The story of the two kings of Israel that reigned during the divided kingdom is a very sad story. Not only does the son of Solomon make some bad choices but his choices effect the entire nation. Instead of a united Israel continuing, a king's bad decision leads to the split of the Nation. It will now be known as the Northern and Southern Kingdom. Two of the tribes follow Rehoboam and the other 10 follow Jeroboam.

Rehoboam asked the elders of his day what to do as he was now the king of Israel and his decision not to listen had big consequences in his life. Listen in on their requests in verse 7. “ If you will be a servant to this people today, will serve them, grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever” Sounds like a wise decision of compassion but “he forsook their counsel” vs. 8. He chose to rule with a strong arm rather than a compassionate heart. He chose to go with the counsel of those younger friends around him and be harsh on the people he was about to serve. They would have no part of it and the Kingdom splits.

God’s king was to be a servant king not a tyrant of the people he was chosen to serve. God gives us counsel and when we refuse to listen He allows the consequences to roll out in our lives and the lives of others. Once Rehobaom went down the path of bad counsel and disobedience it’s not long before we find him making golden calves and setting up false places and practices of worship. Sometimes one decision just leads to another. What a sad commentary on the life of a king who could have chosen to be a servant. God still desires for His leaders to be servant leaders. God gives us counsel from His word today but often it’s easy to go with what those around you are saying rather than obey Godly counsel. Let’s listen closely to the Lord today and seek counsel from His Word and the Godly saints He puts in our life.

by Jerry Hull

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