Sunday, June 11th, 2017
Self-Examination (Part 82)
Shoulders: Heavy Yokes
The whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 'Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you...'
Then the king answered the people roughly... 'My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!'
1 Kings 12:3-4, 13-14 (NKJV)
Solomon's reign started gloriously, since his heart's desire was godly wisdom. Later, his heart's desire became women. Consequently, his heart grew corrupted. When he died and Rehoboam was crowned,* a great assembly came to the new king - requesting merciful relief, because...
'The imposition of the burdens of heavy taxation and forced labour on the people was against old traditions, and even against the practice of Solomon's earlier years' (Ellicott's Commentary).**
Rehoboam asked senior counselors, who agreed with the people's petition. Then he decided to ask his best friends, who urged him toward more brutal treatment. He agreed with their destructive advice, and Israel broke in two by result.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Media advances heavy yokes, while merchants make them look attractive. Countless fans submit to them by choice: yokes like celebrity endorsements of promiscuity being fun. So little girls sell themselves cheaply, while buyers discard their innocence...
Yokes like wealthy and famous lifestyles being man's ultimate achievements. So little kids are nursed on these goals, while dealers pursue their allegiance. Yokes like easy Christianity being faith's modern evolution. So baby Christians settle on milk, while wars are lost because they can't fight.
Therefore, beloved actors for Christ, grow up and recognize heavy yokes. Do not wear them nor share them as cool.
To Be Continued...
* King Rehoboam was the son of Solomon's wife, Naamah, an Ammonite princess. NOTE: She was not a daughter of Israel and her people worshipped idols. According to God's Law, his marriage was not legal. At the end of his life, King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
* Short article, Rehoboam, Son of Solomon: https://amazingbibletimeline.com/blog/rehoboam-son-of-solomon/
** Bible Commentaries on 1 Kings 12:4: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/1_kings/12-4.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.