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. Because they had been unfaithful to the LORD, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam. With twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites that came with him from Egypt, he captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. 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.’ ” The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The LORD is just.” 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. They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.” 2 Chronicles 12:1-8
Rehoboam has been king for about 5 years when he and the southern Israelite tribes (Judah) are attacked and overwhelmed by Shishak king of Egypt. They capture fortified cities of Judah. When the prophet tells the leaders of Judah why they have been defeated by Shishak, they humble themselves before the Lord. When the Lord sees that the leaders humbled themselves He does not destroy them, but promises to deliver them soon. God used Shishak to bring judgment on Judah. Only their humbling themselves saved them from certain death. Before God delivers them He makes Judah serve Shishak for a period of time before delivering them. He teaches them the difference between serving the Lord God who loves them and a foreign king who would have killed them if not for the Lord’s intervention. What a lesson for us today. When we fall into sin, humble yourself, repent of your sin, don’t try to hide it from God. Doubling down on sinful actions puts you in bondage to that sin. Let the Lord free you through your confession and repentance. He is faithful to forgive your sin if you do so.