Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

The Kingly Wisdom Of Christ (2 Chronicles 10)


Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Let's turn to second chronicles ten. You may be seated second chronicles chapter ten. These next two chapters we enter into a new, new part of the story here in chronicles. Ever since first chronicles ten, actually, we've been thinking about Israel's kings. First Saul and his sons and first chronicles ten, and and then time it with David and then Solomon. Now the story will move a little bit more quickly as the chronicler gives to us a history of these kings, in Judah in particular. And so tonight we hear about King Rayabalm in chapter ten. Let's give our attention to God's word. Raeubalm went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. And as soon as Jerebalm, the son of NAIBOT, heard of it, for he was in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon, then Jerebalm returned from Egypt and they sent and called him, and Jerobalm and all Israel came and said to Rayebalm, your father made are yo heavy. Now, therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us and we will serve you. He said to them come to me again in three days. So the people went away. Then king ray of Balm took counsel with the old men who had stood before Solomon, his father, while he was yet alive, saying how do you advise me to answer this people? And they said to him, if you will be good to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever. But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him and he said to them, what do you advise me that we answer this people, who have said to me, lighten the yoke that your father put on us. And the young men who had grown up with him said to him. Thus shall you speak to the people who said to you, your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us. Thus shall you say to them, my little finger is thicker than my father's thighs, and now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with Scorpions. So jerobalm and all the people came to Rayebalm the third day, as the king said, come to me again the third day, and the king answered them harshly and forsaking the counsel of the old men, King Rayabalm spoke to them, according to the Council of the young men, saying my father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with Scorpions. So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord might fulfill his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeribalm the son of Nibot. And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, what portion if we in David, we have no inheritance and the son of Jesse. Each of you to your own tents, O Israel, look now to your own house, David, and all Israel went to their tents, but Rayabom reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. Then King Rhaboem sent to Hadaram, who is task master over the forced labor and the people of Israel stoned him to death with...

...stones, and King rayabalm quickly mounted his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the House of David to this day. In proverbs one thousand, three hundred and ten, we read by insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom. This and many other proverbs are displayed for us and illustrated for us in ray of boems failed leadership here in first chronicles, chapter ten. We, the Americans here anyway, are about to go to vote in a few days and least. Leadership is something that a lot of us have been thinking about. Good leadership, bad leadership, and it's important in any area of our life, in our families and our countries. Having good leaders is a valuable thing, incalculable in its value. If that's true in our in the Common Kingdom of this world and all these various fears in which we live our lives, how much more is that true in the Very Kingdom of God? How important is it that the one who rules over God's kingdom be wise? How important it is it that the one who rules over God's kingdom, over his people, over his church, over this redemptive and everlasting kingdom, be one who is not a fool, this one who is called to represent God to his people and represent the people to God. This king should be great, this king should be the greatest of them all, and we've seen something of that. We've seen a taste of that with David and Solomon, these great men, as the Chronicler, showed us their glory, their splendor, their wisdom. Solomon, rayobalm's father, in particular, is praise for his great wisdom and ability. But here in this king and ray of Balm, we do not see wisdom, do we? We see great, great foolishness. Why that wisdom is essential in the Kingdom of God is, I think, obvious for a lot of reasons, and we see it partly in the cost of what rayobalm experienced. What did Rayobalm's foolishness cause him? Well, he lost his honor among half the country, he lost his glory. Now he has a divided kingdom. He lost a portion of his land. Beyond these kinds of things, now we see that brother is against a brother. There's this murder or assassination of hot ram. There's fear everywhere, this division of the Kingdom you read in these last few verses, when, in hearing these words, there they are in Israel, this northern part of the kingdom, in Shechem, they're ready to give their allegiance to Raya Balm. They say, what would you have us do? Lighten our yoke. You see, they're ready to serve him. He says, come back to me in three days. And what do they do? They come back to him in three days. They're ready, least by all accounts here, but whence? When Raya Balm says these words, these hard words, I will make your yoke heavy, I will...

