Biblical history records vividly the split in Israel after the death of Solomon. The son of Solomon, Rehoboam, was king over all Israel, but because of a lack of wisdom and, most importantly, because it was the Lord’s doing (2 Chronicles 11:4), Israel was divided into two nations. The nation of Judah (including the tribes of Simeon and Benjamin) and the nation of Israel (with the remaining tribes).
Because he feared the people of the land would reject his authority, Israel’s king (Jeroboam) altered the Lord’s way for his own way (1 Kings 12:25-33). Consequently, those who loved the Lord, especially the Levites, fled the northern nation Israel and went into Judah (2 Chronicles 11:13-17). It is worthy of note that those who fled idolatry in northern nation (Israel) “strengthened the kingdom of Judah” as the king of Judah himself stayed with the Lord (2 Chronicles 11:17).
There may come a time in the life of the saints to “draw a line in the sand” with regard to how much is going to be tolerated. We all know very well, after a moment’s reflection, the difficulty the people in Israel certainly had when they considered the prospect of picking up their earthly possessions and leaving for an unfamiliar place. Whatever hardships might have been experienced, it was the Lord who gave them strength and it was the Lord’s way that pulled them in a direction desired.
It is very much the same today. Whether it is in the political environment or in the religious community, the Lord’s people can only stand for so much; once that “line in the sand” is drawn, then when evil crosses, those who love the Lord must tolerate evil no more. In truth, there should no toleration of evil at all, but because we tie ourselves down to a location or to an ideology that once was, we tolerate more than we should.
Be that as it may, as New Testament Christians, the Lord’s way is to be our way and for those who refuse to come along, we leave them be for the greater cause of righteousness.
The king of Judah (Rehoboam) should have taken all this experience and turned it into good. He did for a little while, but when he “established himself” in his kingdom, he chose to forsake the Lord. In about two years, Egypt made them pay (2 Chronicles 12). Because he did not “prepare his heart to seek the Lord” the epithet of Rehoboam was (and is) that he did evil in the sight of the Lord.
There may come a time in the life of a saint wherein he (or she) will have to act on the line in the sand crossed by the forces of evil. If you love the Lord more than life itself, moving from one’s heritage will not be difficult at all. On the other hand, if the pull of something is great, then by all means, let it not be greater than the Lord’s pull on you out of the throngs of fire. There is no way for any of us to survive that (Psalm 1)! RT