Day 135: Outer beauty from inner strength (2 Chronicles 9-14)

Posted: August 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

When Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, he carried off the treasures of the temple of the LORD and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including the gold shields Solomon had made. So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned these to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. Whenever the king went to the LORD’s temple, the guards went with him, bearing the shields, and afterward they returned them to the guardroom. -2 Chronicles 12: 9-11

Have you ever met anyone that is totally different on the inside than on the outside?

Let me clarify that question. Have you ever known anyone that tries their hardest to maintain the appearance of a good, Christian life, all the while living a life entrenched in sin?

I can’t speak for any of you, but something tells me we all have known someone who unfortunately falls in this category. It’s sad. I mean, we all do it from time to time, covering our sins from others by putting on a show in front of others. But some people have made it a habit. It’s not my job to judge, but here in this blog, I am simply observing.

In Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, we see a man who is trying his best to maintain the splendor of his father without living for God, and needless to say, it is isn’t working. Shishak, from Egypt, comes and ransacks Jerusalem, taking with him the golden shields in the temple. Rehoboam sees this and has made cheaper, imitation bronze shields made to replace them. In essence, Rehoboam was putting on a show, giving the appearance of splendor by taking shortcuts.

The problem was, Rehoboam wasn’t following God like his father was. Solomon, until the later years of his life, followed God, and He gave him splendor beyond his imagination. Rehoboam inherited all of this, but he turned from God, and God punished him and all Israel. Because of his decisions, Israel split and so began the long process that would eventually lead to captivity in Babylon for 70 years.

But before all this, Rehoboam simply wanted it all, and he wanted it without relying on God. There was a great note in my Bible tonight on this passage, and it reads as follows: “How ironic that the treasures in Solomon’s temple were removed and the missing royal shields were replaced by cheaper bronze. Rehoboam tried to maintain the trappings and appearance of former glory, but he couldn’t measure up. When God is no longer central in our lives, maintaining the appearance of a Christian life becomes superficial. Outer beauty must come from inner strength.”

When things get tough, sin starts to creep in, and you find yourself losing those “golden shields” in your temple, don’t settle for less than God, surrender your integrity, and start casting bronze. Return to the LORD, reclaim your gold, and build anew in the strength of your Father. Don’t live two lives, covering yourself temporarily and claiming to live the life of God around others. Be honest with yourself, and with God, come clean with the sin in your life, and take hold of the inner strength God offers. Only then will the outside become beautiful again.

God comes first. God comes second. God comes last. God comes always and forever. Don’t settle for anything less than the best!

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