There is hope. Even Rehoboam, who had shown no inclination to obey God, listened at the last minute. You can too. It is not too late. You can start listening to God, serve him well from today, and look forward to when all our problems are fixed. Sometimes you cannot fix the issues from the past. We will always feel the weight of our sin. But if you trust in Jesus, you can strive to serve him now, and look to the Day when even the things we cannot fix ourselves are perfected.
Life is not like a children’s storybook. Things don’t always work out in the end. People don’t always walk off hand in hand living happily ever after. Sinful people living in a sinful world tend to break things and then learn to live with the consequences.
This is not a new idea; you can see it in 1 Kings 12 in the example of Rehoboam. The kingdom of Israel that was so great under King Solomon split into two during the reign of his son Rehoboam. There are a few ways of looking at it. It was the result of God’s judgement on the son of Solomon, and the division of the kingdom was prophesied in advance. But it was also the result of bad leadership from Rehoboam, taking foolish counsel, and then sending a slave master to his opponents instead of learning from his initial mistake. Rehoboam had made terrible decisions and had lost the support of most of the kingdom.
What did Rehoboam do in the circumstances? What every tyrant does. He formed a large army to try to win his kingdom back. If he had not been restrained by the prophet Shemaiah, civil war would have ensued, leading to many deaths. Yet, against the odds, he listened when God told him to stop. After a series of terrible decisions in which he never consulted God, now he listened when God spoke. Civil war was prevented. But the kingdom remained divided; that could not be fixed.