by Clarence E. Macartney

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Great Characters of the Bible (8 of 12)
Brass for Gold -- Rehoboam
Clarence E. Macartney
2 Chron. 12:10

After Solomon had finished the temple, he turned his
attention and his interest to other buildings. Among
these was a house of justice, called also the "house
of the forest of Lebanon." Here was his throne of
ivory, overlaid with the finest gold and guarded by
twelve massive ivory lions. On three rows of cedar
columns that upheld the roof were hung three hundred
shields of beaten gold. They were silent witnesses to
the splendor and the power of the kingdom of Judah.
When Solomon went to the temple to worship God, his
bodyguard bore the golden shields before him to the
strains of martial music.

But now Solomon was dead. Jeroboam, the son of Nebat,
had caused Israel to sin; the kingdom was divided, and
Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, ruled the southern
kingdom at Jerusalem. He did that which was evil in
the sight of the Lord, with the inevitable
consequences. At this time of decay, Shishak, the king
of Egypt, came up with a great army and took
Jerusalem; this was only the first of a long series of
defeats and humiliations. He stripped the temple of
its sacred treasures and ravished all the holy and
splendid places. His greedy eye was attracted by the
three hundred shields of gold that hung upon the cedar
columns in the house of the forest. These, too, he
seized and carried down into Egypt to tell the story
of his victory over Judah.

A braver king would have sounded the trumpet, gathered
his fighting men, and tried to retrieve the lost
fortunes, winning back with the sword the symbols of
Judah's greatness. But Rehoboam knew an easier way.
Where his father had gathered gold of Ophir, he
gathered brass and made three hundred shields of brass
and hung them up in the place of the lost three
hundred shields of gold. When he went to the temple to
call upon the God whom he had forsaken, his men-at- ...

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