When the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the LORD came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.”
14 He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD.
God’s people, led by King Rehoboam, had stopped serving God. They were worshipping other gods, so God was giving them over to the pagan king of Egypt, Shishak. Rehoboam and other leaders heard God’s Word through Shemaiah the prophet and they humbled themselves. God consistently responds to humility and so He delivered Rehoboam from being destroyed by Shishak. Rehoboam remained King in Jerusalem for another 12 years, but he was subject to Shishak. God wanted him to learn the difference between being subject to God and to a pagan king. Verse 14 explains Rehoboam’s core character fault. He did evil because he did not set his heart on seeking the Lord.
I am going to be ruled by someone. Either I give honor to God and yield to His benevolent Lordship or I will be subject to the evil of my flesh and the pagan ways of this world. Like Rehoboam, doing evil is the natural and consisten result for those hearts who do not seek the Lord. I want to have the heart of Paul who said, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:7-11).
And then in the very next verse Paul says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” What is it that Jesus took hold of him? What has Christ done? What was His purpose for coming? Simply, so I could be in relationship with God! This relationship is what Paul says he presses on to take hold of. He seeks God. Me too!
Lord, I seek You today with my whole heart. Sin is ruthless as a taskmaster and I eagerly choose to be subject to you instead. Rule and reign in me this day.