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Rehoboam: A Story of What Not to Be

King Solomon was the wisest and richest man on earth during his reign over Israel and Judah (1 Kings 11:23-24). When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam succeeded him (1 Kings 11:41-43).  Thus, Rehoboam inherited the greatest kingdom on earth.

And squandered it.

As a historical context, before Solomon died, he started worshiping idols and "turned his heart after other gods" (1 Kings 11:4-10). Eventually God finally told Solomon that his kingdom would be taken from him (1 Kings 11:11-13).

Unfortunately, Rehoboam made the one decision that brought destruction to the kingdom. 

Jeroboam was an officer in Solomon's administration (1 Kings 11:28). Because of Solomon's idolatry, Jeroboam was prophesied to become a ruler of God's people (1 Kings 11:29-40). Solomon became jealous and sought to kill Jeroboam. To save his own life,  Jeroboam fled to Egypt until Solomon died and Rehoboam became king.

Once Rehoboam took the throne, Jeroboam returned home and requested of the king kindness and a lighter yoke for his people- the working class.  Rehoboam first consulted with the elders from his father's administration about the request. Rehoboam rejected their advice and asked the same question to a group of his young friends who advised him to be harsher and meaner to Jeroboam and his people (1 Kings 11:6-11, 13-14).

Rehoboam took the advice of his young friends and answered Jeroboam's request with a harsh answer that included an even heavier yoke and a tougher workload for the working class- the vast majority of Rehoboam's kingdom.

A disheartened and frustrated Israel people eventually rebelled against Rehoboam because of his harshness and inconsideration of their lives (1 Kings 11:17-24). 

After the rebellion against Rehoboam, the kingdom split: Jeroboam reigned over Judah and Rehoboam reigned over Israel. The powerful nation of God's people split.

The young hotheaded Rehoboam ignored the counsel of the wise and listened to the advise of people who had no care for others.

You will not see Rehoboam listed among "Israel's Greatest Kings." His neglect of Solomon's proverbial wisdom, his rejection of God's commands for love, his cruelty toward his own people, and his ignorance of wise counselling resulted in the division, weakening, and later the downfall of what was once a mighty nation.

And just like Rehoboam and his family's legacy, one bad decision can squander everything that we have worked so hard to earn.

The bottom line is simple: Seek God In All You Do. (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:3-5).

We need the LORD to remove proud, haughty, rebellious, hard-headed, hard-hearted, vindictive, and chaotic thoughts from our hearts and minds because they can bear dramatic consequences on our lives and the lives of others. 


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