What does it say?
Unraveling the chronology of Kings and Chronicles is a difficult challenge Remember that Chronicles is the history of nation written for the generation returning from the captivity in Babylon. At this point in time, the northern tribes have been removed by the Assyrians well before Babylon took the two southern tribes into exile. Therefore, the chronicler is not very interested in recounting the history of the northern tribes and often passes over big chunks of history.
2Chronicles 10 corresponds to 1Kings 12 as Rehoboam ascends to the throne following Solomon’s death. The nation divides as Jeroboam takes leadership in the north. Chapter 11 is material mostly unique to Chronicles. The prophet Shemaiah persuades Rehoboam to avert plans for a civil war. Rehoboam turns instead to strengthening his own defenses. Many priests and Levites in the north migrate south to worship in Jerusalem despite Jeroboam’s fabricated religion. The chapter ends describing Rehoboam’s large family. Rehoboam’s unfaithfulness to God described in 2Chronicles 12 results in an invasion from king Shishak of Egypt. Confronted by the prophet Shimaiah, Rehoboam repents and God spares the nation from the Egyptians. On the balance, Rehoboam dies as a king who did evil rather than good. The glory he inherited from his father Solomon has faded.
What does it mean?
The kingdom’s deterioration following Solomon’s death results from a horrible decision by Rehoboam. Faced with the challenge of Jeroboam’s insurrection, his older advisors counseled him to be fair, kind and encouraging to his people. His younger advisors urged him to take a hard line and even increase their burdens. Foolishly he chose the legalistic approach and the kingdom enters a tailspin. This is classic example of sowing and reaping. Sow grace and you will receive grace; sow a hard legalistic response and that’s exactly what you will reap.
How will I respond?
What is my natural response to those for whom I am responsible, whether my children, spouse or those under my leadership? Do I grant them grace or law? This is not an excuse for those who slack or sin, but rather my normal demeanor toward those in my charge. What is one good way today to demonstrate grace to those under me?