Rehoboam is the first king of Judah in the situation of a realm torn in two parts, of which he is the direct cause. As the chronicler intended, the history of Rehoboam as the descendant of David is described from the point of view of God’s grace. The emphasis is therefore on what is commendable with Rehoboam. We see that he
1. obeys the word of God which comes to him through the prophet (2Chr 11:1-41Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam.2But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,3“Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,4‘Thus says the LORD, “You shall not go up or fight against your relatives; return every man to his house, for this thing is from Me.”‘“ So they listened to the words of the LORD and returned from going against Jeroboam.),
2. strengthens his kingdom by strengthening cities (2Chr 11:5-125Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built cities for defense in Judah.6Thus he built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,7Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam,8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph,9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah,10Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin.11He also strengthened the fortresses and put officers in them and stores of food, oil and wine.12[He put] shields and spears in every city and strengthened them greatly. So he held Judah and Benjamin.),
3. becomes a refuge for priests and Levites of the ten tribes realm (2Chr 11:13-1713Moreover, the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel stood with him from all their districts.14For the Levites left their pasture lands and their property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had excluded them from serving as priests to the LORD.15He set up priests of his own for the high places, for the satyrs and for the calves which he had made.16Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the LORD God of their fathers.17They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon for three years, for they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.) and
4. humbles himself before the LORD (2Chr 12:5-125Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, ‘You have forsaken Me, so I also have forsaken you to Shishak.’”6So the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The LORD is righteous.”7When the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves [so] I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some [measure] of deliverance, and My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by means of Shishak.8But they will become his slaves so that they may learn [the difference between] My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”9So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s palace. He took everything; he even took the golden shields which Solomon had made.10Then King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place and committed them to the care of the commanders of the guard who guarded the door of the king’s house.11As often as the king entered the house of the LORD, the guards came and carried them and [then] brought them back into the guards’ room.12And when he humbled himself, the anger of the LORD turned away from him, so as not to destroy [him] completely; and also conditions were good in Judah.).