2 Chronicles 12:16 ‘And Rehoboam slept with his fathers….and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.’

July 16, 2017 by David Farmer 0 comments

Posted in: Weekly Commentary

2 Chronicles 12:16

‘And Rehoboam slept with his fathers….and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.’

 The kings of Judah were descendants of David, the second king of Israel succeeding Saul of Benjamin. God had made a covenant with David that his seed  always be seated on the throne of Israel forever; 2 Samuel 7:16:

And thy house and thy kingdom shall be made sure for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

Some of the promises given through Nathan the prophet were applicable to David, the son of Jesse; some were applicable to Solomon, his son. But all of the ‘for ever’ promises were applicable only to Jesus Christ, the greater son of David, and His kingdom which He has made sure forever through His own blood.

Even the temporal kingdom of Israel established under David according to the promise of God, and builded up under the reign of Solomon was soon divided into the kingdom of Judah, made up of Judah with Benjamin, while the remaining ten tribes constituted the kingdom of Israel, more often referred to, in Scripture, as the northern tribes, or Samaria. This division evolved according to the word of God as it is recorded for us [and for our admonition] in 1 Kings 11:9-13:

And Jehovah was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from Jehovah, the God of Israel, who had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he kept not that which Jehovah commanded.

Wherefore Jehovah said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee; and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it, for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to thy son, for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.  

After the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam became king, however because of his refusal to deal fairly with the ten tribes, they abandoned him for Jeroboam ‘his servant.’ Thus the kingdom was divided. Rehoboam continued to reign in Jerusalem while Jeroboam began his wicked reign over the ten tribes. This begins our journey in the history of the line of the kings of Judah. And this line of kings demonstrates for us very distinctly that it is not necessarily flesh and blood that inherit the kingdom of God. The truth of John 1:13 prevailed, ‘not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ These kings of Judah were born of the flesh; children of Abraham and David, yet not necessarily born of God.

Reading of the highs and lows represented by the many kings of Judah, reveals to us the great reality of God’s sovereignty in the salvation of men. These kings had much in common. They were in the line of the great King to come at the appointed time. In Matthew’s genealogy of the Christ, we see—although truncated most likely—the names of many of these kings, beginning in verse six with David, then Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, and on to the birth of Jesus, who is called Christ. We are reminded through this lineage that many may be ‘kinsmen according to the flesh’ that are not kinsmen according to grace. Thus we discover that Rehoboam ‘did that which was evil, because he set not his heart to seek Jehovah.’ (2 Chron. 12:14). We may read, however, that the children of Judah, under Abijah, ‘prevailed, because they relied upon Jehovah, the God of their fathers.’ This fluctuation of good kings and bad kings among the descendants of David could be said to fly in the face of the teachings—mostly attributed to Solomon—found in Proverbs. Many of the duties of parentage presented in that book, if followed, would seem to ‘guarantee’ dutiful and good children. This is particularly the case with Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it. The American Standard Version (1901) contains a marginal reading that offers to us something of an idea which is diametrically opposed to the generally received understanding of this ‘magnet verse.’ This marginal reading is ‘Heb. according to his way. Does this not suggest a popular pattern for child-rearing in our own day? Yet we must remind ourselves that this was not new, that is, to raise a child according to his own way. We read of David’s parenting style in 1 Kings 1:6, that he displeased not [Adonijah] at any time, saying, Why hast thou done so? He went in his own way.

Jesus spoke of one of these descendants of David in Mt. 23, Therefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: some of them shall ye kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar. This refers to Joash who was saved from the wrath of Athaliah (2 Chron. 22:10-23:11). He forgot who saved him and subsequently was complicit in the death of Jehoiada’s son.

And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of Jehovah, so that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken Jehovah, he hath also forsaken you. And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of Jehovah. Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, Jehovah look upon it, and require it.

It is only the sovereign electing love of God that changes a man’s heart, be he a son of Abraham, or a son of David. Salvation is of Jehovah.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church

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