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Just One Generation

One of the great events recorded in the OT was the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, a building that God did not allow David to build. Before his death, however, God did enable David to provide his son all the resources he needed to build it. 

In the midst of the dedication described in 2 Chronicles 7, God filled the Temple with his glory, so much so that even his priests were unable to bear it. There was not a day like it in the history of Israel until Jesus manifested that same glory to his disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration. 

The WONDER of the glory God displayed that day could ONLY be extinguished through Israel's WICKEDNESS in departing from their God. So the Lord by night gave Solomon this promise in the event of apostasy: 

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and TURN FROM their WICKED ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (7:14).

It took JUST ONE GENERATION for Israel to TURN TO wicked ways. In 2 Chronicles 12:1, we read: “And it came to pass, when Rehoboam [Solomon’s son] had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, HE FORSOOK the law of the LORD, and ALL ISRAEL with him.

As a result of their transgressions, the Lord sent Shishak King of Egypt up against Jerusalem with a formidable army (12:2) He also sent his prophet Shemaiah to Rehoboam and his princes with this message: “Ye have FORSAKEN ME, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak” (12:5). 

Rehoboam and his princes ACKNOWLEDGED that God’s prophet HAD IT rIGHT in his assessment with this confession: “The LORD is righteous” (12:6). It is interesting to note that their CONFESSION did not result in a change of CONDUCT. 

Two observations are in order. First, upon hearing the prophet's message, Rehoboam and his princes "humbled themselves" (12:6). The recipe for restoration, however, went beyond HUMILITY to include PRAYER, SEEKING the face of God and TURNING FROM wickedness. Rehoboam took the first step, but never got beyond humility. 

Secondly, Israel's leadership did not always ackowledge God's prophet HAD IT RIGHT. The prophet Jeremiah delivered essentially the same message to the leadership of his day. They told Jeremiah he HAD IT WRONG and threw him in prison. The Jews of Jesus' day told him he HAD IT WRONG and crucified him outside the gates of Jerusalem. 

Nevertheless the Lord, who is predisposed toward MERCY rather than JUDGMENT, chose to grant his people “SOME DELIVERANCE” (12:7) on the basis of humility alone. Instead of allowing the total destruction of Jerusalem, he limited his wrath to Shishak ransacking the house of the Lord and its treasures (12:9). 

Is that not one of the most intriguing statements in scripture? God granted “some deliverance” to his people and spared them utter destruction upon the mere ACKNOWLEDGMENT of their sin without a corresponding corrective ACTION. Rehoboam and Israel KEPT ON doing evil (12:14). 

The question in my mind is: “Are we as a nation now in the midst of SOME DELIEVERANCE under President Trump while the forces of godless Liberalism are in the process of ransacking the American culture of any and all vestiges of righteousness?” 

In any event, the saga of Rehoboam instructs us that any nation that experiences God’s goodness is JUST ONE GENERATION away from losing it all by forsaking the God who got them there! Is America one of those nations?


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