The Chronicles speaks to Israel of its glory and its fall. Solomon’s reign was the kingdom of God’s favor, the apex of the nation. In the words of a foreigner, the Queen of Sheba, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the Lord your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness” (2Chronicles 9:8).
But forever faded as the nation disregarded the words of Moses, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).
I grew up in Sacramento. Sacramento summers cook; north of a hundred degrees is normal. The American River, the cool run-off from the Sierra snow, was a popular solution. The flow of the river is mostly calm and mostly shallow, wonderful for rafting, and surprisingly dangerous for drowning. Life jackets are recommended. The victims are overwhelmingly young and male. “We are old enough, we are strong enough, and we can swim,” say the young men. “Life jackets? We don’t need life jackets.” The danger of the river is not the current, but the misplaced confidence of young men who believe they are strong enough.
Solomon’s son Rehoboam inherited Solomon’s throne and his wealth, but not his wisdom. “When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him” (2Chronicles 12:1). “Thus says the Lord, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you” (2Chronicles 12:5) was God’s response, and Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything (2Chronicles 12:9). Chronicles is a work written by a nation who forgot God and now wondered if God would remember them.
My faithful Father, You are the Rock, the foundation on which a life will stand firm. May I always remember that, when I am weak, but even more so, when I am strong. Protect me, God, from myself, from becoming full of myself. “I am not strong enough” are not words of the weak, but of wise.
What You say, You do. Your Word is true, right, and good. It shall be my guide in life, my constant companion. May I always seek not the pleasure of this world, but your pleasure, and remember that the world is not friendly toward me because it is not friendly toward You. May my love for Your Word continue to grow.