Ep. 117: The Kingdom Divided

Equiping You to Share the Gospel of Christ

Ep. 117: The Kingdom Divided

When Solomon was alive, he promoted one of his servants, named Jeroboam. He had a unique ability of getting things done.
One day Jeroboam met a prophet, who was wearing a new coat. The prophet said, “Here is a message from God.”
He then took off the coat and ripped it into twelve pieces. He handed Jeroboam ten of them and gave him this message from the Lord: “Solomon left me and turned to worshipping idols. Therefore, I’m going to rip the kingdom out of his hands. You’ll rule over the northern ten tribes of Israel. I’m not taking all the tribes away because of David and Jerusalem. Therefore Solomon’s son will rule over Judah.
“Follow me and obey my commandments. If you do, I’ll be with you. I’ll establish your kingdom, and you’ll have a lasting dynasty just like I gave David.”
Solomon found out about this prophecy and tried to kill Jeroboam. But he ran away and hid in Egypt until Solomon died.
One of Solomon’s sons was Rehoboam, whose mother was an Ammonite woman. After his father died, he went to Shechem so the northern tribes of Israel could crown him king.
Before the elders of Israel met with him they sent for Jeroboam. Once he arrived, they said to Rehoboam, “Your father put a yoke on us that was harsh. Promise us that you’ll lighten our load and lower our taxes. If you do, we’ll gladly serve you.”
Rehoboam said, “Give me three days to think about this.”
After Jeroboam and the elders of Israel left, Rehoboam asked advice from the older counselors in his father’s court. They said, “Serve these people with all your heart. Be kind to them, and they’ll serve you for the rest of your life.”
Rehoboam then asked for advice from his younger counselors, the ones he grew up with. They said, “Tell those rebels, ‘My father was easy on you compared to me. My little finger will be heavier than my father’s leg. He hit you with whips. I’m going to hit you with scorpions.’ ”
Rehoboam listened to this advice and rejected the counsel of the older men. He said to the leaders of Israel, “My father was easy on you compared to me. He hit you with whips. I’m going to hit you with scorpions.” That was exactly what the Lord wanted him to say.
When Jeroboam and the people of Israel heard this, they said, “We want nothing to do with the house of David! We’re not from Judah.”
So the people of Israel went home and Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem. He sent one of his officials to restore order among the northern tribes. The people stoned him until he was dead.
The ten tribes broke away from Judah and called themselves Israel. They asked Jeroboam to be their king.
Rehoboam gathered an army from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. They prepared to invade Israel and force them back under Rehoboam’s control.
Just then a man of God came to them with a message from the Lord. “Don’t go fight your brothers. Go home. I’m the one that caused them to rebel against you.” Everyone listened to the Lord, and went home.


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