1 Kings 13:1-15:15
2 Chronicles 12:1-15:19
2 Chronicles 12:5-6, "Then the prophet Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and to the leaders of Judah who had assembled in Jerusalem for fear of Shishak, and he said to them, ‘This is what the Lord says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.'The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, ‘The Lord is just.'"
Things are going great. You've reached the pinnacle of success, and you feel strong - the world is your oyster; nothing can stop you now! How great is that! If you're nodding along to the statement above with self-assurance, it's time to hit the brakes because danger awaits! Why? Because where is God in that scenario?
King Rehoboam was in the spotlight, secure in his reign. The puff of pride had over-inflated his ego, and he turned away from God. In his unfaithfulness, Israel followed and they, too, became estranged from God. The bad thing is, when we tell God, "Leave me alone," He just might answer that prayer! And so it was with Israel. God sent a prophet with a strategically pointed message for the king and other leaders: "You have abandoned Me, and now I will abandon you in this time of need." Gulp! Now, God is not petty, but He does allow consequences that match the offense, so He allowed the mighty Egyptian army to attack the Israelites.
Israel's leaders and the king immediately humbled themselves and admitted to God what He already knew, "You're right! We're getting what we deserve!" So, God protected them from complete destruction but said, "You will, however, have to serve the Egyptian king." It was a hard lesson.
When we stray from God, there will always be consequences. We will face difficulties and endure hardships as a direct result of our actions. However, God's punishments always come with a promise - a lesson intended to get us back in step with Jesus. So, if you're currently estranged from God, all you have to do is stop, look up, and admit to God what He already knows: "You're right! I do need You!" Then, He'll meet you right where you are and guide you with His loving hand.
Heavenly Father, You're right! I am prone to disobedience and pride. I need You, Lord. Please help me remain in step with You and live obediently to Your commands that You may be glorified through me, Amen.