the Law and God as a serious warning. The lesson is that abandoning God for some other god, including self, invokes the wrath of God upon us. Yes, God’s grace exists today for those that will believe on him and trust him and obey him, but to those that reject God, judgment awaits them.
Don’t be like Rehoboam and abandon God or his word, the Bible. We need to plug into the Spirit of God and his Word and become intimated with them to the point that we are one with them. The Spirit is the sole source of our power to live for God. There is no other medium. There is no other way than through the Spirit of Jesus. To walk down one’s own path is to trek upon the broad way (or path) that leads to destruction (via pride and arrogance). To trust God and plug into his Spirit and Word is to enter in through the narrow gate that leads to the narrow path that leads to Life in Messiah.
Father, pride and arrogance have tried to consume me recently. I suffered through them at my own peril because I allowed them to overwhelm me. I had temporarily thrown off your yoke and enslaved myself to these two. It nearly drove me mad. Forgive me for even entertaining the idea that I was someone in my eyes. How foolish of me! I failed to heed your Word and fell. It hurt! Humbly I come to you for your mercy and grace. I will not abandon my God or his Spirit or his Son, Jesus. I must rely upon you. I have no power to do anything other than to reject your love and endure your wrath. However, I thank you for your forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, and compassion, which, through the blood of Jesus, have set me free. Help me to walk according to your Word and Spirit and not by through my fleshly ways. Thank you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.