C. D. PLUM
Parkersburg, West Virginia
"For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem" (2 Chron. 11:14). This break with Jeroboam, prompted by sins of Jeroboam in departing from the Lord's way, was weary and costly, but it was made in order to be right with God. Sometimes some breaks have to be made today in order to be right with God. When such become necessary, are you willing to pay the price?
THE BACKGROUND OF THIS BREAK
Not only did the sins of Jeroboam lead to this break, but the sins of Solomon before him. Contrary to the commands of God, Solomon multiplied "horses" and he multiplied "wives." Solomon's love for many "strange women" eventually turned his heart away from God. God told Solomon he would rend the kingdom from him. Not directly from him, but from his son. He made this concession to Solomon because of David's sake (Deut. 17:16-17; 1 Ki. 11:1-12). When Solomon died, Rehoboam, his son, took his throne (2 Chron. 9:31).
REHOBOAM'S DECISION. Upon beginning his reign Jeroboam and all Israel came to Rehoboam asking to be relieved of the grievous yoke that his father, Solomon, put upon them. Rehoboam consulted with the old men, the advisers of his father. They advised him rightly; ease the burden, and speak kindly. But Rehoboam then sought the advice of the young men, which was the opposite of that of the old men. Rehoboam rejected the advice of the old men, and got himself in a mess of trouble. The church is in a terrible mess today in many places because the counsel of the old men is being rejected for the counsel of the young men. The counsel of the old men is not necessarily right because they are old, nor is the counsel of the young men necessarily wrong because they are young, but "what saith the scripture" makes the difference between right and wrong. But those of age have knowledge, wisdom, and experience the young do not have. And the New Testament has plainly stated: "Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren" (1 Tim. 5:11. The elder mentioned here is not necessarily an officer of the church, but an aged person. Rehoboam's rejecting the advice of the older men was a strong rebuke. Are you guilty? This divided the kingdom of Israel. Ten tribes stood with Jeroboam and two tribes stood with Rehoboam. The tribe of Levi was one of the ten tribes that went with Jeroboam. Later, however, "The Levites left" Jeroboam.
WHY DID THE LEVITES LEAVE?
There are two reasons we shall name that prompted the Levites to leave Jeroboam:
I. Jeroboam and his sons changed the order of work. The Levites were deprived of their rightful work before God (2 Chron. 11:13-15). Even in the Old Testament it was disastrous if the Jews did not follow God's "due order of work" (1 Chron. 15:13; Jer. 17:5). Uzza lost his life by failing to follow God's due order of work (1Chron. 13:9-10). Brethren of the New Testament era, beware! The church treasury support of missionary societies to preach the gospel, benevolent societies to feed the hungry, and the Red Cross organization to relieve the needy is NOT God's due order of work.
II. Jeroboam changed the worship of the true and living God to the worship of animals (2 Chron. 11:15). He was smitten of God for such disobedience.
These changes from the right order of work, and worship, were sufficiently good enough reasons to justify "the Levites to leave" such error. Paul considered similar errors sufficient reasons to "separate" the early Christians from those engaging in erroneous practices (Acts 19:8-91. And the Holy Spirit, for like reasons, called upon Christians to: "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THING; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor. 6: 17-18). Dear liberal brethren, won't you come out? Leave like the Levites!
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 7, pp. 11-12
December 18, 1969