Revolt Against Rehoboam and Jeroboam’s Idolatry (1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10:1 – 19, 11:1 – 4)

Rehoboam was to become king over Israel.  Jeroboam heard of it and returned from Egypt.  He and the assembly of Israel came to Rehoboam asking him to relieve the yoke of burden his father imposed upon them.  He asked for three days to decide.  He consulted the elders who assisted his father, and they encouraged him to heed the request.  He consulted his young buddies, who told him to increase their load rather than lighten it.  Jeroboam came back to Rehoboam, and Rehoboam answered them roughly, and increased their load.  They rejected his kingship.  The king sent Adoram to collect revenue, and they stoned him to death.  Rehoboam mounted his chariot and fled Jerusalem.  The people made Jeroboam king in his place over Israel.  Only Judah stood with Rehoboam.  Rehoboam came back to Jerusalem and sought to muster the troops to fight against Israel in order to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam.  However, the Lord spoke to the prophet Shemaiah and told him that this thing was from the Lord, and they should not fight their own countrymen.  They obeyed.

Jeroboam began to establish himself over Israel, building cities and buildings.  The king decided to make two  calves of gold in order to keep the Israelites from going to Jerusalem to worship.  They participated in idol worship and made high places in Israel.

Rehoboam reacted in a way that alienated the people from him.  Two things are pertinent here: counsel and consequences.  Rehoboam rejected the counselors of his father, and listened to his peers.  While age is not always a substitute for wisdom, it is telling that the new king ignored the successes of his wealthy, famous, beloved father and listened to a new, green set of advisors that eventually led him into a maelstrom of failure.  Consequences come with bad decisions.  Consequences come with sinful activity.  Consequences compound the sins of the father and bring them to the sons and daughters of the sinner.  Be diligent, not just for yourselves, but for those of your kingdom (family) who will suffer along with you in your sin-induced consequences!

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