It came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. 2 Chronicles 12:1.
The extravagance of Solomon’s reign during his apostasy had led him to tax the people heavily and to require of them much menial service…. Had Rehoboam and his inexperienced counselors understood the divine will concerning Israel, they would have listened to the request of the people for decided reforms in the administration of the government. But in the hour of opportunity that came to them during the meeting in Shechem, they failed to reason from cause to effect….
The pen of inspiration has traced the sad record of Solomon’s successor as one who failed to exert a strong influence for loyalty to Jehovah. Naturally headstrong, confident, self-willed, and inclined to idolatry, nevertheless, had he placed his trust wholly in God, he would have developed strength of character, steadfast faith, and submission to the divine requirements. But as time passed, the king put his trust in the power of position and in the strongholds he had fortified. Little by little he gave way to inherited weakness, until he threw his influence wholly on the side of idolatry….
How sad, how filled with significance, the words, “And all Israel with him”! The people whom God had chosen to stand as a light to the surrounding nations were turning from their Source of strength and seeking to become like the nations about them. As with Solomon, so with Rehoboam—the influence of wrong example led many astray. And as with them, so to a greater or less degree is it today with everyone who gives himself up to work evil—the influence of wrongdoing is not confined to the doer. No man liveth unto himself. None perish alone in their iniquity. Every life is a light that brightens and cheers the pathway of others, or a dark and desolating influence that tends toward despair and ruin. We lead others either upward to happiness and immortal life, or downward to sorrow and eternal death. And if by our deeds we strengthen or force into activity the evil powers of those around us, we share their sin.
Conflict and Courage p. 201
—–need prayers for healing for Adriana and all the hurt and pain she has had to endure. K
My grandfather always had a love for trains. He had left home in 1894 when he was ten and wandered up and down the east coast. Much of that time was spent riding on trains. As he would ride along, he would pretend that he was the engineer driving the huge engine. He knew what he would like to be when he grew up.
One day when he was almost grown,as he was back in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, he stopped home to visit his mother. His father was home from work that day and immediately set about getting him into an apprenticeship in the family trade of bookbinding. My grandfather didn’t want to do it, but somehow his father was able to force him into it. All his life, he worked as a bookbinder. All his life he hated it and dreamed of being behind the throttle of a gigantic locomotive.
When I was a little girl, he used to take me to the train station and we would watch the trains together. He often talked about trains when I would ask him for a story. He looked upon the time that he spent “riding the rails” as the happiest time of his life. He had felt the train’s power. He had felt free.
It is possible to do the same in our Christian walk. We think about being a Christian, we talk about religion, we dream of the reward at the end, but do we really do it? The free gift of salvation has been provided, but it is not forced upon us. We have to ask for it. We must reach out and take it. We must have a daily experience, a daily conversion.
Peter advises, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10 John adds, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will
of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:15-17 “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.” 1 Thes 4:3
How are we sanctified? In that great prayer of Jesus, we find the key. Our Dear Saviour prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17 David says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Ps 119:9-11 Solomon adds, “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live, and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.” Pr 7:1-3 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
May we reach out and accept God’s Great Provision and serve Him in singleness of heart. May we spend time in God’s Holy Word each day that we may draw closer to our Loving Saviour. May we hide His precepts in ourheart that we may please the One Who loves us so.