Kings of Israel #4
Rehoboam’s Evil and Submission to Egypt
Key Verses: 2Ch 11:18-23 and 2Ch 12:1-16
We pick up from where we ended last time in Chronicles and we are told of Rehoboam’s family history and his actions in grooming one of his sons to be his successor.
2Ch 11:18 And Rehoboam took him Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David to wife, and Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse;
2Ch 11:19 Which bare him children; Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham.
2Ch 11:20 And after her he took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.
2Ch 11:21 And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.)
At this stage of a king, the first in a divided Israel, we are immature as even Rehoboam’s son tells us later (2Ch 13:7). As we advance we can look back and see the Lord’s hand and purpose in working all seasons of our life, including our immaturity and taking many wives and concubines. Spiritually Rehoboam’s life is part of our journey as we keep searching for the Truth and the one true wife that is the Body of Christ. We don’t find it on our own initiative as we eventually realize.
Rom 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
Rehoboam is conflicted, meaning we are conflicted, in taking many spiritual wives and having many children in our search for the truth. Our spiritual wives represent churches in Scripture and specifically with whom we have relations in raising up seed to extend our life. Our spiritual sons and daughters are the emerging mindsets as we grow in the faith as we are learning (is, was and will be) to rule the Kingdom of God within us.
These numbers cited all have significance in Rehoboam’s life and this season of our maturity. The quantities of wives and concubines are all derived from some factoring with the number six which is the number of mankind and speaking of our flesh. It is the process of our spiritual completion (the number 3) applied against the number of mankind (6) that represents the many wives we are progressing to be made whole in Christ. Concubines represent our straying from faith to satisfy our flesh (6) in the pursuit of our own perfection (the number 10), hence Rehoboam and we have sixty spiritual concubines at this stage.
Sons as males represent the doctrines and daughters as females represent the overcoming, the doing part of our maturing. It is through 28 sons we are being made mature with four symbolizing the whole and the number seven our completion. We get to 28 also by taking our witness for Christ (two) times 14 which stands for our spiritual progression.
Just three of the eighteen wives and sixty concubines are named in Rehoboam’s story. We see the process of our maturing through the number three and its multiples in Scripture. That process is Egypt, Babylon and Christ in general and these three named wives symbolize that process when we look deeper into their meaning.
Mahalath, means sickness, and originally in Scripture was the daughter of Ishmael (Gen 28:9) being a representation of us being first married to our flesh.
Abihail, meaning “my father is might”, was the daughter of Eliab who was the outwardly beautiful, handsome son of Jesse that was not the one chosen to be anointed the king. It was from this story of Eliab (the brother of David and firstborn of Jesse) that we are taught this valuable spiritual lesson.
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
We first get seduced and fall in love with the outward beauty and righteousness and snared in Babylon waiting to be dragged out (Rev 18:4).
Maachah, is the third named wife whose name means oppression/depression. It is through the vexing and oppression of our carnal ways that we are dragged to Christ and kept there by the power of God. We love the Body of Christ, our true spiritual wife most yet this same loved wife is the source of vexation and oppression of our old man (1Pe 4:17, Jer 5:14).
Rehoboam, who is a representation of the new man growing into truth, loves Maachah more than the other wives. This is because the oppression aka torments we are living through is the very thing that is saving us little by little (Rev 14:10, 2Co 4:8, etc.). Abijah, the son of the wife he loved most, is the favorite of Rehoboam and is exalted above the others and groomed to be the successor king.
2Ch 11:22 And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king.
2Ch 11:23 And he dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his children throughout all the countries of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fenced city: and he gave them victual in abundance. And he desired many wives.
Like his father Solomon, Rehoboam was wise (because we have Truth) and showed understanding by putting his children into all the territory of his kingdom to protect it. Also, like Solomon, the desires for many wives and women (think not being content with what we have been given or where we are in the Spirit) led him astray in seeking greater gain.
1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
But as learn in our own time, the focus of self-preservation and strengthening ourselves leads to all kinds of evil and lapses in sound judgment. The Lord sends His sword to bring about a change of heart and growth in our maturity.
2Ch 12:1 And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him.
2Ch 12:2 And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD,
2Ch 12:3 With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians.
2Ch 12:4 And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.
2Ch 12:5 Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.
We don’t see all the negative acts of Rehoboam in Chronicles. We need to go over to Kings wherein Israel’s version we find the details of what Rehoboam’s and Judah’s forsaking the Lord entailed.
1Ki 14:22 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.
1Ki 14:23 For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.
