Online Bible Commentary
Persecution Brings God’s Justice
2 Chronicles 10: 13 Then the king answered them roughly. King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders, 14 and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!" 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from God, that the Lord might fulfill His word, which He had spoken by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16 Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying: "What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to your tents, O Israel! Now see to your own house, O David!" So all Israel departed to their tents. 17 But Rehoboam reigned over the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was in charge of revenue; but the children of Israel stoned him with stones, and he died. Therefore King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. (NKJV)
King Solomon is an interesting study. For most of his life he was considered the wisest person in the world. He worshiped God, and God granted him the wisdom Solomon had requested. But then he allowed power to change him. As Israel was blessed by God the nation became the most powerful in the world. Israel was the center of commerce and trade. But this was not enough for Solomon.
Sir William Smith (1813-1893) in Smith’s Bible Dictionary wrote of Solomon, “In recognizing what was true in other forms of faith, he might lose his horror at what was false. With this there may have mingled political motives. He may have hoped, by a policy of toleration…to attract a larger traffic.”
Solomon became tolerant of other religions and beliefs. He wound up worshiping idols instead of the God who had prospered him and his nation. When he turned from God, God’s wisdom left him. He started persecuting his own people, Israel, God’s people. Solomon died, and his son Rehoboam became King of Israel.
In this passage, we see where Rehoboam, in one of his first acts as King, decided to follow the advice of the young men in his government, instead of the elders. He decided to increase persecution upon God’s people, the Israelites, instead of decreasing it as the people requested and the elders had advised (vv. 13-14).
When Rehoboam refused to listen to God’s people, the Israelites turned their backs on the house of David, which included David, his son Solomon, and his grandson Rehoboam. More importantly, God turned His back on the house of His beloved David, “a man after God’s own heart” (vv. 15-16).
God’s people stood up against the persecution of Rehoboam, to the extent of killing Adoniram, the official sent to exact persecution upon them. Rehoboam escaped the uprising with his life (vv. 17-18).
As a result of persecution, God’s people rebelled against the house of David, their once revered leader. That rebellion still existed at the time of the writing of 2 Chronicles by Ezra, hundreds of years later (v.19).
Since the coming of Christ, God’s people have been Christians. In this country today, Christians are being persecuted. Our leaders tout sin over Christianity and persecute Christians who are only trying to live in obedience to the Bible, God’s Word.
Rehoboam, when faced with that same decision, listened to the young people instead of God’s people. He sided with the young people and made the wrong decision. He and his house paid for that wrong decision.
If we do not learn from history, we are destined to repeat it. Are we repeating this history today? Whenever a group of officials persecute God’s people, God will take their power from them, and their house. Mark that down. It is a fact. The Bible is God’s truth.