Word for the World devotionals from Dr. Randy White

God Works through Stubborn Kings
Dr. Randy White

"So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of events from God that the Lord might establish His word, which He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat." (2 Chronicles 10:15, NASB95)

After the death of King Solomon, David’s Grandson, Rehoboam, was next in line for the throne.  The people immediately began to ask the soon-to-be-King to lower the burden of government that was upon them.  Rehoboam heard the consultation of the elders that encouraged him to lighten the load.  Instead, however, “the king did not listen to the people.”  He turned his ear toward the young men who served in his court.  These young men flattered the new king and encouraged him to solidify his leadership through strength and higher taxation.

This “was a turn of events from God.”  And what did God have to do with causing a new-king to impose high taxes and increase government burden?  God used this to “establish His word” which is recorded in 2 Kings 11:29-39.  This word to Ahijah was that 10 tribes would be broken away from Israel, and two tribes would remain.  And, true to God’s word, soon the 10 tribes broke away and took a new King, while two tribes remained under the line of David.  Israel became the northern Kingdom of 10 tribes, Judah was the southern Kingdom of 2 tribes.

Interestingly, it was the southern Kingdom of Judah which began under the reign of Rehoboam that remained more true to God’s covenant.  The northern Kingdom “jumped from the frying pan to the fire” and never had a good king, a stable kingdom, or a healthy relationship with Almighty God.

If God used the self-serving ways of King Rehoboam to establish His Word, certainly He still could use burdensome taxation and the imposition of governments to carry out His will today.  If such burdens and impositions can stir the hearts of God’s people to rebuild a society built on Judeo-Christian values, then so be it!

In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White

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