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SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:

2 Chronicles 10:1-12:16

10:1 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem, for all Israel had gathered in Shechem to make Rehoboam king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard the news, he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon. Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3 They sent for him and Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made us work too hard! Now if you lighten the demands he made and don’t make us work as hard, we will serve you.” 5 He said to them, “Go away for three days, then return to me.” So the people went away.

6 King Rehoboam consulted with the older advisers who had served his father Solomon when he had been alive. He asked them, “How do you advise me to answer these people?” 7 They said to him, “If you are fair to these people, grant their request, and are cordial to them, they will be your servants from this time forward.” 8 But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young advisers who served him, with whom he had grown up. 9 He asked them, “How do you advise me to respond to these people who said to me, ‘Lessen the demands your father placed on us’?” 10 The young advisers with whom Rehoboam had grown up said to him, “Say this to these people who have said to you, ‘Your father made us work hard, but now lighten our burden’ – say this to them: ‘I am a lot harsher than my father! 11 My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier. My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.’”

12 Jeroboam and all the people reported to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had ordered when he said, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 The king responded to the people harshly. He rejected the advice of the older men 14 and followed the advice of the younger ones. He said, “My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier. My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.” 15 The king refused to listen to the people, because God was instigating this turn of events so that he might bring to pass the prophetic announcement he had made through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.

16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king, “We have no portion in David – no share in the son of Jesse! Return to your homes, O Israel! Now, look after your own dynasty, O David!” So all Israel returned to their homes. 17 (Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.) 18 King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, the supervisor of the work crews, out after them, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to jump into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the Davidic dynasty to this very day.

11:1 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he summoned 180,000 skilled warriors from Judah and Benjamin to attack Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. 2 But the Lord’s message came to the prophet Shemaiah, 3 “Say this to King Rehoboam son of Solomon of Judah and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin, 4 ‘The Lord says this: “Do not attack and make war with your brothers. Each of you go home, for I have caused this to happen.”’” They obeyed the Lord and called off the attack against Jeroboam.

5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem; he built up these fortified cities throughout Judah: 6 Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were the fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He fortified these cities and placed officers in them, as well as storehouses of food, olive oil, and wine. 12 In each city there were shields and spears; he strongly fortified them. Judah and Benjamin belonged to him.

13 The priests and Levites who lived throughout Israel supported him, no matter where they resided. 14 The Levites even left their pasturelands and their property behind and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons prohibited them from serving as the Lord’s priests. 15 Jeroboam appointed his own priests to serve at the worship centers and to lead in the worship of the goat idols and calf idols he had made. 16 Those among all the Israelite tribes who were determined to worship the Lord God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their ancestors. 17 They supported the kingdom of Judah and were loyal to Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years; they followed the edicts of David and Solomon for three years.

18 Rehoboam married Mahalath the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 19 She bore him sons named Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 He later married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. She bore to him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than his other wives and concubines. He had eighteen wives and sixty concubines; he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.

22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as the leader over his brothers, for he intended to name him his successor. 23 He wisely placed some of his many sons throughout the regions of Judah and Benjamin in the various fortified cities. He supplied them with abundant provisions and acquired many wives for them.

12:1 After Rehoboam’s rule was established and solidified, he and all Israel rejected the law of the Lord. 2 Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, in King Rehoboam’s fifth year, King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 3 He had 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen, and an innumerable number of soldiers who accompanied him from Egypt, including Libyans, Sukkites, and Cushites. 4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and marched against Jerusalem.

5 Shemaiah the prophet visited Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who were assembled in Jerusalem because of Shishak. He said to them, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have rejected me, so I have rejected you and will hand you over to Shishak.’” 6 The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.” 7 When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the Lord’s message came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves, so I will not destroy them. I will deliver them soon. My anger will not be unleashed against Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 Yet they will become his subjects, so they can experience how serving me differs from serving the surrounding nations.”

9 King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took away the treasures of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace; he took everything, including the gold shields that Solomon had made. 10 King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned them to the officers of the royal guard who protected the entrance to the royal palace. 11 Whenever the king visited the Lord’s temple, the royal guards carried them and then brought them back to the guardroom.

12 So when Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord relented from his anger and did not annihilate him; Judah experienced some good things. 13 King Rehoboam solidified his rule in Jerusalem; he was forty-one years old when he became king and he ruled for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord chose from all the tribes of Israel to be his home. Rehoboam’s mother was an Ammonite named Naamah. 14 He did evil because he was not determined to follow the Lord.

15 The events of Rehoboam’s reign, from start to finish, are recorded in the Annals of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the Seer that include genealogical records. There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 16 Then Rehoboam passed away and was buried in the City of David. His son Abijah replaced him as king.