Our actions and choices in life often determine our path. Here we look at Rehoboam and Jeroboam.
Recently appointed King Rehoboam faced one of his first leadership decisions when he was asked to lighten the harsh labour and heavy yoke his father had placed on the people. He did the right thing by consulting the elders who had served his father Solomon.
Their advice was that if you as king will serve the people and give them a favourable response, they will always be your servants. (1 Kings 12:7)
However, Rehoboam rejected this advice and consulted his peers. Their advice was that the king should make the burden even heavier than before.
Rehoboam did not carefully evaluate the advice given to him. To evaluate advice one has to ask: is it realistic, workable, and consistent with Biblical principles? Wise advice has to measure up against Biblical principles. Here Rehoboam did what was good for the individual – himself – and not the people.
Now, let’s have a look at Jeroboam. When King Solomon built the Temple, he moved the religious centre of Israel to Jerusalem. In Deuteronomy 16:16, we learn that all Jewish men were required to travel to the temple three times a year.
Jeroboam, however, set up his own worship centres in Bethel and Dan. These were strategically located as Bethel was just 10 miles north of Jerusalem, and Dan was the northernmost city in Israel. As leader of the northern kingdom, Jeroboam wanted to establish his own religious centres that would restrict the people worshipping in Jerusalem. Jeroboam set up golden calves, which symbolised fertility and strength, in Bethel and Dan. Pagan gods of the Canaanites were often depicted as standing on calves or bulls. This substitute religion soon had very little in common with True Faith in God and those who obeyed Jeroboam, were disobeying God.
Understand God’s purpose for our lives and do the right thing. Do what is pleasing to God and not what is convenient for us, no matter what the cost, the time and the energy it takes. It is all about serving God wholeheartedly as we align our lives with Biblical principles. It’s about developing a HEART after God’s own Heart.
The life lesson for me in this section of the chapter is that some ideas, though practical, may include suggestions and recommendations that actually lead us away from God, not draw us closer.
Written by Mark Choice