2 Chronicles 9:29-10:19 – Do You Have A List?

Posted: August 11, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 9:29-10:19

The Northern Tribes Revolt

Opening Illustration/Comments

Rehoboam reminds me of people that I have run across in my life a few times. There are those who have had people hurt them based on their view of reality. Sometimes, it was simply a perceived hurt and not an actual direct hurt. You know the type. We have all met them and have had to deal with them.  As I was saying, we have all probably had to deal with that person who have had someone to hurt them so they cut that person out of their lives and proceed to try to destroy them or their reputation. Following that line of “reasoning”, anyone that you claim as a friend cannot both be friends with you and friends with that person. Then, there becomes an ever widening circle of people that they exclude from their lives. The logic being well they are friends with Person B and Person B is friends with Person A (the original person that had hurt them). So, then, if you are Person C and you are friends with Person B, then they can’t be friends with you because you are friends with Person C who is friends with Person B who is friends with that dreaded Person A.

Such people we must pray for because, the cancer of cancelling people out of their lives because of real or perceived hurts and then the ever widening circle of excluded people grows and grows. Such people end up excluding everyone from their lives. We all have met these people. They only see the world based on their view of things. Those who are friends for any length of time are those that only confirm or conform to this person’s view of life. It is a shrinking world in which they live because we are all not alike and have our own likes, dislikes, and motivations. To be friends with this kind of person, you gotta to have a copy of “the list” of personas non-gratas in their lives.

How do I know this? It was exactly what I saw my first wife do with her life, all her life. You were either for her or against her and there was conflict with someone all the time. No middle ground. No grace. No realizing that people could be friends with her and a person that she did not like. Only seeing the world from their own view of things. There was an ever-increasing list of people who were on “the list” of personas non-gratas. You either defended her point of view or you were not her friend. There was no ability to see other people’s points of views. My prayer was that in her final lonely years before she died at age 55 that she found peace with others that she had written off over the years. My prayer was that she released “her list” and found some joy.

That was what I immediately thought when reading about Rehoboam. There was no recognition of the fact that we are all individuals with our own motivations, own joys, own sorrows, own burdens, that cause us to see life in a slightly different way from one another. To function properly in this world, we must give each other grace and true forgiveness. It is that idea of solely seeing the world through how it affects you personally with no empathy for others that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 9:29-10:19. Let’s read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

29 The rest of the events of Solomon’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Record of Nathan the Prophet, and The Prophecy of Ahijah from Shiloh, and also in The Visions of Iddo the Seer, concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat. 30 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 31 When he died, he was buried in the City of David, named for his father. Then his son Rehoboam became the next king.

Chapter 10

1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt, for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. 3 The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and all Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. 4 “Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.”

5 Rehoboam replied, “Come back in three days for my answer.” So the people went away.

6 Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?”

7 The older counselors replied, “If you are good to these people and do your best to please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”

8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. 9 “What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?”

10 The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’”

12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to hear Rehoboam’s decision, just as the king had ordered. 13 But Rehoboam spoke harshly to them, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors 14 and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid[a] heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”

15 So the king paid no attention to the people. This turn of events was the will of God, for it fulfilled the Lord’s message to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh.

16 When all Israel realized[b] that the king had refused to listen to them, they responded,

“Down with the dynasty of David!

    We have no interest in the son of Jesse.

Back to your homes, O Israel!

    Look out for your own house, O David!”

So all the people of Israel returned home. 17 But Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.

18 King Rehoboam sent Adoniram,[c] who was in charge of forced labor, to restore order, but the people of Israel stoned him to death. When this news reached King Rehoboam, he quickly jumped into his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. 19 And to this day the northern tribes of Israel have refused to be ruled by a descendant of David..

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Rehoboam must have gotten an unbalanced picture of leadership from his father, Solomon. Apparently, Rehoboam saw only the difficulty of leading the nation, not the opportunities. He mentioned only the harsher aspects of Solomon’s rule and he, himself, decided to be very harsh toward the people of the unified nation. He must have known that the nation had grown weary of the heavy tax burdens Solomon had placed on them to fund all of his projects around the country and to ensure his own luxury. However, he did not listen to the advise of the elder statesmen of the nation but rather listened to the young bucks that were part of his own entourage. These were his friends who were naturally going to support whatever the king, their friend (and maybe their friend because he was a royal heir), was saying. They lacked the wisdom to see the bigger picture of what was good for the nation.

Often, we do the same thing as Rehoboam when we seek out confirmation from only those that will confirm or conform to our opinion and views of things. Often, we discard the opinions and advise of others when it is contrary to our own desire. Often, we cut people out of our lives because they don’t seem to validate our own opinions about things. That certainly happened here, Rehoboam was very harsh with those who did not view things in the same way that he did and it ended up costing him half his country.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that one of the very basic tenets of our faith is that we, ourselves, do not deserve the unmerited gift of grace given to us in the cross by Jesus. We are all sinners who, on our own merits, do not deserve to have been given grace by Jesus. We are career sin criminals who have been given a reprieve from the sentence we deserve (hell) by Jesus taking our punishment for sin. All we have to do is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that his death on the cross was God’s way of wiping out the penalty of our sins so that we could be covered in Christ’s righteousness. Equally, we must believe that Jesus rose from the dead to give us hope that there is victory over sin and death. That is the ultimate grace gift. Just believe in Jesus and the career sin criminals that deserve eternal punishment in hell that we are, become right with God.

Why is it that we can not operate that way with each other? Why can’t we empathize with others? Why can’t we give them grace? Hate consumes and only love gives life. Half the time, people don’t even realize that they are on “your list”. That’s when talking things out, even when they are uncomfortable, is the Christian thing to do. We are supposed to seek reconciliation with others not war. We are supposed to seek to clear up misunderstandings rather than hating another person for a perceived slap in our faces. That’s a point the Lord has been driving home to me lately is of Paul’s idea of we must be about “the ministry of reconciliation” as Paul put it in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. In our churches and in our personal relationships, we should always seek reconciliation rather than war. We should seek grace rather than gossip. We should have those direct “you’ve hurt me and here’s how and why” conversations where we can work through difficulties and get reconciled. Rehoboam only saw his point of view and no one else’s and did not seek to reconcile himself to his nation. He did not seek reconciliation. He was not about making peace. He would have rather lost the whole world than admit that he was wrong. It cost his almost his whole world. Are we like Rehoboam with some people in our lives? Go be reconciled. We are in the ministry of reconciliation. We are peacemakers. We have been given grace. Let us give it to others.

Amen and Amen.

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