“When the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and strong, he and all Israel with him forsook the law of the LORD. And it came about in King Rehoboam’s fifth year, because they had been unfaithful to the LORD, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem”
2 Chronicles 12:1-2 NASB
“So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s palace. He took everything; he even took the golden shields which Solomon had made. Then King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place and committed them to the care of the commanders of the guard who guarded the door of the king’s house. As often as the king entered the house of the LORD, the guards came and carried them and then brought them back into the guards’ room. And when he humbled himself, the anger of the LORD turned away from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and also conditions were good in Judah.”
2 Chronicles 12:9-12 NASB
There is problem in humanity. We are very full of ourselves when things are going great. I am guilty of that. When all is going well I have a tendency to lean on my own strength and ability. It is like I am telling God, “I got this.” Fortunately God is patient.
Rehoboam was in a position of strength. He was powerful and the kingdom he inherited from Solomon appeared to be impregnable. In that period of strength he and his people turned from the power that had built the country, from the legacy that had empowered King David and enriched Solomon. They forsook the Lord and all His goodness.
To forsake the counsel of the Lord is to leave oneself open to the attacks of the evil one. I know this all too well. I remember all the times I found myself running out the door and off into the world, not having taken the time to pray, or even read a verse. I was like a practical atheist, forsaking the food for my spirit. My days were often filled with failure.
There is inevitably a cost for turning away from the Lord. In the passage above we see how the enemy attacked. Egypt in the Scriptures is a type for sin. Shishak can be looked on as the evil one. He invades and takes everything. He takes the golden shields, the great treasure of the temple. Rehoboam replaces the shields with those made of bronze. In Scripture, bronze is a type for bondage. Rehoboam was reminded of what was lost day after day, as the cost of his sin was carried before him.
Oh how we trade gold for bronze, as we let sin rule in our lives. We forsake the great blessing of our holy God for the momentary sensation of thinking we are in control. We suffer the loss that the resulting sin brings. Our lives and expectations become devalued, and we are settling for less than the glory offered by the Lord.
The life of a Christian should be one filled with great spiritual treasure. Too often we settle for the bronze. This spiritual walk is truly a race. In the Olympics, the victor gets the gold medal, the also ran gets the bronze. Believers, I urge you to seek the great treasure that faith in God brings.
I rejoice in my dependence on God. I am sometimes asked if all the struggles I have had are worth my continued faith in Jesus. I say with resounding affirmation, “YES!” By my affliction I know Christ’s suffering and experience the power of His resurrection. In my surrender I get to see my bronze turn to gold, as I witness the divine alchemy only possible in God. He transforms my life, raising me from death to eternal life.
Seek that victory today and do not forsake God. The evil one is waiting to plunder. He is always waiting at the gates, looking for an opening, for a moment when he can invade. Through Jesus, we have victory and our borders are fortified.
Remember, the storms are always going to come. Things may be wonderful right now, but all could change in a heartbeat. This current year is proof of that. Do not forsake the Lord. He is a constant power and a help.
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