Solomon is dead and his son Rehoboam has ascended to the throne. There is unrest in the kingdom and Rehoboam must decide how to handle it. The people have asked that he reduce the burdens his father had placed upon the people (taxes, labor, etc.).
In order to make his decision Rehoboam seeks counsel. The first group is made up of the experienced older men that attempted to counsel his father. They advise him to listen to the people and in doing so, gain their loyalty. Rehoboam rejects this counsel and turns to a group of his peers. This inexperienced group tells him to harshly treat the people and when he does, Israel is fractured.
Rehoboam is a selfish leader who doesn’t know or seek the wisdom of God. He learned about feeding lusts and serving false gods as he watched his father’s decline. In an attempt to restore order he creates two golden calves (These are just like the ones created at the foot of Mt. Sinai when Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments.) to encourage the people. He is so ignorant of the things of God that he even attributes the miracles of the Exodus to these two statues. This is extreme blasphemy and it will bring ruin.
All of the calamity to come is directly linked to choices. Solomon’s choice to turn his back on God and ironically Rehoboam’s choice to ignore wisdom and choose to follow his father’s miss steps instead of wisdom. The results of these choices were foretold to us in 1 Kings 9:4-9 when God warned that if they didn’t follow Him, great suffering would come.
Who do we listen to? Who’s examples do we follow? Who is our counselor and what are their qualifications? Who has influence on us in decision making? If the answer is not centered and grounded in the word of God, it will lead to destruction. James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Our choices will determine our path, so let’s be sure to seek God with every dilemma that life places before us. He knows what’s best!
1 Kings 12