This Thing is from Me

When the ten tribes broke away from the house of David, king Rehoboam assembled an army in Judah with the object of fighting the rebel tribes and bringing them once again into subjection. God, however, sent Shemaiah the man of God to the king to prohibit this war‑like attempt, commanded him to disband his forces, and added these illuminating words, "this thing is from me" (1 Kings 12:24). While this revolt was obviously the outcome of Rehoboam's obstinacy and folly, yet the disruption of the kingdom had already been pronounced by God to his father Solomon on account of his idolatry (1 Kings 11:11‑13), and also it had been confirmed to Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:31).

As in the case of so many events related in Scripture, there were personal, social and political causes for this great revolution in the kingdom of Israel. The rashness of Rehoboam, the bold astuteness of Jeroboam, the despotism of a wealthy cultured civilisation, each gave occasion to rebellion now that Solomon was removed. Yet behind all these stood the great moral and spiritual cause—this thing was from the Lord. It was His righteous judgment on the idolatry, the pride, the despotic self‑indulgence of the court of Solomon.

How difficult it often seems to trace the true cause of the calamities that come into our own lives. We may blame this or that, but at the back of everything else there stands One who says "this thing is from me". lf we are a precious people to God, and the eye of the Lord is over us, then all things are working together for our good, however much it may seem otherwise. The difficult and trying circumstances with which we are surrounded are not there by chance; these things are from God. There is a purpose in them that we may be quite unable to fathom, but that the purpose is for our highest welfare we should have not the slightest doubt at any time.

When the dark shadow falls across our life; when the road becomes rough and long; when the night is dark and sorrowful; when the struggle seems beyond our strength; to believe that "this thing is from me" will take the sting from our anguish, and bring light, comfort and rest to our weary souls. Besides this we find that the sorrows of life cause us to look upwards towards God, to exercise and develop our faith in Him, to value our hope for the eternal future, and to know and reciprocate the love that is watching over us with such jealous care.

Let us seek then to accept God's will, for this is the highest form of faith, the greatest and most lofty achievement of the Christian. It is when we believe God and his Word in spite of the fact that appearances, circumstances and human reason all argue to the contrary, that our faith is truly triumphant. When the ship was in imminent danger of being wrecked, "when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days," and all hope of being saved from the tempest had gone, then it was that Paul said "Be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me." (Acts 27:25). May we have the faith, whatever comes into our life, to trust our God and Father who says "this thing is from me."

The Forest Gate Bible Monthly