“…for the turn of events was from the Lord.”– 1 Kings 12:15
The rebel Jeroboam came to the king of Judah, seeking peace and restoration. He was met with hostility. Rather than take the good counsel of the wiser counselor’s who served under his father, Solomon, Rehoboam sought his contemporaries’ counsel. He wanted to institute a new regime, yet sometimes that can be a mistake, even for us today. “The ancient world honored age and maturity,” writes Warren Wiersbe, “but our modern society worships youth. In our churches and parachurch ministries, there’s a desperate need for generational balance, with the older and younger generations communicating with each other and learning from each other, just like a family.” Unfortunately, the advice of Wiersbe probably would have fallen on deaf ears. Rehoboam does not listen, and preparations for battle against Jeroboam and the ten tribes of Israel begins.
The covenant of God was promised to the Davidic line. It was rightfully Rehoboam’s role to be king. To defy, that was outright wickedness. The Jews would view anyone dividing the kingdom as evil and in sin. In Rehoboam’s mind, the only logical answer was war. After all, Israel went to war against other nations for much less. To him, this made sense. However, one thing was missing. Did God tell him to go to war? No, God never commanded Rehoboam to do this. In fact, after gathering thousands of troops for battle, the Lord lovingly sent Shemaiah to the king. Shemaiah spoke God’s words and said, “You shall not go up nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me” (1 Kings 12:24).
In His sovereignty, God allows us to make our own decisions. Although this is the case, the Lord always accomplishes His purposes. His outcomes are not dependent upon us, no matter how much we may think they are. We are in-line with His will, or we are not. As believers in Christ, we need to make sure God has called to the battles we are attempting to fight. If not, we may find ourselves “kicking against the goads” (Acts 26:14).
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”– Proverbs 16:9