2 Chronicles 11 … Consider Him Who Redirects Our Steps

“Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “You shall not go up or fight against your relatives; return every man to his house, for this thing is from Me.”’” So they listened to the words of the Lord and returned from going against Jeroboam, (11:3-4).

Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, is assembled, equipped and ready for war.

Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam, (11:1).

But…

But the word of the Lord came…

A Word from the Lord changes plans, immediately. Or at least it should.

“You shall not go up or fight against your relatives; return every man to his house, for this thing is from Me,” (11:2).

And His Word came: simply put… don’t fight. This battle was from Him. He had not only predicted it; He had foreordained it.

When Solomon turned away from the Lord, God was angry. But this turning away from God did not simply mean Solomon was glancing in another direction. Solomon turned in wholehearted pursuit of the false gods of his many wives.

And although the Lord had appeared to Solomon, and though He had repeatedly warned him to guard his heart, still he turned in the opposite direction. And the word of the Lord came…

So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen,” (1 Kings 11:9-13).

God said He was giving the majority of the kingdom to Solomon’s servant. And that servant was Jeroboam. And the Word of the Lord came again…

Then Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, Solomon’s servant…29 It came about at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road… “for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give you ten tribes35 but I will take the kingdom from his son’s hand and give it to you, even ten tribes. 36 But to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name.” (1 Kings 11:26, 29-30, 35-36).

When Rehoboam was beginning to establish his reign as the new monarch, the people came in sincerity, asking for his consideration regarding their workload. And now, Rehoboam was reaping the consequences of his foolish choice to listen to the counsel of his buddies over that of the elders.

Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders… They spoke to him, saying, “If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” But he forsook the counsel of the elders… 10 The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say… 11 Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions, (2 Chronicles 10:7-8, 10-11).

And this was the beginning of the kingdom’s tearing apart through civil unrest and war; the southern kingdom under the leadership of Solomon’s son, King Rehoboam, and the northern kingdom led by King Jeroboam. Again preordained.

And this time, as Solomon’s son is ready to engage in military conflict for the sake of the kingdom, he chooses wisely in his response to the Word of the Lord.

Consider Him Who Redirects Our Steps

“You shall not go up or fight against your relatives; return every man to his house, for this thing is from Me.” So they listened to the words of the Lord and returned from going against Jeroboam… 17 They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon… (11:4, 17).

  • He Redirects Our Steps as we trust His Will
    • “You shall not go up or fight against your relatives; return every man to his house…”
  • He Redirects Our Steps as we believe His Way
    • “… for this thing is from Me,”
  • He Redirects Our Steps as we listen to and obey His Word
    • So they listened to the words of the Lord and returned from going against Jeroboam,
  • He Redirects Our Steps with Strength and Support
    • They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon… 

How do we respond to Him Who Redirects Our Steps?

I can’t even begin to imagine that I can ever possibly understand His ways. I can’t help but wonder why He intervened in Rehoboam’s life. And while I know it is for the sake of His Name and to fulfill His Will and His Word, it still baffles me; and still I stand amazed. He could have just thrown up His hands in disgust, given up on man as a lost cause.

But His loving compassion and mercies, new every morning, daily invite us to return to Him; and we should always be undone by that.

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail,
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness, (Lamentations 3:22-23).

As we consider our own response to Him Who Redirects Our Steps, we would do well to learn from all the tribes of Israel.

Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers. 17 They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon, for they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years (11:16-17).

Because they set their hearts to seek Him, the kingdom was strengthened through unified support of their leader. Interesting note about His Strength and Support provided; it only lasted three years. Not because He is unwilling or unable. Why only three years? Chapter 12 immediately explains.

When the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and strong, he and all Israel with him forsook the law of the Lord, (2 Chronicles 12:1).

After enjoying the benefits of His Strength and Support, rather than continuing to set their hearts on seeking and listening, they grew strong in and of themselves; and turned away from Him yet again.

We must seek Him Who Redirects Our Steps, every day, every moment, for we too, like the Israelites, are prone to wander; prone to think we have it under control and turn from His Way to our own. We cannot be lulled into thinking that because we surrendered today, we will do so tomorrow.

He is faithful to Redirect Our Steps, to change our plans so as to align with His Will, His Way and His Word; but He will not coerce us into following Him. The truth is, we must choose to comply. That requires surrender, a change in mindset, and often times a change in direction, a deliberate returning back to Him; for in our natural self, we will always choose our own way.

  • As we trust His Will, He will be faithful to Redirect Our Steps
    • Trust in the Lord with all your heart
      And do not lean on your own understanding.
      In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He will make your paths straight,
      (Proverbs 3:5-6).
    • Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it,” (Matthew 16:24-25).
  • As we believe His Way, He will be faithful to Redirect Our Steps
    • Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left,” (Isaiah 30:21).
    • Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect, (Romans 12:1-2).
  • As we listen to and obey His Word, He will be faithful to Redirect Our Steps
    • How can a young man keep his way pure?
      By keeping it according to Your word.
      10 With all my heart I have sought You;
      Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
      11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
      That I may not sin against You
      100 …Because I have observed Your precepts.
      101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way,
      That I may keep Your word.
      102 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
      For You Yourself have taught me…
      133 Establish my footsteps in Your word,
      And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me,
      (Psalm 119:9-11, 100-102, 133).
    • But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does, (James 1:22-25).
  • And because He alone is able and faithful, He will Redirect Our Steps with His Strength and Support
    • God is our refuge and strength,
      A very present help in trouble.
      Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change…
      (Psalm 46:1-2).
    • I can do all things through Him who strengthens me, (Philippians 4:13).

He is so faithful to Redirect Our Steps. All He asks us to do is to come near in surrender to Him. How can we not?

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you,
(Psalm 32:8-9).

And His Word says He finds delight in us when trust Him to establish, and when needed, Redirect Our Steps.

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand,
(Psalm 37:23-24).

Oh, that we would grow to trust, believe, listen and obey Him for our strength and support; He will not let us fall. Think on this… We have the opportunity to bring Him delight, each and every day, as we surrender ourselves to Him Who Redirects Our Steps!

Let’s Grow Together!

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