I Kings 12
must it be like to be the son of the wisest man who ever lived, and
the grandson of the incomparable King David? This is the position and
relationship of Rehoboam who inherited the throne of Israel upon the
death of Solomon. The nation had reached its zenith of prosperity,
power, and popularity under the forty year reign of Solomon and now
it was Rehoboam’s turn to rule the nation of God’s covenant
Among the very first actions of Rehoboam upon ascending to the throne of Israel, was seeking counsel from two sets of advisors. One set was the older generation who had served well under Solomon. The other was a younger set anxious to flex their bureaucratic power and authority. Contrary to the advice of the older, more experienced bureaucrats, their advice was to further burden the people with great increases of taxation, and build yet a greater kingdom than Solomon had built. That advice was set in place and it led to not only a revolt, but to an actual split of the nation into two kingdoms. The southern kingdom was made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin ( near half of the population of the nation), and constituted the nation of Judah over which Rehoboam continued to reign. The other was the northern kingdom of Israel, made up of the remaining ten tribes over which Jeroboam reigned in Samaria.
So what did Rehoboam do that was so wrong? As a new king, he was lifted up with pride and looked for advice in the wrong places. Unlike his grandfather, he was not a man after God’s heart who sought His will and way in the affairs of government. Unlike his father, he did not seek the advice and wisdom that only God could give to enable one to fulfill such an overwhelming task of governing the nation.
So, what Rehoboam did that was so wrong after inheriting the throne of God’s covenant people was to seek the advice of sinful men, rather than that of God, about how to rule. Consequently, he suffered great loss and the people also suffered much loss and hurt. We must not forget the sin of Rehoboam and blindly repeat it. God’s ways are not man’s ways. There is only one source from which we can know the will and way of God. It is not from man or his reasoning however logical it may appear. It is from the Holy Spirit empowered, infallible Word of God, the Bible. May we be quick always to seek its advice in all matters of life.