and when he grew strong

I’m reading about Rehoboam this morning and was struck by the phrase, “and when he grew strong…”

The text goes on to say “and when he was strong, he led Israel away from the Lord.”

Normal development for a leader takes you on a path of increasing confidence.  You learn from your experience, certain circumstances have a familiarity to them, and most things are no longer new.  The desperation of not knowing what’s next sometimes lessens.  It’s easy at that point to think you really know what you’re doing.  My dad would say, “you know just enough to be dangerous!”  In other words, you don’t know what you don’t know.

A choice that for the moment seems to be right – opportune, needed, the appropriate action– except that God has a different way.  It’s in that moment that leaders that God will use are made.  The person who will choose to do what God says when culture or conventional wisdom would say something else is a person after His own heart, a person God longs to fully support.

The rest of the story in 2 Chronicles 12 reveals the teachable heart of Rehoboam.  When Shemaiah the prophet confronts him with God’s words, “You have abandoned me…,” Rehoboam and the leaders acknowledge the truth and repent before the Lord.  Not every leader does that.  Both the ability to be follow the Lord and to be corrected by Him reveal a heart that is responsive to His leading.

How do you keep your heart tender & humble in following the Lord, rather than trusting in your own strength?

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