from Lynda Lindsey
And the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel presented themselves to him (King Rehoboam) from all places where they lived. For the Levites left their common lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons cast them out from serving as priests of the Lord. II Chronicles 11:13-14
And those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers. They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and for three years they made Rehoboam the son of Solomon secure, for they walked for three years in the way of David and Solomon. II Chronicles 11:16-17
When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. II Chronicles 12:1 So King Rehoboam grew strong in Jerusalem and reigned… And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord. II Chronicles 12:13(a); 14
Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, rejected the wise counsel of the older men who had served under Solomon; instead, Rehoboam followed the advice of his peers to reign with a harsh, heavy hand. Even so, Judah was strengthened for the first three years of Rehoboam’s reign by the influence of faithful priests, Levites, and others who, having been cast out of northern Israel by Jeroboam, came to minister and worship the true God in Jerusalem. These God followers, their hearts set to seek the Lord God of Israel, were a stabilizing spiritual influence in Judah and helped secure Rehoboam’s kingdom.
Unfortunately, as Rehoboam’s kingdom grew strong and his rule became established, he abandoned the law of the Lord and all Israel with him. Rehoboam did not set his heart to seek the Lord and evil followed. The king, the ruler who was to reign as God’s representative on earth, abandoned God and took the whole nation along with him into apostasy. Power, influence, and wealth, combined with a tendency to ride roughshod over people, is always a dangerous combination, especially so for people in leadership positions, whether in the church or in the world.
Following God involves more than intellectual assent; we are to love God with our entire being, with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Unless our hearts and minds are resolutely determined, ahead of any crisis, to seek God, to hear His voice, and to obey His Word we will waver. Unless we have an advance directive to guide our thinking and actions, we will abandon God just as Rehoboam did and pull others down with us into evil doing. Be established and strong in the Lord and in His might. Rehoboam’s heart wasn’t right. Is ours?