2 Chronicles 12
1 When Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD and all Israel with him. 2 And in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD, 3 with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen: the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt: the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians. 4 And he took the fortified cities that belonged to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.
- Judges 5:8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates.
- Revelation 2:4 I have this against you, you have left your first love.
5 Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, The LORD says this, You have forsaken me, and therefore I have left you in the hand of Shishak.
The Lord is righteous
6 At this the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous. 7 And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah saying, They have humbled themselves; I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. 8 But they will be his servants so that they may know what it is like to serve me, and what it is like to serve the kingdoms of the countries.
- If nations today will humble themselves before God He will grant mercy and not destroy them.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
- Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are loaded down, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and low in heart: and you will find rest to your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
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. 10 In their place 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. 11 And when the king entered the house of the LORD, the guard came and carried them, and then returned them to the guard chamber. 12 When he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him that he would not destroy him altogether: and also there were good things in Judah.
- James 4:6 he gives more grace. Therefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
- Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.
13 So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned: Rehoboam was 41 old when he began to reign, and he reigned 17 years in Jerusalem, the city that 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. 14 And he did evil, because he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.
- The Pharisees who demanded Christ’s death were very religious people but they were not holy before God.
- They did not seek God.
- Each king of Israel was to copy God’s scriptures for himself and read in them each day.
- Deuteronomy 17:18 And when he sits upon the throne of his kingdom, that he is to write himself a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 19 And it will be with him, and he is to read in it all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.
- Psalm 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
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? There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his place.
- Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
2 Chronicles 13
1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam, Abijah began to reign over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 And Abijah set the battle in position with an army of valiant men of war, 400,000 valiant men: Jeroboam also set the battle in position against him with 800,000 valiant men, mighty men of valor. 4 And Abijah stood up on mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim and said, Hear me, Jeroboam, and all Israel; 5 Do you not know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom of Israel to David forever, to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? 6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, raised up and rebelled against his lord. 7 Worthless men gathered to him, the children of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.
- Salt was the preservative of the ancient world.
- A covenant of salt was a lasting covenant (verse 6).
- Children of Belial are children of evil or Satan.
- John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not dwell in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
8 Now do you think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; you are a great multitude, but with you are golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods. 9 Have you not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made priests like the nations of other lands? So whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, may be a priest of them that are not gods. 10 But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests that minister to the LORD are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business: 11 And they burn to the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: also they set in order the showbread on the pure table; and the lamp stand of gold with its lamps to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our God; but you have forsaken him.
- Psalm 22:28 For the kingdom is the LORD’s: and he is the governor among the nations.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
God Himself was with them as their commander in chief
12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, do not fight against the LORD God of your fathers; for you will not prosper. 13 But Jeroboam ambushed them from behind: so they were before Judah and the ambush was behind them. 14 And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried to the LORD, and the priests sounded with the trumpets.
God fought for them
15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened, that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hand. 17 And Abijah and his people killed them with a great slaughter: so that 500,000 valiant men fell down slain of Israel. 18 By this the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the LORD God of their fathers.
- Sometimes when God fought for the people as the people just stood there and did nothing but watch, like Gideon.
- This time they fought. He does not fail us or forsake us when we rely on Him.
- Psalm 50:15 call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you will glorify me.
- Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD your God, he it is that goes with you; he will not fail you, or forsake you.
19 And Abijah chased Jeroboam and took cities from him, Bethel with its towns, Jeshanah with its towns, and Ephron with its towns. 20 Jeroboam did not recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him and he died. 21 But Abijah grew mighty, married fourteen wives, and begat 22 sons and 16 daughters. 22 And the rest of the acts of Abijah, his ways and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.
- Jeroboam turned to idolatry and led his people from the only true God to eternal death.
- Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
- Revelation 1:18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death
2 Chronicles 14
1 So Abijah slept with his fathers and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet ten years. 2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: 3 He took away the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, broke down the images, cut down the groves: 4 And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. 5 Also he took the high places and the sun images out of all the cities of Judah: and the kingdom was quiet before him.
- They were worshipping the sun god.
- Asa took away the false gods and the kingdom was quiet.
- God made us in His image.
- He is life.
- All other gods are from evil and lead to eternal death.
