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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Thoughts from the Past – Imitation Glory




Here is another post from my old blog. It seemed appropriate tonight. I also edited it some.
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March 2, 2006
Imitation Glory


2 Chronicles 12:9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 10 Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king's house. 11 And when the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber. (Also see 1 Kings 14:25-28)

This passage interested me the first time I really noticed it. (You know how you read something many times and don't really notice it, till one day it just jumps off the page at you?) The thing that struck me about it is how Rehoboam, because of his sin, lost the glory and majesty of his father's kingdom symbolized in the golden shields and so replaced them with brass ones. Of course, he had already lost most of the kingdom by this point, but the shields gave a certain prestige and opulence. They must have been really impressive to see in use. Now they were gone.

Rehoboam, instead of just accepting that from the Lord, had brass shields made to take their place. Brass is much cheaper than gold. It is also more trouble to keep it looking good, which may be one reason they were carefully put away after each use. At any rate, it strikes me as a feeble attempt to retain some dignity and reminder of the past glory which was lost. It was a cheap imitation designed to keep up appearances.

Now, the scripture does not say this was actually wrong. It merely gives the account. It is interesting, though, how many people are doing this today in different ways. Preachers and evangelists preach "convicting" sermons and rant and howl to "fill the altar" hoping to give the impression they have "the power" of the preachers of bygone eras. People buy "pre-manufactured" meals that "taste just like homemade" to cover up the fact that they don't have time or the industry to cook homemade meals. Parents plan "quality time" with their kids to try to cover up the fact that they don't have "quantity time" for them. People make great displays of patriotic fervor to try to counter the fact that their nation has fallen and is not likely to recover.

In Rehoboam's case, he could not get the glory back. Really, he was living in denial. In some cases today, people could get the glory back by simply returning to the Lord's ways. In other areas it is not God's will for the glory to be recovered. It would seem that men today will not have the power God gave some in times past, because we are at the end of this age. (Examples: Jeremiah did not have the power of Elijah. Daniel could not return to the land of Israel.) There are some things we must then be content with, and stop putting up "brass shields" to pretend that "something is happening" when it is not, in fact, in some cases it cannot.

Can you think of other ways this applies today? How could Rehoboam have used the resources that he had more wisely? How could people today?

Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things?...

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

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