...add to what my father did. I will discipline you, not with whips but with Scorpions, they turn on him. The exact opposite of what the old men, the elders from Solomon's administration predicted. They turn on him. Each to your own tens or Israel. Look now to your own household, David. This is these are the words of I'm taking my ball and I'm going home. Forget you, I'm done with you. They leave. They say we're done, we have nothing to do with you. You go do what you want to do. We are going to be up here, we are going to rule ourselves. And that's what ends up happening. Is Jeroboam takes over and Raya Balm is forced to leave Israel and go fleeing to Jerusalem. And then, in this ironic twist, hot OAM, Ray a balm, sends for Hotteram, the task master, the one who was in charge of forcing all of this Labor to happen. And what do they do? They stone him, probably with some of the same stones that they he were going to be asked to build with. Can you, I wonder how difficult it would have been to find a replacement for Hatter Um? Not Easy Anyway, you see that ray of Balm's kingdom is immediately falling apart. He's barely started, and all because of his foolishness. Here the king is to be acting with wisdom and glory and honor, reflecting God's own glory and honor. The kingdom should be united, the people should be united, but instead they're fighting, all because of Rayobalm's foolishness. So it's appropriate for us to take a moment and consider exactly where the mistake happened, what it is that he did wrong meditating on these things will help us to avoid foolishness in our own lives, as well as to see how truly wise Gesu is, how great a king. He is, not a foolish one who takes counsel from bad people, but takes his counsel from the Father Who's in heaven. So Raya Boem's foolishness. Let's consider it. Let's start, however, by noting something he got right. He sought advice. That's a good thing. That's a good start. The proverbs, over and over again, extol the virtues of going and seeking advice. Proverbs and fifteen says, for example, wise men listens to advice, or I read to proverbs one thousand threeen ten. Those who take advice is wisdom. With them is wisdom. It's a good thing to go for advice. The problem wasn't in he is going for advice, it was to whom he went. And then what he failed to notice once he heard it. The first people he went to. We're not so bad. He goes to these older men. Age throughout the proverbs is often a sign of wisdom. You've a sign of naivety and immaturity and inexperience, not necessarily sinful in and of itself, but not necessarily the best place to go for a good counsel either. Well, Raya Boem goes to the older men and he asked them this question. He says, what should I do? How do you advise me to answer this people, and they give him this good advice in verse seven. If you will be good to this people and please them and speak good words to them, they will be your servants forever. There's a good we have a historical reason to see that. Their advice was something that was commonly followed in the ancient nearest and perhaps in some places..., when a new king was established in a new place in other parts of the world at this time, oftentimes there would be slaves would be released, debts would be forgiven. Why? King wants people to think well of him. They wants them to serve them. He want they he would want them to be happy with him. But instead, and this is what the elders advise, he abandons the counsel of the old men, we read in Verse A, and he takes counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. And here's where he goes wrong. But actually, if you read closely, you'll see that he went wrong even before this point. If you picture in your mind Ray abaum sort of approaching two groups, let's say two committees, the committee of the old men the committee of the young men, and he goes to the committee of the old men and he takes their advice, or here's their advice, and he goes to the committee of the young men and here's their advice, and then goes back through his chamber and considers it for a while. You've got the wrong picture. He goes to the old men and asks or advice, having already determined who he's going to listen to. He's not going to the old men out of sincerity. He's not going to the elders of his father's administration because he respects them. Doesn't say why. Perhaps political reasons or some other thing, but notice that he abandons the counsel that he takes from them before he ever hears the counsel of the others. Then he when he bet he abandons it, he goes to the others and says, what do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me before. He asks how do you advise me to answer this people? But when he goes to the young man, he says, how do you advise? We answer. You See, he is already he already has picked his team. He knows who he's playing with. He's chosen these young men, and it text emphasizes several times why. These are the people that he grew up with, these are the people that he knows, these are the people that he respects. Well, being young isn't always a fault. Paul Tells Timothy not to let others disrespect him for his youth. On young men are expected to grow in wisdom and sometimes exceed it beyond even that of older men. So he makes a, perhaps at a tactical error in going to the young men, but we know for certain that he's wrong when we hear the advice. There is no mistaking that ray of balm is acting in foolishness. When we hear the advice of these people. You read what they say. We see in verse ten, they say tell the people your father made are your are you o heavy and you but you. I'm sorry, that's what the people said. They they advise him to say my little finger. There it is. Is Thicker than my father's thighs. This is a very bold thing to say from a young man who is preceding King Solomon in Power and glory, in Majesty, in influence, in wealth at every level. There was never a king that match Solomon, and these young men, perhaps desiring to flatter and gain influence with this young man Raya Balm, they advise him to take the advice and to press down hard upon the people. It's hard to say exactly whether this word Scorpions...

