The opening of this chapter gives me pause…
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. But this word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God: “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, ‘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 (1-4, bold underling mine).
So God is behind the splitting up of the kingdom?
When I read things like this I find myself holding tightly to Isaiah’s words about God’s ways and thoughts being higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8) because I don’t really understand. I don’t understand how breaking up His people pushes His will and agenda forward. But God is God and this is one of many instances where surrender and trust come in. I surrender and trust His Word and His will and way.
I know some people who believe that certain countries have the blessing of God upon them and that it is God’s will that they succeed. This might be so, however, when I read passages like the one above I also realize that our human way of seeing and understanding things does not necessarily align with God’s. For a few centuries God used Rome for the birth and great expansion of His New Covenant agenda. But then God brought Rome to an end and His will was still advanced. I don’t see God being tied to any one country or any one people. He lifts up and pulls down as He sees fit to best serve the advance of His kingdom and agenda.
These thoughts remind me that while I love my country, even with its faults and problems, God is not bound to keep us prospering. For my part, and our part, I (we) need to remain faithful to Him and by His grace He will watch over us. Should God choose to reduce us as He did Israel or Rome, I still need to remain faithful. Remaining faithful is my calling as a Christ Follower in good times and in bad.
There are so many things about the Lord and His will and way I do not comprehend, but I cannot let this negatively affect my faithfulness to Him, who saved me by His grace.
Lord, I bow to You. You are Lord God, Almighty; I am not. I am a mere servant, part of Your creation. I will trust in You… Alleluia. Amen.