December 17, 2019

Rehoboam's Heavy Yoke

1 Kings 12:1-15

Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God . . . made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant. . . .

—  Philippians 2:5-7

When King David died, his son Solomon became the next king. He had an excellent start, but Solomon later turned away from God. His actions angered the Lord (see 1 Kings 2-11). When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam was crowned as king. The coronation was interrupted by Jeroboam, who pleaded with Rehoboam to lighten the crushing taxes that Solomon had put in place.

Rehoboam consulted with the elders. They advised him to serve the people by lowering the taxes. But Rehoboam refused. Instead, he decided to increase the burdensome ­taxes. The result was rebellion, division, and sin in the kingdom.

Philippians 2 describes Jesus’ attitude and actions when he came to be our Savior and King. It tells us that although Jesus was one with God, he humbled himself by becoming a human being like us. And he willingly served by giving his life on a cross to save us from sin and death. Therefore, God raised him not only from death but also to rule in heaven, promising that every knee will bow before our servant King and confess him as Lord.

Is anything burdening you today? Jesus calls, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. . . . For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).

Lord Jesus, our Servant-King, may we not only come to you to find rest for our souls but join with you as we joyfully serve others today. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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