The nation was at the top of it’s power. More power, more beautiful buildings, more international recognition and influence. The leader was charismatic. The people were living in the hey-day of the dream.
There was prosperity everywhere and hope everywhere. No one even dared war against the nation that God blessed and prospered. The leader was revered world-wide as an icon of wisdom and knowledge~the chosen one who was blessed.
Then his pride got the best of him. The man who was visited by God twice turned his back on God for women, politics and self-gain. You may have heard of him, as the wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon followed after his father King David.
Solomon took Israel into a place of peace for 40 years. He increased it’s wealth and he also increased it’s tax burden to grow the state. He disobeyed the law to take many wives…900 (including concubines) in fact. These wives began to bring in their foreign gods and demand that Solomon worship with them. After all, most of the foreign worship in Mesopotamia during this time included sexual rituals. Israel, the nation of God, which was prospered by God and led by God into the place of rest and world domination utterly shunned God.
It wasn’t obvious to all at that time. It seemed like a time of a dream. It was a time of true wealth and health. There was nothing like the judgement of God in sight, but the nation led by Solomon edged closer and closer to filling the cup of God’s wrath with their blatant disregard for his provision, his intervention, his blessing, his covenant and his law. They lived in idolatry and began to think of commitment to God as something you can’t take too seriously. It was clear that God just wanted them to be happy. At least that was how it seemed.
But, Solomon died. All good things come to an end, right? We all must be held into account before God. What most people do not understand in the West today is that a nation pays for the sins of leaders and for following ungodly paths.
Solomon’s son Rehoboam came into power when he was young. You can read the account here. The judgement already started in the undercurrents of society. There were rumors of wars. There were conspiracies. But, it was all just the rumblings of something greater that was about to transpire.
It may have happened eons ago, but something similar is happening now in America. Please read this scripture and see if you can identify it.
1 Kings 11:43 Then Solomon rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David his father. And Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.
The Revolt Against Rehoboam
1 Kings 12:1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. 2 So it happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it (he was still in Egypt, for he had fled from the presence of King Solomon and had been dwelling in Egypt ), 3 that they sent and called him. Then Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5 So he said to them, “Depart for three days, then come back to me.” And the people departed.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, and he said, “How do you advise me to answer these people?”
7 And they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”
8 But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. 9 And he said to them, “What advice do you give? How should we answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?”
10 Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you should speak to this people who have spoken to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter on us’—thus you shall say to them: ‘My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s waist! 11 And now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!’”
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had directed, saying, “Come back to me the third day.” 13 Then the king answered the people roughly, and rejected the advice which the elders had given him; 14 and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!” 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word, which the Lord had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16 Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying:
“What share have we in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
To your tents, O Israel!
Now, see to your own house, O David!”
So Israel departed to their tents. 17 But Rehoboam reigned over the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah.
18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was in charge of the revenue; but all Israel stoned him with stones, and he died. Therefore King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
20 Now it came to pass when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back, they sent for him and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel. There was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
21 And when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah with the tribe of Benjamin, one hundred and eighty thousand chosen men who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, that he might restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23 “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, saying, 24 ‘Thus says the Lord: “You shall not go up nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me.”’” Therefore they obeyed the word of the Lord, and turned back, according to the word of the Lord.
Rehoboam had issues. Right? What did he do? He rejected the advice of his elders. He rejected the past. He rejected experience. He took on himself the advice of his buddies from his youth. These young men had no idea of anything except the exciting idea that they had input into a nation that was wealthy. Their greed looked forward to looting the public funds on the coat-tails of their friend, the new king.
They had fought for nothing. They literally knew nothing except that they wanted to try an experiment on that nation. Experimenting on the people. They wanted to gain from the loss of others. None of them even consulted the Lord God of Israel. This is the grandson of King David who wrote the Psalms and killed Goliath. This is the son of Solomon who was visited by The Lord in the night and told to ask for anything he wanted and God would give it to him. Here, however, we see he inherited the sins of his forefathers, but not their walks with God.
