The Invasion of SHISHAK by Precious C Philip
While reading the book of 2nd Chronicles, I was amazed with the depth of life lessons loaded in the 12th Chapter. The Holy Spirit taught me a lot in that scripture which I'll be sharing in this article. Relax and read to the end.
2 Chronicles 12:1-12 reads:
"But just when Rehoboam was at the height of his popularity and power he abandoned the Lord, and the people followed him in this sin. 2 Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam’s reign 3 with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 cavalrymen and an unnumbered host of infantrymen—Egyptians, Libyans, Sukkiim, and Ethiopians. 4 He quickly conquered Judah’s fortified cities and soon arrived at Jerusalem.
5 The prophet Shemaiah now met with Rehoboam and the Judean leaders from every part of the nation (they had fled to Jerusalem for safety) and told them, “The Lord says, ‘You have forsaken me, so I have forsaken you and abandoned you to Shishak.’”
6 Then the king and the leaders of Israel confessed their sins and exclaimed, “The Lord is right in doing this to us!”
7 When the Lord saw their change of heart, he gave this message to Shemaiah: “Since the people have humbled themselves, I will not completely destroy them and will soon give them some relief. I will not use Shishak to pour out my anger on Jerusalem. 8 But they will become his subjects, so they will know the difference between serving me and serving earthly rulers.”
9 So King Shishak of Egypt conquered Jerusalem and took away all the treasures of the Temple and of the palace, also all of Solomon’s gold shields. 10 King Rehoboam replaced them with bronze shields and committed them to the care of the captain of his bodyguard. 11 Whenever the king went to the Temple, the guards would carry them and afterwards return them to the armory. 12 Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger was turned away, and he did not destroy him completely. There were still some good things in the land of Judah." 2 Chronicles 12:1-12
Rehoboam succeeded his father King Solomon as king and reigned in Jerusalem. However, after God helped him to establish his position as king and made him great, popular and powerful, he abandoned God and His law, and his followers (the Israelites) followed suit. Because they abandoned God and rejected His Law, they came under attack from Shishak, the King of Egypt. A word came to them from the Lord through His prophet Shemaiah, saying that because they had abandoned Him, He too has abandoned them to Shishak.
King Rehoboam and the leaders of Israel realised their sin, acknowledged their sin, repented and asked God for forgiveness and mercy. God in His unending mercies forgave them and rescued them, but He chastised them for their disloyalty.
What do we learn from this peculiar story?
1. We as children of God must be careful of abandoning God after He has blessed us with all the good things of life. We must be careful of pushing God's word and commandments aside after God has helped us become great, popular, powerful and wealthy. We must be wary of abandoning our services to God in His vineyard after being blessed. We must be wary of neglecting our spiritual activities: praying, fasting, praising, giving, holy living, reading and studying the Bible, obeying the instructions of the scriptures... after receiving our heart desires, or after God has helped us come out of a difficult challenge.
2. We need to realise that when we're tempted to abandon God and His commandments after He has made us great or helped us out of a mighty challenge and we give in to that temptation and abandon God, we have just opened the door to all manner of attacks from the devil into our lives and homes: sickness, diseases, untimely death, accident, demonic attack, nightmares, kidnapping, losses etc.
3. We must understand that although Jesus promised never to leave us nor forsake us, it does not mean that even when we abandon God and reject His law and commands after being lifted by Him, we'll continue to enjoy His fatherly help, care, provision, protection, sustenance, answered prayers. No! God's eyes will still be on you and He'll be aware of all that is happening to you, but He won't intervene because you have rejected His help. When you pray, He won't hear. When you ask, you won't receive. When you knock, the door won't be opened unto you. The only prayer He'll hear from you is the prayer of repentance and rededication and devotion to Him. He'll leave you by yourself to fight your battles alone, to deal with life challenges on your own until you come back to your senses and return to Him with a humble heart and a contrite spirit.
4. There is always a divine chastisement attached to every act of rejection, disloyalty or disobedience to God. God forgave King Rehoboam and the Israelites, but He chastised them by making them subjects of Shishak. God in His infinite mercy and eternal love will forgive you and accept you back after you abandoned Him (if you had the chance to repent before death), but He'll chastise you. Although the chastisement of God isn't pleasurable, but He chastises you from a place of love, and for you to learn from your mistake and never repeat your mistake. If there is no chastisement, we will repeat our mistakes over and over again.
5. King Rehoboam experienced great losses due to his unfaithfulness to God. King Shishak took away all the treasures of the Temple of God and of the palace, also all of Solomon’s gold shields. King Rehoboam had to replace them with bronze shields. When we choose to abandon God after He had blessed us, and begin to live our own way and to our own pleasure, we put ourselves in a disadvantaged position. God has nothing to lose, but we have so much to lose. Not only will we lose the blessings God gave to us, but we'll also miss out on the glorious future and greater things God has in store for us.
If you're reading this as a born again Christian and you can't honestly say that your relationship with God is intact; that you're faithful in your service to God and committed in your obedience to God and His word, please you have the chance to repent now. The Holy Spirit is calling you to repent right now you still have the chance and go back to serving God faithfully.
And if you're reading this and you can't honestly say you're born again by the Holy Spirit, please repent from your life of self-righteousness and put your faith in Jesus Christ to be born again by the Holy Spirit and receive the righteousness of God to live a truly righteous life to God.