1 Kings 14:21-31

Rehoboam Misleads Judah

21 Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen from all the tribes of Israel to put His name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 22 Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked Him to jealousy more than all that their fathers had done, with [h]the sins which they [i]committed. 23 For they also built for themselves high places and sacred pillars and [j]Asherim on every high hill and beneath every luxuriant tree. 24 There were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel.

25 Now it happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, that Shishak the king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26 He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house, and he took everything, [k]even taking all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 27 So King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place, and committed them to the [l]care of the commanders of the [m]guard who guarded the doorway of the king’s house. 28 Then it happened as often as the king entered the house of the Lord, that the [n]guards would carry them and would bring them back into the [o]guards’ room.

29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 30 There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. And Abijam his son became king in his place.

I can about imagine Solomon’s reaction to the replacement shields had he lived to see them, “Really? You made shields of bronze?! Ooh, fancy…” His voice would have been laden with sarcasm, since even silver was practically worthless in Solomon’s day. The bronze shields were a poor substitute for the glory of his father’s day, but Rehoboam had forsaken wisdom from the beginning of his reign.

Anyone could see it was silly to parade about a bunch of bronze shields after all the riches Rehoboam gave up in his foolishness. But to forsake God was the height of his foolishness, for only as Solomon followed after God was he blessed and at peace.

It reminds me of the passage that says God will use the foolish things to confound the wise. But truly, the wisdom of those who forsake God is but a shadow of what it could be with God to instruct them in His ways. Do you wish to be wise, make good decisions, and find purpose and meaning in your life? Then find God and His way. Solomon himself said, “Vanity vanity, all is vanity…” unless you “fear God and obey His commandments.” Don’t chase after the wind, chase after God, and He will make Himself known to you.

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