2 Chronicles 12:1-14 (Part 2) – Like a Pebble Dropped In A Pond

Posted: August 18, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 12:1-14 (Part 2 of 2)

Egypt Invades Judah

Opening Illustration/Comments

The idea that struck me this morning as I read through this passage for the second time before we move on to the next passage is that idea of one of the immutable laws of physics and its similarity to how sin affects our lives. In physics, once force is applied the motion cannot be stopped until the full energy of the force has been released and dissipated. In the vacuum of space, once an object is set into motion it remain in motion because there are no external environment forces to lessen that release of energy. On earth, gravity and other factors allow the energy of force to dissipate and die out, sometimes suddenly or sometimes it takes time.

It is the same way with sin in our lives. Sin is like dropping a pebble and sometimes a rock into a pond. There are ripples that concentrically expand out from the place in the pond where you dropped the pebble or the rock. Once the concentric circles reach the shore they bounce back toward the point of origin. All of these rebounding circles causes a bit of chaos on the surface of the pond compared to the placid surface before the dropping of the object into the water. Sin causes ripple effects in our lives that create rebounds and crossing waves of concentric reactions in our lives. Have you ever tried to stop the ripples on the surface of the water after you have dropped a pebble or a rock in the water? It can’t be done. The only thing that you can do is wait for all the energy to be have been released and the concentric ripples lose their momentum/energy and dissipate and then die out.

Sin is again similar to these laws of motion in physics. These immutable laws of physics were set forth by our Creator God. He is the father of physics. There many men who could through their scientific discoveries in physics that could be considered the father of physics but ultimately they did not invent these laws, they only discovered what was already there. God is the father of physics. And, thus, even when comes to sin, there is the law of cause and effect, of motion and energy. Just as in physics, the laws man has discovered and that were put in motion by God work the same way every time and cannot be stopped. In sin, in my opinion, the laws of physics are at work also, even when we repent of our sins.

Once the laws of sin are set into motion, there is no stopping the concentric circles of reactive energy that ripple out from our sin pebble dropped in the water of our lives. Even when we realize that we have sinned and fall before Jesus’s feet in all humility and ask for forgiveness of our sin failure(s) and turn away from the confessed sin(s), the ripples are already in the water. The ripples, because of the laws of motion, cannot be stopped. They must play themselves out. Thus, in the after effects of our sins, God does not suspend his natural laws of the ripple effects of sin. Why? Therein lies the life lesson for each sinner. Sin has consequences even after we repent that God will not stop and He will allow them to play themselves out. In the fallout of our sins, even after repentance, comes the life lessons. The pain and heartache, the ripples of reactions of others in reaction to our sin(s), all are the life lessons. God defines what is not sin and what is. Why? Because He is God and knows that the things that He defines as sins are the things that have the ripple effects in the ponds of our lives. Those are the things that have actions and reactions. Those are the things that destroy the peace of our placid pond of life. Those are the things that have consequences that we cannot even visualize when we commit to sinning. Sin is chaos. Sin is motion. Motion creates chaos. Chaos disturbs the peace. These are the laws of the physics of sin.

It is that idea of the unstoppable motion of sin once it is set into motion that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 12:1-`4. Let’s read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

Chapter 12

1 But when Rehoboam was firmly established and strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord, and all Israel followed him in this sin. 2 Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, King Shishak of Egypt came up and attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam’s reign. 3 He came with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horses,[a] and a countless army of foot soldiers, including Libyans, Sukkites, and Ethiopians.[b] 4 Shishak conquered Judah’s fortified towns and then advanced to attack Jerusalem.

5 The prophet Shemaiah then met with Rehoboam and Judah’s leaders, who had all fled to Jerusalem because of Shishak. Shemaiah told them, “This is what the Lord says: You have abandoned me, so I am abandoning you to Shishak.”

6 Then the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is right in doing this to us!”

7 When the Lord saw their change of heart, he gave this message to Shemaiah: “Since the people have humbled themselves, I will not completely destroy them and will soon give them some relief. I will not use Shishak to pour out my anger on Jerusalem. 8 But they will become his subjects, so they will know the difference between serving me and serving earthly rulers.”

9 So King Shishak of Egypt came up and attacked Jerusalem. He ransacked the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace; he stole everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made. 10 King Rehoboam later replaced them with bronze shields as substitutes, and he entrusted them to the care of the commanders of the guard who protected the entrance to the royal palace. 11 Whenever the king went to the Temple of the Lord, the guards would also take the shields and then return them to the guardroom. 12 Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger was turned away, and he did not destroy him completely. There were still some good things in the land of Judah.

Summary of Rehoboam’s Reign

13 King Rehoboam firmly established himself in Jerusalem and continued to rule. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen from among all the tribes of Israel as the place to honor his name. Rehoboam’s mother was Naamah, a woman from Ammon. 14 But he was an evil king, for he did not seek the Lord with all his heart.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that God may have lessened his judgment when Israel’s leaders confessed their sins, humbled themselves, and recognized God’s justice in punishing them. It’s never too late to repent, even in the midst of the results of our sins (God’s judgment is just that – allowing the consequences of our sins to play out). Regardless of what we have done, God is willing to receive us back into fellowship. Confession and an humble turning away from the sin(s) involved will open the door to receiving God’s mercy. However, when we rebel against God, it sets into motion actions and reactions that will play themselves out. In our repentance, we must realize that, like ripples in a pond after dropping a pebble or rock in the water cannot be stopped until the motion created has dissipated, sin is just like that. The motion in the pond of our life caused by our sin pebbles or rocks cannot be stopped until the energy of the ripples has dissipated and dies out.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that there is no good that ever comes from sin. Those things that God has defined as sins are the things that destroy our lives and draw us away from Him. He does not want us to go there. He’s not holding us back from what we want and desire. He is trying to keep us from experiencing pain and sorrow for ourselves and for others. Sin has consequences for us and especially it always to hurt others in our wake of our sin. Sin has consequences even if we have repented. So, we must think twice before we let ourselves be lured by the siren’s call to sin. It has consequences and the consequences can be long lasting. Even if we repent, the laws of the physics of sin will not be stopped. The negative, reactive energy released by our sins has to play itself out. So many times, people think if they repent that everything is going to magically get better. There is no life lesson in that. God teaches us the most in the fallout of our sins. In that fallout, we have those eye opening moments where we understand why God defined that sin as a sin.

Let us understand that God is quick to forgive us when we humbly repent of our sins and turn away from them. He has so much love for us that He will do that for us. However, He will not suspend the law of the physics of sin. We will have to pay the price for the effects of our sins on ourselves and others. We see this displayed in today’s passage and we will see it displayed in our own lives. Sin simply has consequences. Like a pebble dropped in a pond.

Amen and Amen.

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