Ideal Versus Real Kings
Truly, Lord God, Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory. I bow to worship You now.
Read 2 Chronicles 10:1-19
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The generous person always asks these three questions. What can I give out of what I do? What can I give through what I am? What can I give through what I have?” (Gordon MacDonald).
Chronicles has as yet told us nothing of Jeroboam or the prophecies about the division of the kingdom. It goes straight to the question of kingship. Solomon’s advisors tell Rehoboam not what he should do, but what kind of king he ought to be. The godly kingdom is characterized by the ruler wanting good for and speaking good to his people; the people respond by serving him. The young men advise not only a heavy hand but the empty boast that he will be even greater than his father. Where Solomon sought wisdom from God, Rehoboam seeks advice from men and makes an unwise choice.
Divine judgment vs. human rebellion. The result is that the messianic kingdom falls apart. From this point forward, many of the chosen people will neither be under Davidic rule nor have access to God’s presence in the Temple. Chronicles identifies two sources of the tragedy, in addition to the unwise king. Verse 19 implies that this is a rebellion against God’s chosen kings, but Ahijah’s prophecy (15) indicates that the “turn of events was from God.” God divided the kingdom because of false worship within Israel (1 Kings 11:33), something that is but hinted at in Chronicles’ references to Solomon’s foreign wives (2 Chron. 8:11).
God’s rule vs human rule. Kingship is profoundly ambiguous in biblical thinking. God graciously establishes the kingdom of David, but the Israelites’ original desire for a king was rebellion against direct rule by God (1 Sam. 8:6,7; 12:17). The Davidic kingdom will continue, but God will always limit the power of fallen human beings; until the Messiah comes, there can be no perfect king or enduring kingdom.
Reflect on the shortcomings of the leaders of your country. What about Jesus makes you want to serve him?
Father, I need wisdom regarding those with whom I am close. Help me gather godly people who will give me godly wisdom.
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