The tough situation we are in may very well be God’s plan for us today and the consequence of our unfaithfulness. God is proved right when he speaks and justified when he judges. If we humble ourselves before him, he will have mercy upon us…
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.
2 But this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God: 3 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, 4 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your fellow Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’” So they obeyed the words of the Lord and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.
1 After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him 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. 3 With twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites that came with him from Egypt, 4 he captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem.
5 Then the prophet Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and to the leaders of Judah who had assembled in Jerusalem for fear of Shishak, and he said to them, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you 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, this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.”
2Chronicles 11:1-4, 12:1-8
King Rehoboam, who did not follow the Lord in his reign, was planning to go to war to regain all of Israel to reunite Judah and Israel together. God spoke, however, to the prophet Shemaiah, saying to Rehoboam to not fight against their own people, for their situation was of God’s doing.
Sometimes, when we think we need to do battle to regain what we have lost, God answers by saying, this is my doing. The tough situation we are in may very well be God’s plan for us today.
Rehoboam was unfaithful to God, and as the King of Egypt attacked and captured many cities in Judah, Jerusalem was next. Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and his leaders and broke the news: ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.’
The Lord was prepared for them to suffer the consequences of their unfaithfulness to God. The Lord had determined that he would not bail them out and rescue them. Their response, however, was the gamechanger for Judah. They recognized that God is just in his judgements.
David himself recognized this same thing in Psalm 51 as he was repenting from his sin with Bathsheba. He acknowledged that God is proved right when he speaks and justified when he judges. When we hear the voice of God, we are foolish to dig in. God is just. We ought to respond as Rehoboam did:
They humbled themselves before God and he rescued them from destruction. God still, however, let them be subject to Egypt for a time. Even when we humble ourselves, God may be teaching us a lesson in our rescue. For Judah, the lesson was for them to understand the difference between serving God and the kings of other lands. After this experience, Judah would understand the value of following God.
Check yourself to see if you are following God in faithfulness. God will not allow you to turn away from him without consequence. Will you humble yourself and recognize that he is just in his relationship with you?