1 Kings 14:25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam (king of southern Israel, including the city of Jerusalem), King Shishak of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; 26 he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house; he took everything. He also took away all the shields of gold that Solomon had made… 6 The war begun between Rehoboam (king of the south) and Jeroboam (king of the north) continued all the days of his life.
We just read earlier in 1 Kings the incredible wealth amassed by King Solomon during his reign, which was really a continuation of what his father King David had begun. We are told that the fortune of King Solomon was like no other before or sense. After Solomon died his son Rehoboam assumed the throne… and promptly lost it all when the Egyptian king Shishak “took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house…”. So what happened?
There were multiple factors, but one of the most significant is the fact that Israel split into two kingdoms after Solomon’s reign. This divided kingdom weakened both sides and ultimately led to the complete defeat of all Israel, north and south.
It cannot be overstated how internal divisions weaken the whole. We’re more than two weeks past election day 2020 and the presidential race remains somewhat in limbo. It would seem that once the election results are certified in the coming weeks we will have an official winner, but it’s clear that deep divisions will remain. The level of trust in basic government is at its lowest in my lifetime. The level of partisanship is frighteningly high. One would hope America would again rally together should the occasion require it, but I’m not so sure.
Left to our human impulses we will find a way to make the split complete. A formally divided America would have been unthinkable to me even a year or two ago, but the current level of grievance and mistrust doesn’t make it sound so crazy anymore. So today I’m praying for our country which, despite huge unresolved issues and problems, remains a profound force for good all over the world. It’s something worth preserving. Lord let it be so. Preserve this union. Where there is division sow peace. Make us one, dear Lord. Amen.