Rehoboam : 1st King of Judah


Rehoboam : 1st King of Judah (1 Kings 12:1-24, 14:21-31)
Rehoboam’s accession, The people’s petition, His rough answer. (1-15):
The tribes complained not to Rehoboam of his father’s idolatry, and revolt from God. That which was the greatest grievance, was none to them; so careless were they in matters of religion,…. And when we see the Scripture account of Solomon’s reign; the peace, wealth, and prosperity Israel then enjoyed; … Rehoboam answered the people according to the counsel of the young men. Never was man more blinded by pride, and desire of arbitrary power, than which nothing is more fatal. God’s counsels were hereby fulfilled. He left Rehoboam to his own folly,… God serves his own wise and righteous purposes by the imprudences and sins of men. Those that lose the kingdom of heaven, throw it away, as Rehoboam, by willfulness and folly. – Matthew Henry Concise Commentary.
People’s complaint (1-5): Selfish and careless people.
Vs. 3&4…Your father made our yoke heavy… (1 Kings 4:7, 1 Kings 5:13-15) Elders and the people were very much interested in their well-being and did not care about the nation and its spiritual status.
Rehoboam’s folly counsel and his reckless response (6- 15).
Vs.6 & 7 …consulted the elders…speak good words to them… When Rehoboam sought the council of Elders, he did get the right kind of advice.
V.8…rejected the advice… But he was unwilling to abide by the elderly wisdom. Sometimes people seek advice to get the appropriate words for their own decision they have already taken.
Vs.9 – 15 …my little finger shall be thicker… add to your yoke…discipline you with scorpions… It is a mystery of Scripture to see how God works through men to accomplish His purposes. The self-seeking Rahoboam and his evil advisers were used by the Lord to fulfill His prophecy through prophet Ahijah’s word to Solomon. Amidst all the human decisions, God’s decision will be carried through. Jesus in his prayer mentioned Judas Iscariot as son for destruction. At any point in history, God has never surrendered or lost HIS authority to any human leader.
Revolting 10 tribes (16-24):
10 Tribes departed (v. 16) Negotiations failed, the revolt continued. 10 Tribes Spoke out of control against David. Jeroboam and 10 tribes parted themselves from Rehoboam and they never came back together as one nation.
V.16…What share we have in David?… If Jeroboam remember what the LORD has told him using David’s name in a prophecy, he could have silenced the people and inherited the blessing of the LORD. Read 1 Kings 11:29-39.
Rehoboam’s futile attempts to unite the Israel (Vs. 17-24).
V. 18…Rehoboam sent Adoram… Rehoboam attempted by sending revenue officer. This is an attempt to initiate the imposition of tax on the 10 tribes. But he was stoned to death by Israelites.
V. 21…to restore kingdom… Rehoboam attempted to gather army with men from Judah and Benjamin tribes. This is his 2nd attempt to consolidate the nation.
V. 22-24…word of God came…this thing is from Me… God intervened and stopped Rehoboam’s futile effort because this division was by God. Rehoboam and his men listen to the Word of the LORD and went home.
Reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:21-31):
Spiritual and moral state of Judah (22-24):
V. 22…what was evil in the sight of the LORD… All through 1 & 2 kings we see each king is evaluated in terms of his commitment to the LROD and His laws. When the king is bad, the entire nation is mentioned as bad.
V. 23…High places and Asherim..high places are to offer sacrifice and Asherim is grove idols.
V. 24…male cult prostitutes… This is the practice of Canaanite religion which is against the law of God of Israel.
Egyptian looting of the treasures in the temple and palace (25 – 27)
V. 25-27…Shishak… took away treasures of the house of the LORD and…of the king’s house… The Egyptian king invaded not only Judah but Israel in order to gain control of the major trade routes from Arabia to Damascus.
V. 29…chronicles of Judah… This is not the Chronicles we have in the Bible as Chronicles of the Bible was not written during this period. This is a reference to mention the source that the author taken the information from.