...means the bad things that we have around here. It could also mean the kind of whip that perhaps was used with on Jesus's back, where sometimes these kinds of whips were afford to his Scorpion let whips, although later on these are whips where pieces of metal or or glass or sharp rocks are tied to the ends of the whip. So, in other words, it's not just a whip that hits your back with a snap, but it hits and it digs and it tears and it rips. Either way, whether we're talking about Scorpions themselves or Scorpion whips, we see the cruelty with which this king wants to treat his people. And this is what he fails to see. He fails to see the cruelty in their response. Proverbs Twenty eight fifteen, like a roaring lion or a charging bear, is a wicked ruler over a poor people, a ruler lacks understanding and as a cruel oppressor. But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days. Remember, these are the wisdom of his time. Some of these proverbs were very likely written by Solomon's own hand. This is his father's advice. These are things that he has been told as a king in his reigning, like a roaring lion or a charging bear, is a wicked ruler over a poor people, a ruler lacks understanding. A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor. Why are these things not ringing in ray of Balm's ears when he hears this bit about Scorpions and heavy yokes and cruel treatment? Proverbs twenty nine two. When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people grown. You think they're going to give you their obedience? Ray a balm, that's not what the proverbs say. Indeed, it's commanded even in God's law. You shall not rule over him ruthlessly. You shall fear your God. Cruelty is not godly, but its two thousand five hundred forty six. You may bequeathed to them, to your son's after you, to inherit as a possession forever, or you may make slaves over them, but over your brothers, the people of Israel, you shall not rule one another ruthlessly. Don't do it. Don't do it. Well, these are the words that we have in proverbs about cruelty. This Roy of boem fails to detect. He also fails to protect, detect the flattery in this little finger thighs comment. But flattery is dangerous, proverbs two thousand hundred and twenty eight. A lying tongue hates its victims. A flattering mouth works ruin. What did you expect, riblem flattery works ruin. When he hears the flattering words of these advisors, he should say I know where this is going, ruin, and turn away. Or Jude Sixteen, he wouldn't have had this, but true. Nevertheless. These are grumblers, malcontents following their own sinful desires. They are loud mouth boasters showing favoritism and gain advantage these are the people, these are sinners that the Lord speaks of, people that use their mouths for their own sinful desires.

Well, hearing the wicked counsel cruelty, flattery APPs also pride, ambition. Does Royal Balm remember the words of Psalm One? One blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the wicked. He doesn't hear it. He doesn't hear it, these words from David it's grandfather. Blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the wicked, nor stands in this way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. So you see Rayo Baum's foolishness. He goes after his own desires, he hears what he wants to hear and in it all he falls into ruin. Well, this is very much the bad news of this story, and this overall is a kind of bad news story. Here we see Israel going the Kingdom of God, going from its height of power so quickly into failure. It's a great reminder of our own foolishness and how bad the bad consequences it can cause, how far things can fall. But we also learn a second lesson, and that is that God is in control of it all. Again to the proverbs, proverbs twenty one one. The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord. He turns it wherever he will. Whenever I think of this proverb by I think of my kids washing their hands, especially when their first learning. They hold their hands under the sink and they just play with the water and just watch where it turns. You can direct it this way or that way, you can cut it, you can open you can move this stream as it comes down so easily a child's hand, just turning it the king's heart. The King's heart powerful, strong, willing, choosing, deciding, commanding my little finger, and so on and so forth. The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord. He turns it wherever he will. This is always true, but explicitly mentioned here in Verse Fifteen. So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord that Yahweh might fulfill his word. I won't get into that now, but here are enough. You see that the Lord has spoken a word to a prophet he's made a decision and he will bring things about. Is rayabalm still responsible for this fall? Absolutely, it's his foolishness that caused this all. And yet, at the same time we see that God is sovereign over it all. God's sovereignty in the midst of our foolishness teaches us a couple lessons. It applies in some very helpful ways for our lives. One way is it should teach us and warn US away from foolishness. If God is the Great King, if God is in control, and how dare we go against him? Instead of going against him, instead of going after foolishness, we should go to the king, we should seek his counsel, we should study his word. Blessed is the man who walks now and the counsel of...

