Sunday, October 9, 2016

October 9 - 2 Chronicles 12

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Chronicles 12. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • We have seen in our last couple of readings in 2 Chronicles that the nation of Israel has been split in two - a northern "kingdom" made up of twelve of the tribes of Israel, and a southern "kingdom" made up of two of the tribes. Here, in verse 1, when it says "all Israel" it is talking about the southern kingdom.
  • King Rehoboam had made an attempt to live for God and lead his nation in that way, but as his popularity and success grew, he abandoned God (verse 1).
  • A record of the invasion of Egypt has been found in archeological digs on Egyptian stones.
  • The Israelites took Egypt's success in invading them as punishment for deserting God, and they repent (verse 6).
  • God responds to their humbling themselves by tempering the destruction that they were experiencing.
  • Egypt steals the treasures from the temple (verse 9). King Rehoboam, who had abandoned God because he was to into his success, has now lost some of the signs of Israel's success and, in an attempt to save face, replaces the gold shields with (less valuable) bronze shields (verses 10-11).
  • Rehoboam's life and leadership was tragic. Why? He "did not seek the Lord with all his heart" (verse 14).
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Rehoboam tried to follow God ... until he experienced success and power and some wealth, then he stopped following God. That isn't unusual. People want good circumstances and complain when things go bad, but often bad times draw us to God, and it's easier to turn away from God when times are good. Rehoboam decided to live for success and riches, but when he turned away from God he not only lost God, he also lost success and riches. We need to be careful when times are good, making sure to keep our lives centered on God.
  • In this chapter we see the people of Israel, and we see Rehoboam humble themselves and repent, and we see God's responds by offering forgiveness. Because of His love, God is always quick to forgive and give a second chance and new start.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Rehoboam wanted power and wealth - what do you want? Whatever it is (to be married, to be popular, a great job, to be rich, to be famous), can you see how it could possibly pull you away from God? How can you guard against that?
  • If you have been drifting from God, it's time to humble yourself and repent. If not, you won't only lose God, you'll also lose whatever else it is that you're living for. Ask God for forgiveness, and He will give it to you.