Summary: Rehoboam would be the last King to sit under a 'united tribes of Israel'. What brought about this division?
BEWARE OF THE ERROR OF REHOBOAM
"And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. 2 So it happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it (he was still in Egypt, for he had fled from the presence of King Solomon and had been dwelling in Egypt), 3 that they sent and called him. Then Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” 5 So he said to them, “Depart for three days, then come back to me.” And the people departed. 6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, and he said, “How do you advise me to answer these people?”
7 And they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8 But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him." 1 Kings 12:1-8.
Rehoboam ascension to the throne came at a very difficult period in Israel, as Solomon his father, had enlisted many into forced labor and had imposed a high taxation. Hence they were disgruntled people. The people had hoped for some relief when Rehoboam got to the throne.
As soon as Rehoboam was crowned at Shechem, they came with a request. They pleaded with him to ease their burden. He sent the complainants away and to return after three days while he sought for a solution to their requests. Rehoboam first asked for advise from the older men who had been with his father. But he also went to the young men who grew up with him and they advised him to increase the people’s burden and assert his power over them. Foolishly, he rejected the counsel of the elders and followed the young men’s advice. Rehoboam decision shattered any hope of further unity, and so the people in the ten northern tribes chose to break away and form their own nation. Rehoboam would be the last king to sit under a united nation where all twelve tribes of Israel were one. From this moment on, in the history of the Jewish people, “Israel” referred to the ten northern tribes and the name “Judah” to the southern tribes of Benjamin and Judah. From the time of Rehoboam, there were two kings, two capitals, two administrations, two armies, and two systems of priesthood. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, was king of the smaller part called Judah. Jeroboam would become the king of Israel.
"For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." Romans 15:4. There are many stories in the Bible and these stories were all written for us so that we may learn from them.
The Bible is a book given to us so that we can make good decisions and enjoy the blessings and fellowship of God. He gave us a whole library of 66 books, in which are found, not only commandments, but example after example of what happens to those who obey as well as to those who disobey. The life of the ancient King Rehoboam has many lessons for us today.
MISTAKE 1: WRONG INFLUENCES
The young men Rehoboam consulted when faced with an important decision were the people he had grown up with. However, they did not have the experience to help him make wise decisions. And the result, a nation divided and a people divided because of Rehoboam error.
We are all influenced and at the same time influence others. We are influenced by parents, friends, teachers, and even celebrities. We are easily influenced by the world around us. We’re also influenced by what we read and see. Sometimes, people are a really good influence on us. But there are a lot of bad influences in life, too. In the journey of life. we will come across people who can add to our lives, multiply us, subtract from us and divide or destroy us, giving way to the pressure of these kinds of people can either make or mar our lives and destinies.
Friendship is a trusting relationship between two or more people. True friends can lead you to doing the right thing; bad friends can lead you to making costly mistake. Some friends will say exactly what you want them to say and do exactly what you want them to do. But these friends don’t really have your interest at heart. Friends who want you to succeed will point out your flaws. Some friends have no drive, or ambition. Some friends are full of jealousy, insecurity, and bitterness; they are not happy with your success. True friends celebrates you. Some friends are takers; they take your peace, joy, and time. Some friends justifies their wrong actions; they never take responsibility. Some friends are not principled. They flow with the crowd and are heavily influenced. And they will encourage you to do same. Some friends sees the negatives in everything. Some friends will drain out your passion and enthusiasm.