1Ki 14:24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
Self-worship and trusting in ourselves is spiritual sodomy and idolatry that we engage in that is forbidden and bears no fruit or increase for the Lord. Our unfaithfulness brings the wrath of a jealous God to bring us back to Himself.
Col 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Col 3:6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,
Col 3:7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
Our escape and repentance from such evil will be brought about using the wicked nations within us. We saw the Egyptian king, Shishak, in Part 1 of this series as he hosted Jeroboam when he fled from Solomon’s wrath. This king is our worldliness, the mindset and spirit we are struggling with and separating from after we come into the truth.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
Shishak coming to conquer the kingdom for a season is part of all things the Lord is working (Eph 1:11) and is the Lord causing us to err from His ways (Isa 63:17). Yes, even our worldliness and getting engaged with the world (1Joh 2:15) is His work in us (Php 2:13).
It was prophesied when Solomon’s temple was dedicated that if Israel turned away and served other gods the Lord would forsake them and bring much evil upon Israel (2Ch 7:16-22). That is now being lived out and coming to roost in the reign of Rehoboam for the sins of our prior mindset. The macro truth is the Lord will NEVER leave us or forsake His elect which is the faith in which we are learning to stand on despite the evil we still contend with.
Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
But it is true, that part of chastening grace is scourging (Heb 12:6) and teaching us (Isa 26:9, Tit 2:11) and the Lord is seemingly leaving us but in truth, He is turning us over to heathen spirits.
2Ch 15:2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.
In response to our disobedience, the Lord is raising up Egypt and its helpers (turning us over to the lusts of our flesh) to humble us and give the occasion for Him to bring more judgment and grace upon us (Jer 46:7-46:9). This evil all works for the greater good as many Scriptures attest (Jer 2:19, Rom 8:28), which brings us back to the Lord in repentance (Psa 90:3) and which leads to our salvation. As we grow in faith and abide in the heat of our trials, we can then answer like Paul from a mature mindset that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:35).
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The scourging of the Lord upon Rehoboam begins in the 5th year of his reign signifying the grace of God being poured out. Shishak was the host and place of refuge for our divided half (Jeroboam) and where we mentally go when trying to preserve our life in the flesh and escape our trials and judgment (1Ki 11:40). Shishak invaded Judah with a massive army that took tremendous physical power and to move across rivers and cross a harsh desert. We all fall for the power of our flesh that is strong when we are a young king in the spirit and immature. The fact there are twelve hundred (1,2oo) of these chariots and 60,000 horsemen like all numbers convey understanding once we apply the symbolism that the sum of the Word conveys to those given ears to hear. These 1,200 chariots are the lies and false doctrines of the world that have us believing we have power and can do what we will outside the control of God. This is the foundation (12) upon which the worldly mindset is based by which we all first seek to perfect ourselves in our witness for Christ (12 x 10 x 10).
These chariots are ridden by 60,000 horsemen (flesh and carnal mindsets) that sit in the chariots of lies all being pulled by the Egyptian horses which here in the negative (Heb 4:11) signify the power and strength of the flesh. These fleshly horses, chariots and our carnal mind are being overcome and destroyed at the appointed time in our maturation process as our baptism with fire progresses.
Psa 147:10 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
Jos 11:6 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for tomorrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.
The people that came with Shishak and the chariot army were said to be without number; reminding us again just how strong and pervasive our flesh is and how it is impossible in our own strength to overcome the world (John 16:33).
We are given some interesting detail of three types of people included, the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians. Ezekiel 30 speaks more of the interplay of these aligned nations that are used to oppress us and help keep us ensnared by the bondage to the world.
Eze 30:8 And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed.
As a type of Babylon, we get some religion (Rev 13:11) and learn to handle swords, hold shields and wear helmets, yet our beastly head wound heals quickly (Rev 13:3). We continue being driven by Egyptian horses and chariots in the first half of our witness for Christ. As we have recently studied, it is thru the Lord’s battle ax, the Body of Christ (the fire), that these Egyptian horses and chariots will be destroyed.
Jer 51:21 And with thee (My Battle Ax) will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;
The worldly mindset and spirit are being destroyed by the coming of Christ in our day of the Lord. These helpers of Egypt are part of what Gog symbolizes who will be turned back and dragged to the fire that will save them.
Eze 38:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
Eze 38:4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
Eze 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
It takes many generations for us to mature beyond engaging with these heathen nations that get their power and influence from Egypt which is the world. Let’s look further at the details that Chronicles gives us of the Egyptian invasion.
