Now it happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, that Shishak the king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house, and he took everything, even taking all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. So King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place, and committed them to the care of the commanders of the guard who guarded the doorway of the king’s house. Then it happened as often as the king entered the house of the LORD, that the guards would carry them and would bring them back into the guards’ room.
Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. (I Kings 14:25-30, NASB)
The Bible doesn’t speak well of King Rehoboam. As a result of King Rehoboam’s sin, the beauty of the Lord’s temple was besieged. The Egyptians took all the treasures out of the temple, including the gold. Then, King Rehoboam replaced God’s gold treasures with bronze objects.
This is what Matthew Henry’s Commentary says about this passage: “Sin exposes, makes poor, and weakens any people. Shishak, king of Egypt, came and took away the treasures. Sin makes the gold become dim, changes the most fine gold, and turns it into brass.”
When we choose to ignore God’s way, our path grows dim. We cannot see the clear light of truth. We stumble. We fall. Before we know it, the gold turns to brass. Our works become useless.
I like this passage from Isaiah 30:19-21 (NIV):
‘O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”’
Whenever I have quieted my anxious mind, God sent direction and guidance. I know without a doubt this gift became available once I accepted Him in my heart at the age of eleven. From the day I got saved, He pointed me to my first teacher: June. She was a wonderful elderly woman who owned a Christian bookstore in a marketplace where my parents owned a business. A natural bibliophile and a spiritual babe in Christ, I spent hours at June’s book shop, reading everything I could get my hands on (especially the comic books..I loved the comics!!). One day, June asked my mother if she could go over the Bible with me. My mother agreed. For a season, June and I spent hours pouring through Scripture. June became my first “Sunday School teacher.” The truths I learned from Scripture during that season are pure gold. Even today, I can remember a lot of what June and I discussed. Those precepts which I cannot mentally recall are stored in my spirit, waiting to come forth at the right time.
God has creative ways to guide us in this life. As long as we aren’t like Rehoboam, He’ll bring out the gold in our lives and use it for His glory.