“You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak” (12:6). As God’s own chosen people, Israel’s relationship with God was a microcosm of God’s desire for all humanity. From the first, by choosing elderly Abraham and Sara, and on, by placing tiny Israel between giant empires, God desired His people to trust Him and depend wholly on Him for life, guidance, and protection. When they didn’t, as when King Rehoboam turned away from God, Israel immediately became vulnerable to disasters and enemies.
Yet, when Israel repented, God forgave them (12:7). Israel’s dramatic history is “for our instruction,” so that we are encouraged and learn to trust in our holy, merciful God (Rom 15:4).