...the wicked. But on who? Who? On who meditates day and night on the Law of the Lord? That's what a good king does, a good husband, good boss, a good presidents, a good wife, a good child. We meditate on the law of the Lord. The fact that God is in control doesn't make us say, well, guess I'll do whatever I want. No, means that we go to him, who is in control and we seek his counsel, we seek his advice. It means we seek to do his will and we asked that his will would that he would do it in us, as the one who is in control. So it guides our actions in this way. It shows us where our obedience lies, it shows us where we should seek it. God sovereignty, in the midst of our foolishness, or in light of our foolishness, is also a great assurance to us as well, because we're all fools, at least sometimes, and in our sin we're born into kind of foolishness. Before we're saved in Jesus Christ, before we are joined with him, before the spirit regenerates in us a new life, we're always fools, always bent towards the wrong thing, the foolish thing, the flattering thing, the cruel thing, the prideful thing both. Jesus is our king that begins to change. The king who rules over the hearts of kings also rules over our own hearts, and the king who rules over our Chil our hearts, is not a ray of bone. Kind of King. King Jesus is and ever wise King. Try to think of one example where Jesus does a foolish thing. Try to think of one moment where Jesus took a fool's advice and said yeah, that sounds like a good idea, and then regrets it later. How could I have been so foolish? There isn't one. There isn't one. It's not for lack of trying. There's people all around him in his ministry and his life, sating himself. Promises to give him the kingdoms of the world, he promises, he gives him counsel. Do these things and you will be glorious. Jesus rejects it over and over and over again. Instead, he always, and again and again and again, goes to God, his heavenly father, his father, I'm from all eternity. Indeed, Jesus himself is our great counselor is God himself? Jesus, unlike Rahabalm and like all of us, has no need for advice. Isaiah nine six. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called wonderful counselor mighty God, everlasting father, Prince of peace. When Jesus comes to rule, he takes the world on his shoulders, and he does so as mighty God, as everlasting father, as wonderful counselor as Prince of peace. Instead of dividing people, instead of dividing the church and the Kingdom of God, he brings us together, Male and female, Jew and gentile, slave and free together, he makes what is broken whole. He brings wisdom out of foolishness, he...

...brings righteousness out of sin, and he's our king, he's our ruler, he's our protector, he's our counselor he's our mighty God. And so we have a god to go to, a God who saves us, a God who rules over us, and so we have assurance, we have comfort, we can go about our activities in this world and our vocations and whatever callings God has called us to and know that, though we are falling all over ourselves, that we're constantly making mistakes, though we're constantly falling into sin, God is in control. Jesus is in control, and he does so always and controls these things with perfect wisdom all the time. So when we consider the foolishness and some foolishness in our own hearts, in our leaders, in our country, in our world. We've course, would repent, turn from it and seek after God and the salvation that he gives. But we also don't need to fear. There's foolishness all around us and there's foolishness in our hearts, but with God, the King Jesus, ruling over it all, we need not fear. And so, if you are voting these next Tuesday, I'd exhort you not merely to cast your vote into a ballot box, but to put it also before the throne of grace, before King Jesus, and trust him that, no matter whatever happens, he is king, he is ruling and he is wise. Let us pray.

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