C. H. Spurgeon
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31. Rehoboam The Unready.

And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord. - II Chronicles 12:14.

This is the summing up of Rehoboam's life: he was not so bad as some, but he did evil in various ways, not so much from design as from neglect.

The evil effects of the father's sin and the mother's idolatry were seen in their son, yet there was another cause, namely, a want of heart-preparation. The son of Solomon very naturally desired many wives (2 Chron. 11:23); and it was no marvel that the child of Naamah the Ammonitess allowed images and groves to defile the land; yet there was a deeper cause of his life's evil, and that lay in himself. His heart was not thorough with the Lord, and he, himself, was not carefully consecrated to the worship of Jehovah. He might have done well had he not been Rehoboam the Unready.


1. He was young, and should have sought wisdom of God; but he went to Shechem to meet the people without prayer or sacrifice (2 Chron. 10:1). That which commences without God will end in failure.

2. He leaned on counselors, saying, "What advice give ye?" Of those counselors he chose the worst, namely, the younger and prouder nobles (2 Chron. 10:8). Those who reject divine wisdom generally refuse all other wisdom.

3. He committed great folly by threatening the people, and refusing their just demands; and that while as yet he had not been accepted as their king (2 Chron. 10:13-14). He had none of his father's wisdom. How can they act prudently and prosperously who are not guided of the Lord?


1. He obeyed the prophet's voice when the man of God forbade him to fight with Israel; yet afterwards he forsook the law of the Lord (2 Chron. 12:1 ). He is said to have been "young and tender-hearted," which means soft (2 Chron. 13:7).

2. He winked at the most horrible crimes among the people whom he ought to have judged (1 Kings 14:24).

3. He fell into his father's sins.

4. He busied himself more for the world than for God. We hear nothing of his worship but much of his building, nothing of his faith but much of his fickleness (2 Chron. 11:5-12).


1. For three years his loyalty to his God made him prosper, by bringing into Judah all the better sort of people who fled from Jeroboam's calf-worship (2 Chron. 11:13-17), yet he forsook the Lord who had prospered him.

2. He grew proud, and God handed him over to Shisbak (verse 5). 3. He humbled himself and was pardoned, yet he stripped the Lord's house to buy off the king of Egypt.

4. He wrought no great reforms and celebrated no great passover, yet he owned, "the Lord is righteous" (verse 6).


Yet no man is good by accident: no one goes right who has not intended to do so. Without heart, religion must die.

1. Human nature departs from the right way, especially in kings, who are tolerated in more sin than others.

2. Courtiers usually run the wrong way, especially the young, proud, and frivolous. Rehoboam loved the gay and proud, and gave himself up to their lead.

3. Underlings are apt to follow us and applaud us if we go in an evil path, even as Judah followed Rehoboam. Thus, those who should lead are themselves led.

The kind of preparation required by me, in order to the diligent and acceptable seeking of the Lord, my God, is somewhat after this fashion:

To feel and confess my need of God in the whole of my life.

To cry unto him for help and wisdom.

To yield to his guidance, and not to follow the counsel of vain persons, nor to bluster at those around me.

To be anxious to be right in everything, searching the Scriptures, and seeking by prayer, to know what I should do.

To serve the Lord carefully and earnestly, leaving nothing to chance, passion, fashion, or whim.

Are there any professors among us of the same sort as Rehoboam?

Are there any hopeful young men who lack whole-hearted devotion to the Lord?

Are there any older men who have suffered already from vacillation, hesitation, or double-mindedness?

Are there any just escaped from such trouble who nevertheless are not firm, and ready even now?

Oh, for a clear sense of the evil and folly of such a condition!

Oh, for the confirming power of the Holy Ghost!

Oh, for vital union with the Lord Jesus!

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