2Ch 12:6 Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous.
2Ch 12:7 And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.
Grace and judgment are the fiery trials the Lord puts us through which are done to humble us and bring us to repent of our carnal and worldly mindset. The Lord is doing this scourging, so we will stop our disobedience and return to Him.
2Ch 7:14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
We see this humility and deliverance from these armies in the story of king Asa, Rehoboam’s grandson, when we study this in the weeks ahead, Lord willing.
2Ch 16:8 NKJV Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand.
The Lord’s chastening is not to destroy us but instead to teach us the His ways which is righteousness and our aim as we follow the Lord.
Heb 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he (The Lord) for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
The Egyptian invasion accomplishes the Lord’s purposes and Rehoboam and the people of Judah humble themselves before the Lord. Dominion and freedom from our inward enemies comes little by little and the Lord purposefully keeps these inward enemies in the promised land (Jos 15:63, Jdg 1:28-32) as a thorn in our flesh to keep us humble. We will always need to strive against and resist the nature of our beast.
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
At first like an immature Rehoboam, we fall and the treasures of the temple are taken.
2Ch 12:8 Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.
2Ch 12:9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
Judah moves forward in its divided history in servitude to king Shishak who is part of the Lord’s sword in working righteousness in us. This servitude to our own flesh will be used to drag us closer to the Lord and cry out for even further deliverance from the man of sin.
Psa 17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:
Psa 17:14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.
When the king of Egypt within us has taken all the treasures of the Lord’s house and all of our treasures, we have fallen, which is part of our maturing (Pro 24:16) and have been overcome by worldliness. Taking the shields [H4043] of gold that our father Solomon made is having our shield of faith corrupted in a season of worldliness and unbelief. In time and with great tribulation, we are being confronted and told to get our gold back that can only be purchase in the fire of our trials and tribulations (Rev 3:18-19).
The treasure of the Lord’s temple is His Word that has been into His people. We, all misuse this Word and are spiritual harlots with Egypt before we are able to stand in faith.
Eze 16:17 Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,
Joe 3:5 Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things:
Without shields of gold, we have to resort to using copper (brass) shields which is a common metal that symbolizes our carnal mindset. These copper shields are better than nothing in allowing us to guard our gates and entrances the best we can with limited spiritual maturity.
2Ch 12:10 Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king’s house.
2Ch 12:11 And when the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber.
2Ch 12:12 And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that he would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well.
Every man alive can only do what the Sovereign Lord is doing in their lives. It is NOT in man to direct his own steps! Yes, even our immaturity and inability to be spiritual warriors for the Lord is part of ALL THINGS and HIS WORK in us. We are doing the best we can with the limited resources we have been given at this stage of our maturity. But it’s exactly where we are supposed to be.
Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
This experience brings more humility to Rehoboam and the Lord eases off the chastening and brings us a period and season of wellness, so we can rest and get ready for the next test.
1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
With his guard and shields of brass, Rehoboam was given time to regroup and strengthen himself as the Lord will not try us beyond what we can bear (1Co 10:13).
2Ch 12:13 So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
2Ch 12:14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
Rehoboam and we are incapable of preparing our own hearts. That is the work of the Lord for all men and all kings at every stage of our lives.
Pro 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Psa 10:17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
As a result of the Lord, Rehoboam, as a young immature king, did evil. This is what the Lord is still doing to this day despite what billions of professing Christians may otherwise believe.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
We certainly should not be content with any evil we are doing but should strive against and seek help via prayer and fasting for deliverance to overcome. Applying this to others is the narrow way we are learn as judgment is now on the house of God.
Rom 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Here are the final two verses in the Chronicles version of Rehoboam’s reign.
2Ch 12:15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.
2Ch 12:16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.
The physical books of Shemaiah and Iddo are nowhere to be found. Yet we know all the acts of Rehoboam are contained in everyone one of our books, the Book of Life for every man.
Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
The divided nation of Israel is always going to be at war with itself. The battle between doctrine and truth versus what our flesh wants to do is a war that only ends when there is unity and oneness in Israel. We are getting there as we live out these lives of these kings. At this stage we are in the beginning of sorrows as we await the day of the Lord (Mat 24:6-8).
Rehoboam’s death was a physical death yet the way we are to apply these verses to learn is to remember that “His words are Spirit – Joh 6:63”. The death of Rehoboam is moving us onward to another experience of evil (Ecc 1:13) that will be used to further refine us. Living to 58 years as Rehoboam did was not the promise of long life. Our obedience is far from complete.
Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Eph 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Eph 6:3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.