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Restored to Rule God’s Way Restored to Rule God’s Way

Restored to Rule God’s Way

Why do churches and denominations fracture and divide? While each situation has its own particular reasons, the fundamental reason underlying every division of the people of God is that we live in a fallen world filled with imperfect, broken people. Almost every schism follows a long, painful process that obscures other options that might have preserved unity.

Rehoboam’s choices precipitated a split in the kingdom of Israel, a wrenching apart of God’s people into two separate nations. Rehoboam was the grandson of King David and the ruler in God’s chosen line. But he now ruled over a kingdom of just two tribes, Judah and Benjamin (v. 1). Rehoboam’s first plan was to retake the ten tribes by force and attack the forces of Jeroboam. But the Lord instructed him to stand down from seeking to restore the kingdom by means of war (vv. 2–4). And this time Rehoboam listened to the wise counsel from the prophet Shemaiah and turned back from war.

Rehoboam found that God blessed his obedience and enlarged the kingdom of Judah in ways he hadn’t anticipated. Priests and Levites flocked to Jerusalem. Jeroboam instituted idolatrous worship, but Judah continued to worship the Lord (vv. 13–17). A spiritual revival flourished as worshipers chose to move to Judah rather than bow to the goat and calf idols in Israel. Rehoboam was able to fortify the cities of Judah and make sure they had the means to prosper (vv. 5–12).

As Rehoboam faithfully built up Judah, God also built up his family. Rehoboam was able to place his sons in leadership positions throughout the kingdom, and Rehoboam resembled his father Solomon through his wise administration of the kingdom of Judah (v. 23).

Pray with Us

Timothy Arens, VP and dean of Student Life, will appreciate your prayers today. He and his team help students integrate into campus life and flourish during their years at Moody. Will you encourage dean Arens and his team in prayer?

BY Dr. Eric C. Redmond

Dr. Eric C. Redmond serves as a professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and as associate pastor of adult ministries at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Ill. He is married to Pam and they have five children. He is the author of Say It!  Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition (Moody Publishers), Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's’ Questions about the Church (Crossway), a commentary on Jonah in the Christ-Centered Exposition Series (B&H Publishers), and a study guide on Ephesians in the Knowing the Bible series (Crossway).

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