2 Chronicles 11-12 – The Fine Line Between Responsibility and Self-Reliance

There’s a fine line between being responsible and being self-reliant. You may think they both sound similar and admirable, but confusing the two can be a problem.

In 2 Chronicles chapters 11-12, King Rehoboam confuses being responsible with self-reliance. After the northern tribes desert him and establish their own kingdom, Rehoboam sets out to strengthen what’s left of his kingdom. He fortifies cities, stores weapons, stockpiles food, and stations troops. Seems like a responsible thing to do, right?

But, after Rehoboam feels safe behind his efforts and stockpiles, he doesn’t feel the need to rely on God anymore. He becomes lax and turns away from God, doing his own thing. (2 Chron. 12:1) Because of this, God allows the king of Egypt to over-run the cities Rehoboam had fortified and trusted for protection.

Rehoboam then retreats to Jerusalem where he confesses his sin and humbles himself before God. So, God protects Jerusalem from being overrun and destroyed. But, God allows Jerusalem to fall under Egyptian rule to teach them how much better it is to be under God’s rule than their own.

As we said, there’s a fine line between being responsible and being self-reliant. Being responsible refers to working hard while acknowledging that God is in charge of the outcomes. Being self-reliant refers to working hard while believing we are in charge of the outcomes. In other words, being responsible keeps God in the picture while being self-reliant cuts God out of the picture.

Are you responsible or self-reliant? Don’t forget the words of Psalm 127:1...“Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. Unless the Lord protects the city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.” (NLT)

Be responsible, and keep God in the equation.

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