God’s dealings have a purpose

Prophet Isaiah visits King Hezekiah

This thing is from me.

1 Kings 12:24.

After the death of king Solomon ten tribes of the people of Israel chose the Ephraimite Jeroboam as their king. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin alone remained loyal to Solomon’s son Rehoboam. Rehoboam sought to rescind the division of the kingdom by defeating Jeroboam with military power. But God sent a prophet to the king with the message that he should not go to war, for “this thing is from me”.

How can that be explained? God’s will, both then and nowadays too, is that the unity of His people should be visible. So why did He say that He had caused the division? On the one hand, it was the direct consequence of Rehoboam’s ignoring his father’s reliable advisors. At the same time the division of the kingdom fulfilled God’s announcement of judgment on Solomon for turning to strange gods (cf. 1 Kings 11:7-13). God cannot overlook evil in His people; He will always bring about circumstances that should cause a change of heart and ways.

We, too, must learn to accept all that happens as from God’s hand. This may involve the consequences of a wrong pathway that trouble us and that God does not remove. We must remember that the difficulties in our life do not arise from chance, nor exclusively from the wickedness of our fellowmen. They come “from me” i.e. from God. For this very reason we can turn to Him in our need and receive from Him the strength to endure. Our need should draw us nearer to Him, so that we look away from our circumstances and up to Him. That gives us comfort and courage. David, Rehoboam’s grandfather learned this lesson (cf. 2 Samuel 16:11.12).