GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS!!!!
Today’s readings are 2 Chronicles 9-12
Today we begin with a rehashing of the account we first read about in 1 Kings 10, where Sheba hears of Solomon’s wisdom and comes to question him to see if all she heard was true. As I mentioned when we read this in Kings, there are many old rabbinic sources around the internet that claim to know what questions she asked him. This go around I found a few more sources that I feel are possibilities (the questions seem to have merit for the situation and complexity they were reported to be) but keep in mind that there is no way to know for sure so this is just an intrigue rabbit trail and if you choose to follow it, make sure you come back around the bend again.
2 Chronicles 9:10 It is thought that the wood Queen Sheba brought with her as a gift, referred to as algum wood, was likely juniper or sandalwood.
2 Chronicles 9:13 Here we see a number that likely caught your attention, 666, the number that we are told in Revelation is the mark of the beast. But we also see Solomon growing in wealth and this specific number is mentioned in relation to that. Here is a little sidenote, an observance if you will. This is around the time Solomon starts going downhill pretty fast. Recall that he had many wives and he had allowed them to bring their idols into his home. In addition to that, his wealth is increasing greatly and rapidly.
Is there a problem with this?
Well, what does God’s Torah (teachings) say?
Let’s go back to Deuteronomy 17 and read:
14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15 be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. Deut 17:14-17
That last line helps us put what is going on in better context and it is possible that the number 666 was used to grab our attention and cause us to dig deeper, open our eyes, and see what is not being said. This is a possibility.
Today we read of Rehoboam and Jeroboam again. You can read more about Rehoboam and what is referred to as “Rehoboam’s Folly” in 1 Kings 12-14 and in today’s reading. I gave a pretty extensive account of how Jeroboam (different person, names just rhyme) set up a counterfeit version of the faith in my Kings notes so be sure you go back and read over those as it is vital that we be as familiar as possible with this concept of counterfeiting the faith. You can find them by clicking here.
2 Chronicles 12:1 When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of YHWH, and all Israel with him. A double tragedy. Just because their leader abandoned YHWH did not mean Israel didn’t have a choice. They could have remained faithful, but they followed the leader instead.
This breaks my heart for so many reasons. There is a song I love which speaks to one of the issues here. In it, the singer is talking about trusting in the Father, every single little step of the way.
He says “’Cause if I do this by myself, I’m scared that I’ll succeed. And no longer trust in You, ’cause I only trust in me”
That is a real fear that we should all have because, as humans, it is so easy to begin to trust in ourselves when things go right. We lean on the Father, seek His blessing, and when He gives it, and we are where we want to be, we break away and go do our own thing as it seems we don’t need Him anymore.
That is why hardships, questions we can’t seem to find the answers to, a seeking heart that chases after and yearns for His, can be such a tremendous blessing.
I am grateful that the Father keeps me in a place where I cannot manage a single day without His leading, wisdom, and love.
2 Chronicles 12:5 we have our hearts broken once more for this king and his people when YHWH says “You abandoned me so I have abandoned you”.
Ugh. My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach. He is such a loving Father. He grants us mercy when we willfully go against Him and Grace when we repent. He offers us His wisdom, His way, lays out a path for each of us, but in the end we see that some just will not accept it.
This passage reminds me of the words of our Messiah how many times have I brought them up so far in our reading? But how timeless and applicable they are!
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21
He tries. He gives us chances. Second chances. Fourth, fifty, seventieth chances, but the time will come when we will call to Him and He will either declare that He knows us or that He does not. It is not enough just for us to claim we know Him. He must recognize us as one of His own, as someone who has followed in His footsteps, sought His heart, and lived in His wisdom.
May YHWH bless you, your households, and all the work of your hands this day and may YHWH bless the reading of His Word!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
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