What should we learn from Rehoboam's actions that take place in 2 Chronicles 10?

Rehoboam had the opportunity to heed the advice of learned men, some of whom had worked with his grandfather, (David), and most likely all of them worked with his father, (Solomon).  But instead of going with the advice,  Rehoboam sought the advice of those from his own generation, and followed the foolish response. The result was the split of The Kingdom into the North and The South, which of course is evidence in the Isreal of today. So what should we take from this important chapter of The Bible, but is so often overlooked today?

2 Chronicles 10:1 - 19

ESV - 1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt.

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The congregation came to Rehoboam complaining of oppression and hoping for certain changes from the house of David. They agreed to follow Rehoboam if he would lighten the burden somewhat. Rehoboam promised them an answer in three days (1Ki. 12:5). 

The old men gave him good counsel, saying he should ease the burden (1Ki. 12:6-7). But the young men who had grown up with him advised Rehoboam to become harder on the people (1Ki. 12:8-11). When the people heard his hard speech and saw his haughty attitude, they rebelled (1Ki. 12:11-20).

Solomon had used forced labor to construct all the public buildings and his own house. The people had also been greatly taxed in other ways, so were due some changes. 

Rehoboam consulted the older and more experienced men so as to answer this people. The old people replied, "If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants forever." This was some of the wisest advice ever given a king, but Rehoboam listened instead to youthful advisers and made one of the greatest mistakes a ruler ever made (1Ki. 12:8-15). 

Through this wrong decision many wars were fought and thousands of lives were lost. Bitterness, hatred, jealousy, idolatry, and many other sins also resulted. There seemed to be no end to the harm done in Israel by this one man's folly.

Important lesson from this episode:

This is a common mistake of new and younger leaders. It is always wise to consult older and more experienced men.

"My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." Knotted whips are similar to the cat-o'-nine-tails.

Answers like this are guaranteed to cause problems, but the answer of 1Ki. 12:7 is always good counsel. "If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants for ever " - 1Ki. 12:7.

This was permitted by God to fulfill prophecy in giving 10 tribes to Jeroboam.

July 27 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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