Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
2 Chron. 12:1 And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him.
Solomon had received wisdom from God and had done great things for Israel. Although he did great public works and established many luxurious and beautiful things in Israel, he also served the Lord and was obedient to God.
However, Solomon's son, Rehoboam, although taught in the ways of the Lord, turned his attention to political and public affairs rather than to the Lord and obedience to God's law.
From the beginning of his reign, he listened, as you remember, to the youth rather than to the older leaders for advice and would not take good and sound advice but turned to the advice of public opinion. This was devastating to his reign as king over all Israel.
As a result, Shishak, king of Egypt, came up against Israel and took the cities surrounding Jerusalem. Then Shemaiah, the prohet, gave Rehoboam a message from God. That message was that, because Rehoboam has forsaken the Lord, God has left Israel in the hands of the king of Egypt.
Now Rehoboam humbled himself along with the princes of Israel (verse 6), and God determined, then, not to destroy Jerusalem; but he caused Israel to be the servants of the king of Egypt. Notice this: 2 Chron. 12:12 And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that he would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well. So Rehoboam and Israel became servants to Egypt, the very place that God had delivered them from many years earlier.
When we rebel against the Lord, we turn back to the beggarly elements of the world (Gal. 4:9), and we become servants (slaves) of the world again.
Notice one more point in 2 Chron. 12:14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD. This is the same reason that believers today become entangled in the world: they do not prepare their hearts to serve the LORD in their lives. Grace prepared us for God's salvation and protection, but only our complete surrender to God can prepare our hearts to serve him and live abundantly for him.
Let us today prepare our hearts for service and expect persecution from those who do not love the LORD. We need not be slaves to the world's addictions and lusts, for the Lord has saved us and separated us from the world (John 15:19).