Judah Becomes Weak
Verses 1, 2 – Here “Israel” refers to Judah, the southern kingdom. During Rehoboam’s first three years on the throne, he attempted to obey God and Judah prospered. But, popularity and power became greater and he abandon God after that. Then God allowed Judah to be conquered by Egypt. So often when things are going good in life, people forget who they are and who was the real source of their prosperity. In the tough times, we are moved towards God, but in the good times we become self-sufficient and self-satisfied. When things are going right, guard your faith closely.
A record of this invasion has been found on an Egyptian stone that says Shishak’s army penetrated as far north as the Sea of Galilee. They were not strong enough to conquer both Israel and Judah, but managed to destroy key cities in Judah in an effort to gain control of the trade routes and create dissension among the people.
Verse 4 – In spite of all the work Solomon and Rehoboam had put into fortifying the cities of Judah, these efforts didn’t keep away the pharaoh whom God had sent as punishment for the sins of the kingdom.
Verses 6-8 – God showed mercy when Israel’s leaders repented and humbled themselves. When we start to leave God out of our lives, we lose more spiritually than we ever gain financially.
Verse 9 – Shishak’s army arrived in Jerusalem and helped themselves to all the treasures that David and Solomon had collected. Shishak did not destroy Jerusalem. This unusual action fits with Shishak’s own records of this military excursion. He listed in an inscription 41 cities that he captured and decimated, but Jerusalem was not among them.
Verses 10,11 – This is another humiliation for Rehoboam when he had to replace the golden shields with bronze ones. When God is no longer center in our lives, maintaining the Christian life becomes superficial.
Verses 13, 14 – Despite Rehoboam’s repentance and God’s rescue, Chronicles still listed him “an evil king.” Why? Because he had not “set his heart on seeking the Lord.” God asks us for a firm commitment, and unless we respond by trusting Him completely, we will find only frustrations and self effort in our lives.