So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything. He also took away the shields of gold that Solomon had made, and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house. And as often as the king went into the house of the Lord, the guard came and carried them and brought them back to the guardroom. And when he humbled himself the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to make a complete destruction. Moreover, conditions were good in Judah. II Chronicles 12:9-12 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. I Peter 1:3-5 ESV
Do your parents or grandparents ever talk about the good old days? Mine did when they were still alive. My dad, for example, liked to talk about his years in a little two-room schoolhouse, and the games he and the other boys played at recess. One day they started damming up a creek that ran through some nearby farmland until the farmer came running out, scolding them. He also talked about the city league baseball games his parents often took him to in the evenings, and how much faster baseball games were when he was a boy. He also talked about how ice cream cones only cost a nickel, but once he and his brother bought a licorice ice cream cone, and they thought it tasted horrible. They tried to feed it to a goat, but the goat didn’t like it either! Sometimes when he told his stories it seemed as if he saw the past years as golden years, and that the present time wasn’t as happy for him.
Probably there are good and bad things about the past, and also about the present day. But for King Rehoboam, the golden years of his kingdom were definitely in the past and in the years of his father Solomon and grandfather David. Rehoboam had lost much of his kingdom to Jeroboam, and now Egypt had come against him and taken the gold and treasures from his temple and his palace. Because he had turned to God for forgiveness God didn’t let him become entirely wiped out, but nothing was as good as it was before. The days of glory were past for him and the Kingdom of Judah.
The human family had a glorious, golden past in a beautiful world without sin, sorrow, or death, but our first parents sinned and brought this golden age to an end. We don’t even know clearly what the good old days were like, and all we know is the reality of life in a world broken by sin. We can’t ever go back to the world’s golden past, but we can look ahead to a glorious future. God will someday bring about a new world of life and beauty and peace, and Jesus came to destroy sin and death and to open this world to us. While we look forward to our future with God, we have God with us now in this life, giving us his help and comfort. He forgives our sins and keeps us in his love and care every day.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your love and help in this world and our hope for the world that is coming. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.