TODAY’S READING: 2 CHRONICLES 12-16
As king of all Israel, Rehoboam was seeking power. We saw that in yesterday’s post as he sought to make the yoke upon the people even heavier. Speaking of Rehoboam, 2 Chronicles 12:14 says, “And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.” By seeking power, Rehoboam did not set his heart to seek the Lord. This was evil.
Rehoboam’s seeking power separated the people from God. How do we know this?
For one, when the people heard that Rehoboam was going to add to their yoke, the people said, “What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Each of you to your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” The people were separated from David, who symbolizes the true king of Israel, by Rehoboam’s lust for power.
2 Chronicles 12:13 says, “Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign.” The number 41 often symbolizes separation in the Bible.
The 41st time the name Abram is used is in Genesis 15:11, which says, “And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.” Abram separated the birds of prey from his offering.
The 41st time the name Abraham is used is in Genesis 21:10, which says, “So she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.'” Here again, the 41st mention of Abraham’s name is connected to separating something or someone, in this case Ishmael from the inheritance.
We can do this with other names and the 41st time they are mentioned.
So, because the king did not set his heart on God but sought power, which was evil, Rehoboam’s reign separated the people from God.
But, as king, Jesus sought something entirely different than Rehoboam. Jesus did not seek power over men. Instead, Jesus sought to serve men. In Matthew 20:28, Jesus said, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Further, Jesus sought nothing of his own. Instead, Jesus set his heart on the Father. In John 5:30, Jesus said, “I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” Instead of seeking his own kingdom and his own power, Jesus sought only to do the will of the Father. Jesus only sought the Father’s heart.
In Luke 19:10, Jesus said what the will of the Father is, why he came. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus came to reconcile men to God.
So, Rehoboam’s reign, which sought power and not the heart of God, separated men from God. But, Jesus’ reign, marked by his seeking the Father’s heart and seeking to do only the Father’s will, separated men from the world to God.
It really matters what your king seeks. For what your king seeks, that you will seek also. What you seek will either separate you from God or separate you from the world.