2/13/18: The Impression We Leave
Children are attracted to that which glitters and shines. Their eyes widen when they see shiny new toys and objects that light up, move, and sing. They begin a begging campaign that would rival the closing argument of the best lawyer in town, employing all their faculties to convince Mommy or Daddy that life is over unless they own that item.
There was a lot of “bling” in King Solomon’s kingdom, and the crown prince, Rehoboam, had grown up around all of it. He was 41-years-old when he began his reign so he had seen all of his father’s glory days. It would seem like the son of the wisest man who ever lived, and the grandson of a man after God’s own heart, would have continued to live according to the godly legacy that had been built for him. Unfortunately, we read that “he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord” 2 Chronicles 12:14.
What happened? Taking the whole story into account, I believe Rehoboam, like all children, was more entranced by the glitter than by God, more enthralled by the shiny than by the service. His father had reigned for 40 years, so ever since Rehoboam was one-year-old, he’d lived the charmed life of the crown prince. As David impressed godliness upon Solomon, Solomon tried to impress godliness upon Rehoboam. We read his words to his son throughout the book of Proverbs:
- Prov 23:26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.
- Prov 2:1-5 My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding… Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
- Prov 3:1-7 My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.
- Prov 23:15-17 My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will rejoice– indeed, I myself; yes, my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak right things. Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day.
But Rehoboam saw his daddy receive abundant, expensive gifts from all over the world and witnessed his daddy’s romantic exploits with hundreds of women. He saw his daddy begin to slip by building temples to his wives’ gods, yet not seem to get into serious trouble with God about it. The glitzy life went on as usual. Solomon’s words about fearing and following God flickered helplessly beside the bright lights of the pull of power, wealth, and women. The outcome was a child who grew to only half-heartedly follow God.
Children have the uncanny ability to see into our actions and read what they mean. They repeat more of what they see and experience than what they hear. We teach by our actions what we value most. What are we impressing upon our children? What will they emulate? Are they more attracted to our possessions or our position in the Kingdom? It might be eye-opening to ask your children to write out a list of the five most important things they’ve learned from you, and the five most impressive things they’ll remember about you. These are the things they will take with them into their future and will teach to your grand-children. Does anything about God appear on either of those lists?
©2018 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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