- Nations on earth that are having wars need to worship the One true God, their Maker, the Maker of heaven and earth.
- In Judges 5:8 when they chose new gods war was in the gates.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- John 10:1 I tell you the truth, He that does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
The LORD gives rest
6 He built fenced cities in Judah. The land had rest; he had no war in those years because the LORD had given him rest. 7 Therefore he said to Judah, Let’s build these cities and make around them walls, towers, gates, and bars, while the land is still before us; because we have sought the LORD our God, we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.
- God wants man to seek Him (Acts 17:24-28).
- The source of trouble often reveals an idol of the heart.
- Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.
8 Asa had an army of men that carried shields and spears, out of Judah 300,000; and out of Benjamin, that carried shields and drew bows, 280,000: all these were mighty men of valor. 9 Zerah, the Ethiopian, came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots; they came to Mareshah.
10 Asa went out against him, and they set the battle formation in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 And Asa cried to the LORD his God and said, LORD, it is nothing with you to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on you, and in your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let mortal man prevail against You.
- God sent Israel into Canaan to destroy the evil there.
- When He fought for them no man could stand against them.
- Joshua 23:10 One man of you will chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fights for you, as he has promised you.
- Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?
God struck down those who warred against his people
12 So the LORD struck the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. 13 And Asa and the people that were with him chased them to Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown so that they could not recover themselves; for they were broken in pieces before the LORD, and before his army; and they carried away very much plunder. 14 They struck all the cities around Gerar for the fear of the LORD came upon them: and they plundered all the cities; for there was exceeding much plunder in them. 15 They also struck the tents of livestock, and carried away sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem.
- Nations need to depend on God for their support and not on plundering other nations, but this shows us that it is not a crime to take spoils of war.
- Soldiers risk their lives in defense of their people.
- In Ezekiel 29: 18, 19 God gave Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar as wages for his service to God in destroying Tyre.
- David took plunder and the LORD Jesus took plunder.
- 1Samuel 30:26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the plunder to the elders of Judah, even to his friends saying, Behold a present for you of the plunder of the enemies of the LORD;
- Psalm 68:18 You have ascended on high, you have led captivity captive: you have received gifts for men…
2 Chronicles 15
The LORD is with us while we are with Him
1 And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah, the son of Oded: 2 And he went out to meet Asa and said to him, Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while you are with him; and if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 Now, for a long season, Israel has been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. 4 But when they in their trouble turned to the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them.
- The great secret to personal peace, national peace, and world peace is no secret.
- It has been written in God’s word for thousands of years.
- Turn to God our Maker.
- Hebrews 13:5 Let your way of life be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he hath said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
- Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
5 And in those times there was no peace to him that went out or to him that came in, but great troubles were on all the inhabitants of the countries. 6 Nation was beaten to pieces by nation, and city by city: for God troubled them with all adversity. 7 So be strong! Do not let your hands be weak: for your work will be rewarded. 8 And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities that he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD.
- God made all things, including us.
- He alone is worthy of our adoration and service.
- All the false gods lead to eternal death.
- Psalm96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the foreigners with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. 10 So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 And at that time they offered to the LORD from the plunder that they had brought, 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep.
- Each sacrifice was a living picture of God’s love to be poured out for mankind to save them from their sins.
- The people ate part of their sacrifices, like our communion service.
- John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
- 1Peter 1:18 you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your empty way of life received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot.
12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 that whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel would be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 They swore this to the LORD with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets, and with cornets.
- Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, You are to love the Lord Your God with all Your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
The LORD gave them rest all around
15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found by them: and the LORD gave them rest all around. 16 And also concerning Maachah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made a horror in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. 18 And he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, gold, and utensils. 19 And there was no more war until the 35th year of the reign of Asa.
- They removed all of the idols, the objects of false worship, and there is no more war.
- This is a principle of life.
- When a nation bows to false gods they bring war on themselves.
- When man bows to His Maker, there will be peace.
- Judges 5:8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates.
- Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are loaded down, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and low in heart: and you will find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
SUMMARY: 2 Chronicles 12-15
- The LORD is righteous
- The LORD Himself was with them as their commander-in-chief
- He fought for them
- He gives rest
- He struck down those who came against His people
- The LORD is with us while we are with Him
- He gave them rest all around