There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam throughout their days.
1. There was continual war between the kingdoms.
(1) While they remained faithful to God they had peace. God interposed to preserve peace by the hand of Shemaiah (1 Kings 12:21-24).
(2) But when they forsook the Lord, they soon got to strife, which continued as long as the kings lived (ver. 80). This strife was also handed down to their successors,
(3) Thus sinners become God's instruments to punish one another. So it is seen to this day in the contentions and litigations of individuals. Men are slow to see the hand of God.
2. Shishak aggravated the mischief.
(1) The influences which brought him upon the scene may be discerned. Hadad, who occasioned so much trouble to Solomon, was Shishak's brother-in-law. Shishak was thus disposed to give asylum to Jeroboam when he fled for his life from Solomon. Shishak now conspires with Jeroboam to ruin Rehoboam.
(2) The array brought against Judah by Shishak was formidable (see 2 Chronicles 12:3). It would have been crushing had not Rehoboam and his people, in their extremity, humbled themselves before God (2 Chronicles 12:7).
(3) But they still had to feel the smart of their sins.
1. In war there is always loss.
(1) Necessarily there is the forfeiture of peace. Who can estimate the value of peace? Perfect peace is the resultant of perfect harmony as the white light is composed of all the colours in the iris.
(2) There is the loss of property. Labour is the source of wealth: the labour withdrawn from industry to wage war is so much loss of wealth. The soldier also is a consumer. When he does not provide for his own sustenance, the labour of others must be taxed to feed him.
(3) There is the loss of life. War is seldom bloodless. Often the slaughter is fearful. Wellington is reported to have said that the calamity next in severity to a defeat is a victory.
2. Shishak despoiled the temple of its treasure.
(1) The booty here was enormous. The spoils of David's victories were there; also the accumulations of Solomon's peaceful commerce.
(2) The shields of gold that Solomon had made are particularly mentioned. It is added that Rehoboam had brazen shields made to replace them. How sin reduces the fine gold to brass!
3. Shishak also rifled the palace.
(1) The treasures here also were immense. Perhaps there never was such plunder as this in human annals.
(2) Rehoboam handed down a diminished inheritance to his son. By his folly he alienated ten tribes of his nation from his kingdom. Abijam likewise succeeded to a kingdom greatly impoverished. He became heir also to embroilments. The entailments of sin pursue the spirit into the invisible world. Forfeiture. Trouble: - J.A.M.
Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam.
Homilist.Though this man lived fifty-eight years in this world, and for seventeen years occupied the throne, how little is said of him! Inspired historians pay no more attention to the life of kings than to the life of ordinary men.
I. THE POWER OF EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES. Whilst we are far enough from admitting that man is by necessity the creature of circumstances, we cannot gainsay the fact that they tend greatly to shape his character and determine his fortunes. Here we find them investing the most worthless man with worldly opulence and regal power. Some men amass wealth and climb to power by skillful and persevering industry. But here is a man born to it. His ancestors made his position for him. He was not the architect of his own fortune. This is the case with thousands to-day. Experience teaches that to get wealth and power in this way is as undesirable as it is unmeritorious. Many sons have had reason to curse the day when their fathers bequeathed them a fortune. Here is a man whom circumstances made a king, who had nothing kingly in his soul.
II. THE WEAKNESS OF EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
1. They did not give him wisdom and piety.
2. They did not give him social respect. We are so constituted that we can have no true moral respect for a man, however elevated his position, if he is destitute of moral worth. To true souls corrupt men on a throne are far more contemptible than if they lived in hovels of obscurity.Conclusion: —
1. That a man's external circumstances are no just criteria by which to judge his character. To regard them as such, has been the tendency of men in all ages.
2. That man's external circumstances do not necessarily shape his character. The circumstances into which the life of Rehoboam was thrown, did not by necessity make him the vile man and ruthless despot which he became. The fact is, there is a sovereign power in the soul, to subordinate external circumstances to its own interest. It can turn apparently the most adverse circumstances into blessings.
PeopleAbijah, Abijam, Ahijah, David, Israelites, Jeroboam, Naamah, Nadab, Rehoboam, Shishak, Sodomites, Solomon, Tirzah
PlacesBethel, Egypt, Euphrates River, Jerusalem, Shiloh, Tirzah
TopicsContinually, Jeroboam, Jerobo'am, Rehoboam, Rehobo'am, War, Warfare
Outline1. Abijah being sick,
2. Jeroboam sends his wife, disguised, with presents to the prophet Ahijah
5. Ahijah forewarned by God, denounces God's judgment
17. Abijah dies, and is buried
19. Nadab succeeds Jeroboam
21. Rehoboam's wicked reign,
25. Shishak raids Jerusalem
29. Abijam succeeds Rehoboam
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Kings 14:30
5606 warfare, nature of
LibrarySynopsis. --The Gradual Narrowing of the Miraculous Element in the Bible by Recent Discovery and Discussion. --The Alarm Thereby Excited in the Church. --The Fallacy Which
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