Phony Living

Like the set of a television show, behind the scenes, where the camera doesn’t go, life can be a messy network of plastic, metal, and wood—a flimsy façade—held together with cheap material and duct tape. Phony living could happen in your house or my house or any house . . . even the White House. Phoniness can find a way in. Rehoboam proves it.

Behind the scenes, Rehoboam did as his father and grandfather did, building a harem, while maintaining a public perception that he held steadfast devotion to the Lord (see 2 Chronicles 11:18–23). He nurtured an impressive public image while he passed on a dark legacy to his sons. Rehoboam polished his image as he appeared to seek wise counsel while formulating his domestic policy. But as soon as he felt secure, the real Rehoboam burst forth. Rehoboam rejected the counsel of elders in favor of the counsel of his peers. He didn’t seek advice; he sought justification. Ever done that?

In the final stage of his life, Rehoboam’s façade crumbled to reveal the hypocrisy that propped up his phony public image. When the kingdom’s wealth was pilfered by Egypt because of his apostasy, Rehoboam replaced the gold shields with bronze, polished to shine like gold, but worthless in comparison. The image-conscious king hid them in secret so nobody would know the truth—a third-class substitute after a first-class blunder by a second-rate king.

Throughout the Old Testament we see that “like produces like”—a lust for sensuality produced children with lust in their hearts. And within a generation or two, a tiny seed of compromise grew to shameless rebellion in full bloom. I call it the domino effect. David’s compromise weakened Solomon. Solomon’s carnality impacted Rehoboam. In the end, the sin that Mom loved and Dad permitted entangled the son. Hypocrisy, rather than a love for the truth, defined the life of Rehoboam. How tragic.

Now here’s the tough question: Have you fooled yourself into thinking you can manage the consequences of sin? Have you considered the effect of your sin on the people you influence? I don’t mean just your flock—in particular, I mean your spouse . . . your children. What does your family see behind the pulpit?

If we were to set up the cameras behind the scenes of your private life, what would everyone see?

—Chuck

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