1 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered Judah and Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam.
2 But this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God: 3 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, 4 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your fellow Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is My doing.’” So they obeyed the words of the Lord and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.
2 Chronicles 11:1-3
On Wednesday’s verse of the day, Solomon was dedicating a prayer before the assembly of Israel to their Lord God for the temple he had built for the Name of the Lord. So here we are in chapter 11 and Rehoboam and Jeroboam seem to be at war. What is going on and what happened in the interim? Let’s take a quick look.
In chapter seven we have God speaking to Solomon telling him a time will come when He will punish Israel.
13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:13-14
Then in chapter eight we find out
All Solomon’s work was carried out, from the day the foundation of the temple of the Lord was laid until its completion. So the temple of the Lord was finished.
2 Chronicles 8:16
In chapter nine we read of Queen of Sheba’s visit to Solomon, about Solomon’s riches, and finally of Solomon’s death. Solomon’s son and successor was his son Rehoboam. In chapter ten we discover, for a very short while, he was the king of a united Israel, but instead of listening to the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime (v6) he listened to the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him (v8). A revolt ensued led by Jeroboam who becomes king of the ten northern tribes. This is the beginning of the divided kingdom – Israel the northern kingdom and Judah the southern kingdom.
So now we have some contest for our verses of the day. Rehoboam lacking the wisdom of his father Solomon caused a revolt of the ten northern tribes led by Jeroboam leading to a divided kingdom. Rehoboam wanting to unite the entire kingdom by force, raised an army of 180,000 young men to go to war against the northern kingdom of Israel.
God had a different idea and purpose, so he had Shemaiah the man of God give the following message Do not go up to fight against your fellow Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is My doing. And a miracle occurred, the same man who would not listen to his father’s elders listened to Shemaiah and he and his army obeyed the words of the Lord and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.
Have you ever wondered what would be or would have been different if you had listened and obeyed the words of the Lord? I know I have. Thinking on that I will leave you with the following quote from C.S. Lewis – “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” May you be successful in changing your ending.