Through the Bible – Day 154

Bible text(s)

Some of the people rebel against Rehoboam

1Rehoboam went to Shechem where everyone was waiting to crown him king.

2Jeroboam son of Nebat heard what was happening, and he returned from Egypt, where he had gone to hide from Solomon. 3The people from the northern tribes of Israel sent for him. Then together they went to Rehoboam and said, 4“Your father Solomon forced us to work very hard. But if you make our work easier, we will serve you and do whatever you ask.”

5Rehoboam replied, “Come back in three days for my answer.” So the people left.

6Rehoboam went to some leaders who had been his father's senior officials, and he asked them, “What should I tell these people?”

7They answered, “If you want them to serve and obey you, then you should be kind and promise to make their work easier.”

8But Rehoboam refused their advice and went to the younger men who had grown up with him and were now his officials. 9He asked, “What do you think I should say to these people who asked me to make their work easier?”

10His younger advisers said:

Here's what we think you should say to them: “Compared to me, my father was weak. 11He made you work hard, but I'll make you work even harder. He punished you with whips, but I'll use whips with pieces of sharp metal!”

12Three days later, Jeroboam and the others came back. 13Rehoboam ignored the advice of the older advisers. He spoke bluntly 14and told them exactly what his own advisers had suggested. He said: “My father made you work hard, but I'll make you work even harder. He punished you with whips, but I'll use whips with pieces of sharp metal!”

15-19When the people realized that Rehoboam would not listen to them, they shouted: “We don't have to be loyal to David's family. We can do what we want. Come on, people of Israel, let's go home! Rehoboam can rule his own people.”

Adoniram was in charge of the work force, and Rehoboam sent him to talk to the people. But they stoned him to death. Then Rehoboam ran to his chariot and hurried back to Jerusalem.

Everyone from Israel's northern tribes went home, leaving Rehoboam to rule only the people from Judah. And since that day, the people of Israel have been opposed to David's descendants in Judah. All this happened just as Ahijah the LORD's prophet from Shiloh had told Jeroboam.

Kings of Judah

Shemaiah the prophet warns Rehoboam

(1 Kings 12.21-24)

1After Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem, he decided to attack Israel and regain control of the whole country. So he called together one hundred and eighty thousand soldiers from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

2Meanwhile, the LORD had told Shemaiah the prophet 3to tell Rehoboam and everyone from Judah and Benjamin, 4“The LORD warns you not to go to war against the people from the northern tribes—they are your relatives. Go home! The LORD is the one who made these things happen.”

Rehoboam and his army obeyed the LORD's message and did not attack Jeroboam and his troops.

Rehoboam fortifies cities in Judah

5Rehoboam ruled from Jerusalem, and he had several cities in Judah turned into fortresses so he could use them to defend his country. These cities included 6Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7Beth-Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. After he had fortified these cities in the territories of Judah and Benjamin, 11he assigned an army commander to each of them and stocked them with supplies of food, olive oil, and wine, 12as well as with shields and spears. He used these fortified cities to keep control of Judah and Benjamin.

The priests and the Levites support Rehoboam

13The priests and Levites from the northern tribes of Israel gave their support to King Rehoboam. 14And since Jeroboam and the kings of Israel who followed him would not allow any Levites to serve as priests, most Levites left their towns and pasture lands in Israel and moved to Jerusalem and other towns in Judah. 15Jeroboam chose his own priests to serve at the local shrines in Israel and at the places of worship where he had set up statues of goat-demons and of calves.

16But some of the people from Israel wanted to worship the LORD God, just as their ancestors had done. So they followed the priests and Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the LORD. 17For the next three years, they lived in Judah and were loyal to Rehoboam and his kingdom, just as they had been loyal to David and Solomon.

Rehoboam's family

18Rehoboam married Mahalath, whose father was Jerimoth son of David, and whose mother was Abihail the daughter of Eliab and granddaughter of Jesse. 19Rehoboam and Mahalath had three sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20Then Rehoboam married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. Their sons were Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.

21Rehoboam had eighteen wives, but he also married sixty other women, and he was the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. Rehoboam loved his wife Maacah the most, 22so he chose their eldest son Abijah to be the next king. 23Rehoboam was wise enough to put one of his sons in charge of each fortified city in his kingdom. He gave them all the supplies they needed and found wives for every one of them.

King Shishak of Egypt invades Judah

1Soon after Rehoboam had control of his kingdom, he and everyone in Judah stopped obeying the LORD. 2So in the fifth year of Rehoboam's rule, the LORD punished them for their unfaithfulness and allowed King Shishak of Egypt to invade Judah. 3Shishak attacked with his army of one thousand two hundred chariots and sixty thousand cavalry troops, as well as Egyptian soldiers from Libya, Sukkoth, and Ethiopia. 4He captured every one of the fortified cities in Judah and then marched to Jerusalem.

5Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah had gone to Jerusalem to escape Shishak's invasion. And while they were there, Shemaiah the prophet told them, “The LORD says that because you have disobeyed him, he has now abandoned you. The LORD will not help you against Shishak!”

6Rehoboam and the leaders were sorry for what they had done and admitted, “The LORD is right. We have deserted him.”

7When the LORD heard this, he told Shemaiah:

The people of Judah are truly sorry for their sins, and so I won't let Shishak completely destroy them. But because I am still angry, 8he will conquer and rule them.

Then my people will know what it's like to serve a foreign king instead of serving me.

9Shishak attacked Jerusalem and took all the valuable things from the temple and from the palace, including Solomon's gold shields.

10Rehoboam had bronze shields made to replace the gold ones, and he ordered the guards at the city gates to keep them safe. 11Whenever Rehoboam went to the LORD's temple, the guards carried the shields. But they always took them back to the guardroom as soon as he had finished worshipping.

12Rehoboam turned back to the LORD, and so the LORD did not let Judah be completely destroyed, and Judah was prosperous again.

Rehoboam's rule in Judah

13Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled seventeen years from Jerusalem, the city where the LORD had chosen to be worshipped. His mother Naamah was from Ammon. Rehoboam was a powerful king, 14but he still did wrong and refused to obey the LORD.

15Everything else Rehoboam did while he was king, including a history of his family, is written in the records of the two prophets, Shemaiah and Iddo. During Rehoboam's rule, he and King Jeroboam of Israel were constantly at war. 16When Rehoboam died, he was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Abijah became king.

2 Chronicles 10:1-12:16CEVOpen in Bible reader

The Holy Spirit is promised

15Jesus said to his disciples:

If you love me, you will do as I command. 16Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. 17The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don't see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you.

18I won't leave you like orphans. I will come back to you. 19In a little while the people of this world won't be able to see me, but you will see me. And because I live, you will live. 20Then you will know that I am one with the Father. You will know that you are one with me, and I am one with you. 21If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like.

22The other Judas, not Judas Iscariot, then spoke up and asked, “Lord, what do you mean by saying that you will show us what you are like, but you will not show the people of this world?”

23Jesus replied:

If anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to them and live in them. 24But anyone who doesn't love me, won't obey me. What they have heard me say doesn't really come from me, but from the Father who sent me.

25I have told you these things while I am still with you. 26But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you.

27I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn't like the peace that this world can give. So don't be worried or afraid.

28You have already heard me say that I am going and that I will also come back to you. If you really love me, you should be glad that I am going back to the Father, because he is greater than I am.

29I am telling you this before I leave, so that when it does happen, you will have faith in me. 30I cannot speak with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. But he has no power over me. 31I obey my Father, so that everyone in the world might know that I love him.

It is time for us to go now.

John 14:15-31CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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