After having committed themselves to follow David and Solomon’s example, things went well for Rehoboam and the kingdom of Judah. It went so well that they deserted the examples of their fathers and went their own ways. Verse one of Chapter 12 makes it very plain. It says, “When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him.”

Unlike David & Solomon who held firm to God’s laws in their administrations, Rehoboam turned away from God and he led the nation to follow him. In so doing he brought God’s displeasure upon the nation. Egypt conquered Israel and made them servants. They removed the gold from the temple and Solomon replaced it with cheap iron replicas. That which was most valuable was exchanged for that of no true value.  That might be the epitaph for Rehoboam’s reign.

Prosperity can be a dangerous thing. On April 30, 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of prayer & repentance for our nation. Here’s is his declaration:  “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us.  It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Do you think it might be an appropriate prayer for our time as well?

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.” 1 Peter 3:8(NLT)