Saturday, June 23, 2012

June 23, 2012 … Wise Leaders Learn and Lead Lovingly

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Chronicles, Chapters 10-12 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: 2nd Chronicles 10: 6-8; 13-14 :[NIV] … 6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. "How would you advise me to answer these people?" he asked. … 7 They replied, "If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants." …8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. … 13 The king answered them [the people, led by Jeroboam] harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders,14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, "My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions." 
Highlight Passage #2: 2nd Chronicles 11: 1; 13-17 :[NIV] … 1 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered Judah and Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam. … 13 The priests and Levites from all their districts throughout Israel sided with him.14 The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the Lord15 when he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat and calf idols he had made.16 Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors.17 They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon three years, following the ways of David and Solomon during this time. 
Highlight Passage #3: 2nd Chronicles 12: 1-2 :[NIV] … 1 After Rehoboam's position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him [i.e., the Southern Kingdom of Judah] abandoned the law of the Lord. 2 Because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam.  

My Journal for Today: Yesterday, in my chronological read of 1st Kings, Chapters 12-14, I was led to study about Rehoboam and Jeroboam, whose squabble for power in Israel following the death of Solomon led to division and a weakening of the kingdom of Israel, with Rehoboam moving to the southern portion of the kingdom to rule of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The Levites also came with Rehoboam as well as many people from the northern tribes in Israel because of the Temple being in Jerusalem.

 But today’s parallel historical reading in 2nd Chronicles, chapters 10-12 reinforced my application conclusions from my journal entry yesterday, … that the nation of Israel was weakened and became vulnerable to an invasion from Israel’s old, arch nemesis, Egypt, primarily because Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, and the proper anointed king of Israel, took bad advice from the younger men in Israel at the time rather than listening to the more Godly elders of the tribes [see the reading from 2nd Chronicles 10 above]; and then Rehoboam let his selfish ego get in the way of seeking and leading as God would have him lead Israel; and we see the result in the three chapters of today’s reading assignment.

 Israel became fragmented, divided, and weakened because they were led by unGodly leadership and by worldly idol worship; and God simply lifted His hand of protection from His chosen nation; and the Egyptians, who were no where nearly as powerful as the nation which had enslaved them prior to the deliverance by Moses, swooped in and took charge of Israel. And this had to be the ultimate slap-in-the-face for Israel, who had been subjugated by and delivered from Egypt in their glorious past.

 I’ll not belabor, but I will repeat, the obvious application to today’s world and our nation. Yesterday, I made reference to a New Testament passage - Romans 1: 18-32 - where the Apostle Paul in post-resurrection Israel was warning, primarily Jewish Christian believers, who had been enslaved by Rome, that God cannot continue to mercifully protect a people who “go over to the dark side,” to use Trekky language. When leaders leading, and people following, are unwilling to do life and worship God’s way, as given to us in His word, God will lift His hand of protection and the results will be disastrous for a nation founded and built upon God’s will and His ways as spelled out in His word.

My friends, it doesn’t take the brains of a rocket-scientist, nor the training of a Christian theologian, to see what is going on in our country today, moving SO away from the principles of our American Christian founding-fathers, who desired that we become a land where Christianity could thrive and where people could live and worship under the Biblical principles upon which this nation was founded. But we now have a leader – our President – who has openly disavowed that this is a “Christian nation;” and so many in our country are following him away from our Christian/Biblical moorings.

 Dear ones, if we don’t have a revival soon in this land – for which we Christians should be praying – I’m afraid we’re going to experience a cataclysmic disaster of the type described in today’s study of 2nd Chronicles involving Israel. I’ll leave it to your own prayer-life; but personally I repeat my continual prayer from 2nd Chronicles 7: 14; and I’ll leave it to you to pray for our nation as God leads you.

 My Prayer Today: … Lord, help us, heal us, … have mercy on us. Amen

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