The wisdom of this world says look to youth rather than old age and that wielding power produces service, which is what King Rehaboam set out to prove. But the folly of Rehaboam not only proves wrong the wisdom of the world, it proves that even the most powerful kings are like streams of water in God’s hand. He turns them wherever He will. When Rehaboam, ignoring the advice of his elders, instead follows the advice of his friends and threatens the Israelites thusly, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions,” he was acting in fulfillment to the word the Lord had spoken in the previous chapter of 1 Kings. “Because they have forsaken me and worshipped [other gods] and they have not walked in my ways,” God was going tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and it would be divided. “Yet to his son I will give one tribe, that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name.”
Just as the Lord willed, Rehaboam’s folly led to a divided kingdom of Israel. And in the fullness of time God’s promise to keep a son of David always on the throne in Jerusalem was fulfilled. But not in keeping with the wisdom of the world. The heir to David’s throne would come as a carpenter, only to be nailed Himself to a tree. His rule would be the opposite of Rehaboam’s. Matthew 11 describes the earth shattering means this king would use to build His kingdom.
“At that time Jesus declared, I thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will… no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(After singing Come Unto Me, listen to Handel’s Messiah selections “Then shall the eyes of the blind/He shall feed His flock/His yoke is easy…”)
Click on the About link at the top of the page to find out how we use tiny objects like the one above to help remember each of the 25 people in the genealogy of Christ we will be reading about during the Advent season