After the death of King Solomon as Rehoboam, his son, began to reign, Jeroboam rose up to oppose him and take the kingdom. Rehoboam was rightful heir to the throne of all Israel, so naturally he assembled an army to defend his throne and squelch this uprising.
But God sent a prophet to Rehoboam with these words, “Thus says the Lord, “You shall not go up nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from me.” How altogether amazing for God to send Rehoboam home without his kingdom. And equally amazing is Rehoboam’s response – “Therefore they obeyed the word of the Lord, and turned back, according to the word of the Lord.”
This seems so totally contrary to human nature. We all feel entitled to certain things. How much more would Rehoboam have felt entitled to this kingdom that was promised to the descendants of David? To refuse to even try to regain the kingdom seems an even greater appearance of weakness than to have tried and failed. Yet as soon as he knew this turn of events was from the Lord, he obeyed the Lord. I wonder how humiliating this event must have been for him.
Obedience is not always easy. Sometimes it’s downright painful. God will at times require you to turn loose of something you desperately want to keep, or to remain silent when everything within you is screaming to vindicate yourself, or let your “rights” get trampled in the dust leaving you to appear humiliated to those around you.
Are we willing to do the hard things that He requires? Can we die to our own desires when we are presented with a hard thing that is from the Lord? If we are not willing (and are not willing to be made willing) then we are really not His disciples. We are only fooling ourselves. A few moments of reflection on the awesome power and majesty of this God will convince us that we are the most pitiful of fools who do not obey Him. A few moments of reflection on Calvary will break our hearts for every time we have not obeyed Him. And one look into the face of Jesus will make us willing to give up everything we possess to obey Him.