Five years had passed since Solomon's death and they had been very sad years. During this time:
1. The nation split as 9 1\2 tribes revolted against the rule of Rehoboam.
2. Rehoboam and the nation of Judah "forsook the law of the Lord".
3. The Rehoboam and the nation had turned to idolatry. cf 1 Ki. 14:21-24
In this time of sin and division, the King of Egypt, Shishak, found an easy entrance into the land. Though Rehoboam and the people did finally humble themselves, God still permitted Shishak to spoil Jerusalem. Note the irony here: When God delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage, they left taking the treasures of Egypt with them. Now because of their sin, God allows Egypt to spoil Israel. He "took away the teasures of the house of the Lord and the King's house" which included 300 shields of gold that Solomon had made.
Note the glory of Solomon's kingdom:
1. The Illinois Society of Architecture did a study on the cost of rebuilding Solomon's temple.
2. They estimated that it would cost $87 billion dollars to rebuild the temple, but that was in 1925!
3. The cost today would be well over $500 billion!
Part of that glorious kingdom was the 300 shields of gold: cf 1 Kings 10:17 tells us that they each were made with 3 lbs. of gold. On today's market each shield would have $12,816 worth of gold for a total value of nearly $4 million!
These shields were representative of a time when God's glory was upon the nation of Israel. Now God's glory was gone! I want us to note the reaction of Rehoboam to these events.
I. What Did He Do?
A. Rehoboam was a phony. cf. 2 Chr. 12:9
1. This is proven by a close examination of his life.
2. He was phony with his people, his family, and with God.
3. He was concerned with keeping up appearances.
4. He didn't want the people to realize that the glory of God was gone
B. He substituted brass for gold!
1. How often do we try to get away with substitutes?
2. We substitute:
a. human effort for God's power.
b. carnality for committment.
c. compromise for consecration.
d. excuses for obedience.
C. He tried to hide the truth! cf. v10
1. Where once the shields had been available for public viewing to attest to God's glory upon the kingdom...
2. Now he ordered these substitutes locked away under heavy guard.
3. To hide the truth concerning the theft of the real shields.
II. What Should He Have Done?
A. He should have been willing to pay the price to get them back.
1. He started right, but didn't follow through.
2. Note: 2 Chronicles 12:6-7
3. This is a fulfillment of God's promise to His people in 2 Chr. 7:14.
B. He should have trusted in God and gone after them and returned the treasures.
C. Instead, he chose to make substitutes for the shields and not face the enemy.
1. We will never have a life of victory if we are satisfied to live with substitutes.
2. This man was David's grandson...but where David was a man after God's own heart...Rehoboam was content with idols.
3. Rehoboam failed to prepare his heart to seek the Lord. cf. 2 Chr. 12:14
a. He strengthened himself. cf. v13
b. He had a self-sufficient attitude that led him to believe that he could take care of the problem his way.
c. Adam and Eve tried to cover their own nakedness, but failed miserably.
d. Every time we try to take matters into our own hands, we mess up our lives!
e. Multitudes of people today think that they don't need God, but their lives become shipwrecked.
4. Jehoshaphat removed idolatry from the land and led the people to worship God again!
5. Rehoboam allowed the name of his idolatrous mother to remain in the city in which the Lord had chosen to put His name.
6. Consequently for the next 12 years of his life and reign as king over Judah there was no peace...only wars and division continually.
III. We Should Prepare Ourselves To Seek God.
A. First step is salvation:
1. Repentance: Changing how we think about sin, and turning from sin and toward God.
2. Confession: Agreeing with God's Word concerning our need for Christ as our personal Saviour.
3. Believing not in ourselves and our abilities, but in the finished work of Christ on Calvary.
B. Second step is to study God's Word.
1. As we study His Word, we learn about Him and about His grace.
2. We also learn about what God expects from us and what we can expect from Him.
3. We discover what God's will is for our lives, and how we can prepare to do it.
C. Third step is to serve Him.
1. This means that we put into practice what we have learned from our study of His Word.
2. We literally present ourselves to Him to be used as He sees fit.
3. Note: 2 Timothy 2:20-21 "a vessel of honour"
Conclusion: Rehoboam was a phony. He pretended to be something that he wasn't, he tried to hide the truth, and he was satisfied with substitutes. He failed to prepare his heart to seek the Lord.
The question this morning is really about our hearts. Do we know the Lord? Is our hearts right with God? Has the enemy stolen the joy of God's glory from our lives? Have we tried to replace it with pitiful substitutes? This morning, are you saved, surrendered, and serving? If not, why not come today and begin to prepare your heart to seek the Lord.