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2 Chronicles 12:1-12 (NIV)
Shishak Attacks Jerusalem
12 After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the Lord. 2 Because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam. 3 With twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites that came with him from Egypt, 4 he captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. 5 Then the prophet Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and to the leaders of Judah who had assembled in Jerusalem for fear of Shishak, and he said to them, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.’” 6 The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.” 7 When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.” 9 When Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, he carried off the treasures of the temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including the gold shields Solomon had made. 10 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned these to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. 11 Whenever the king went to the Lord’s temple, the guards went with him, bearing the shields, and afterward they returned them to the guardroom.12 Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger turned from him, and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed, there was some good in Judah.
After David and Solomon, Israel was ruled by a succession of their descendants, most of whom were unfaithful. A few, like Rehoboam, began their reigns in unfaithfulness (12:1), but then repented. Notice how God allows a foreign king to torment Israel, as a way of reprimanding the nation (12:2-5). Rehoboam’s humility begins when he admits that his actions were wrong, and that God was right (12:6). When he repents, God saves the nation, but God allows Israel to continue to face foreign rule, as a reminder of their former sin (12:8). We often experience this when we repent and begin to avoid former sins (such as pride). God will continue to give us challenging lessons, so that our new hearts are thoroughly tested and strengthened.