Over the last couple of days things have really heated up with God’s people. First of all we see God’s nation being split into two nations. We see leaders who are not simply flawed with some shortcomings, we see men whose hearts were set on doing evil. 2 Chronicles 12:1, 14 (NIV)
12 After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel[a] with him abandoned the law of the Lord. 14 He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.
Rehoboam, one of Solomon’s sons, had no intent on following in the footsteps of his grandfather David. The Scripture says that first of all he had abandoned, cast aside the law of the Lord that would have set he and his people apart from the idol worshippers in the nations that were around them. That action in itself made the current nation of Israel more like the wicked nations that were driven out of the Promised Land than the incoming nation of Israel that was under the favor of God. Remember with me the words that God spoke to these people’s ancestors.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 12-14 (NIV)
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.
It seems like such a simple plan to follow. Obey what God says and you will live like no other nation on the face of the planet. The biggest reason why I am not more critical toward these people, is that I, like them, and I’m sure many of you, have experienced how easy it can be to be dumb and act stupidly. Now I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh but to not take our advice and counsel from the one who created us and built the whole universe is actually pretty stupid. I have come to the conclusion that it is easier to ignore God’s advice because it speaks of how it will make our future look, and disobeying God, at the time, can seem to be more pleasurable, more enjoyable, more fun, right now.
It is easy to do wrong. It is usually the path of least resistance. Effort is required to do what God tells us. It requires us to consciously make a decision to follow the Lord. Rehoboam did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord. Another king, Abijah, committed all the sins his father had because his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord. We are even told that Ahab sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord and behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols.
In reading today’s passage, I just felt that what had been a people who had been under God’s favor had become a huge mess. Killings, murder, idols, all sorts of evil was the order of the day.
What I would encourage us to do today is to go in the opposite direction than the one Rehoboam chose when he made the choice to not set his heart on seeking the Lord. We need to consciously set our hearts to seek the Lord. That entails from the time we get up in the morning until the time when our head hits the pillow, we will as an underlying part of our day be seeking the Lord in everything that comes our way. That includes even the bad things. There is an ongoing consciousness of His presence and influence on every moment of our lives.
Not as many people wear watches nowadays as they used to. For those of you who used to wear one or currently do you know what I mean when I talk about making sure your watch is set right. If your watch is set right, the chance is that your day will go better. If your watch is set wrong, your day is going to get all messed up.
Every morning of every day make sure to set your heart on seeking the Lord.