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2 Chronicles 10:1-12:16

And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord. (12:14)

Rehoboam was a foolish king. Solomon, his father, had treated the people harshly, putting on them a heavy yoke of heavy labor. All Rehoboam had to do was treat the people with a little kindness and they would follow him. That was the advice the new king got from the elders. But Rehoboam, young and indecisive (13:7), listened to his rabble-rousing group of young friends.  Instead of lightning the load, Rehoboam made things worse for the people. So the people made things worse for Rehoboam. They packed their bags and ditched their foolish king.

Foolish though he was, Rehoboam was not a total failure. He fortified cities and strengthened the kingdom. But when he became strong, he abandoned the Lord. How often does it happen that leaders lead best out of weakness and worst out of strength?

Rehoboam's life was a roller coaster. He would stumble, get humble, and grow strong, only to be humbled again. In the end, Rehoboam faltered because he did not set his heart on seeking the Lord. He did not consider worshiping God and obeying him to something worth working at. He did not hunger and thirst after righteousness, and so he left this world empty.

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (PCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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