II Chronicles 12:1: “When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. “
II Chronicles 11:17 says, “They strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and for three years they made Rehoboam, son of Solomon, secure, for they walked for three years in the way of David and Solomon.” After a shaky start, Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, is developing well as a leader of God’s people. Unfortunately, well-done is not good enough.
Now read the very next verse (II Chronicles 12:1): “When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him.“
It looks like it took three years for Rehoboam to secure his kingdom. Then, it was stable and strong. He was the king, and everyone pledged allegiance to him. He was strong. And that’s when he abandoned the law of the Lord.
I’ve been a pastor for many years, and I can’t say I’ve known of too many people who, in the midst of affluence, power, and prestige, have humbled themselves and surrendered to the Lord. There have been some, but the number is incredibly few. Maybe this is why Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.
Riches, power, and success are not sin. However, they are very dangerous. They do something subtly in your heart – slowly leading you away from the Lord. Maintaining your position may “require” you loosening your grip on the Lord. I think it will always result in such a test.
You may not be a billionaire today, but you probably have riches, power and prestige that the vast majority of the people in the world do not have. That means you are on dangerous ground. My regular prayer is this: “If suffering comes, good, but may it not come because that is what is needed to bring me back to you. May I hold your word tightly and riches loosely.”
A second thing to notice here is at the end of verse 1. It says that Rehoboam “abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him.” I am guessing that there were isolated people here and there who loved the Lord, but this is a principle we will see over and over again in the history of Israel. As the leader goes, so goes the people.
Here’s the reality: you are leading. Whether a family, employees, a corporation, a division, a team, or friends. Make no mistake here; you ARE leading. And your actions and attitudes will direct people either closer to Christ or further from him. Your life will lead people to his blessing or his curse.