Rehoboam expected that he would just waltz in and have everything he wanted, sans a relationship with God. He had no idea that he was about to experience a seismic shift in the history of the nation.
What resulted? Civil unrest broke out and the nation literally divided, only leaving the tribe of Judah to follow the kingly line of David. 10 of the tribes of Israel became their own nation and then eventually were captured by the Assyrians and scattered to the 4 winds of the earth.
We are living in the very time of Rehoboam. It is a time of a false sense of security and more wealth than the world can comprehend. We are living in a time when even the poorest people have cell phones and internet, junk food and flat screen tvs. It is a time of entitlement with no work, and forgiveness without repentance.
There has been very little sense that any Americans believe we will be judged for our blatant idolatry, rejection of God, abortion or sexual impurity. Even in the bad times, we are living high on the hog. People are under a great weight they can hardly bear. More politicians and movements are asking more and more from the average American, as ordinary middle class people have seen insurance rates go up by $1000 a month and they have nowhere to turn. Politicians are demanding we give up everything our ancestors fought for to make room for people’s feelings.
We are experiencing a leadership who wants to take more and more of our money to redistribute, because this is the “right and fair” thing to do, while at the same time mercilessly approving of murdering innocent infants in the womb.
We have stopped looking to God and asking his guidance. In fact his laws, and all traces of him are being erased from the public eye and children are growing up with no knowledge of real history, morality and God.
As a result, civil unrest is rising up. There is no moral code. There is no right and wrong. It’s every man for himself.
Confusion is swirling in politics with the most vicious campaign of all time. Lies are being told to make good men look bad and bad men look good. The appeal is to the flesh and the public is having a feast on the lies and drama.
Riots are breaking out in the streets and on social media.
Violence is increasing. Witchcraft and the occult play happily in our school book fairs and artistic events while every sign of hundreds of years of Christianity in our nation, it’s government and history is quickly being swept away, as if it were the corpses of those who died in the black plague.
Marriages are falling apart. Abuse is rising and weird and terrible news accounts pile up as #trending in our news feeds. Those of us who have lived before the time of Columbine remember when that was a shocking situation that kept in the headlines for months. Now earth-shattering news barely makes it’s way to the top of the scum pond, since it’s not sensational enough.
This is all happening because God is allowing it all. It is a natural result of what happens when people turn their backs on God. Sin begins to destroy everything like a cancer. At first it seemed as if God didn’t care about the path America was walking. Just like Solomon, who did not see judgement, but only gold, women and world-wide fame, our nation seemed untouched in it’s avarice, greed and immorality. But, slowly. Steadily….everything is unravelling. Brother is turning against brother. Everyone is shocked, because “How could this happen in America?” Right?
Judgement has been set. Just as in Rehoboam’s time, we are being weighed in the balance and found wanting. Our nation and it’s people and the whole world is suffering from America’s rejection of God. This is just the beginning.
I did not write this to depress you. There are plenty of angsty news articles, blogs and videos out there for you to digest that I don’t need to compete with. What I am hoping this will do is shed light on the power of sin in a nation to bring it’s people to complete confusion, in-fighting and insanity.
What are we to do? We cannot turn the nation back by ourselves. But, what we can do is our own part. We can pray. We can get right with God through genuine repentance, turning to Jesus Christ his Son to remove our sins. We can live for righteousness and for the kingdom of God, instead of ourselves. We can ask God who he wants us to vote for. We can pray for the elections. We can ask God how to prepare for what is going on in the world. We can help the poor and needy. We can ask for clarity and truth to fill our minds. We can share Jesus and not expect that it’s just the pastor’s job. We can ask God to protect us from the power of the confusion in the nation. We can vote, while we still can. We can read our children old books and have them turn off the T.V. We can stop giving children and teens unlimited access to the internet and the most vile things online with their top of the line cell phones. We can attend our local church’s prayer meeting to join with others to cry out to God. We can help in a homeless shelter or take food to the local food bank. We can ask God not to let our love grow cold, even in the state of the World.
Oh, God. Do not let our love grow cold and do not let us live in fear. Let us rise up in righteousness that our lives may shine like the noonday sun at midnight.