1 Kings 11-12
Chapter 11: Solomon Worships False Gods
Solomon loved many different women; altogether Solomon has 700 wives and 300 concubines. Because of his many wives and from many different lands, his wives start to bring him over to their teachings and gods. Solomon in his older years did not pursue the Lord in his heart, but instead went after gods like; Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh, Molech and other false gods.
Because of this, the Lord decides to send Solomon some adversaries. The Lord sends Jeroboam, who decides he wants to be king of the 10 tribes. When King Solomon dies, Jeroboam reigns in his stead.
An interesting verse in this chapter is verse 41; “And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?” (1 Kings 11:41). This is one more book that can be added to the “Lost Books” list. Some people say that the Bible as we know it today is the word of God and no more can be had. I would argue that anyone who would so confidently state that the Bible is complete and no more “bible” is to be added, really does not understand the works contained therein and are unaware of the true meaning behind God and his teachings. In that single verse we learn that there are more books than the Bible! God reveals his words through prophets, who then write down the teachings, spread and teach them. So if God did this in old days, why has he ceased to communicate with us now? He hasn’t. That is why we must not have our minds closed and realize that the Bible is not the complete work of God. If so, God is only giving us a summary of the cliff notes of what really is intended for us (his children) to learn!
Chapter 12: The 10 Tribes Revolt
Rehoboam went to Shechem to make him King, because Rehoboam was the son of Solomon. The 10 tribes tell Rehoboam that he would become their next king, but he would have to change a few things that his father had done to them… mainly heavy taxation and other burdens that the people did not like. Rehoboam goes to his father’s advisors and asks them what they think about that. His advisors tell him that if he becomes a servant to them, then they will in turn become his servants forever. This was some very fitting advice and something that all leaders (no matter how big or small) need to show that example and show that kindness so that they may receive that same support and love back.
Rehoboam listened to his father’s elders, but quickly after hearing them, he decided to reject the advice and seek the counsel of younger advisors… who were his age. The younger advisors tell Rehoboam to go at it a completely opposite way… their approach is a fear tactic.
“…Now wheras my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions” (1 Kings 12:11).
Rehoboam was simply shopping for the advice that he wanted to hear. He wasn’t interested in any sort of counsel, except to look good and convince himself that what he was doing was the right thing.
Naturally, Rehoboam is not very welcomed and the 10 northern tribes reject him as king! Rehoboam not only lost his chance at being a king, but also ruined it for the Dynasty of David, who was one of the greatest kings over Israel. Rehoboam decides to rule over the people anyways, and send out his tax collector, who the people stone to death. Rehoboam decides that Israel is serious and decides to make a break for it… grabs his chariot and rides out of Jerusalem.
Rehboboam nevertheless decides to reunite Israel by force and a man of God came to Shemaiah and tells Rehoboam that he was sent of God to tell him that he must not attack the seceding nations. Rehoboam (probably out of fear) actually listens and decides to not attack the seceding nations.
Because of this, Jeroboam is called in and is declared the new king. Jeroboam gets off to a quick start and works on building his new capital city; Shechem. Which he built in the mountains of Ephraim, this became the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel. Jeroboam was now worried that having his people travel once a year to Jerusalem to worship, could cause some political backlash and in his eyes, could even mean the loss of his kingdom to Rehoboam. So Jeroboam decides to start a new state religion. He incorporates the same religious ideas that they all preserved, but by making it more convenient to them and him, by having them worship idols in his city and not to travel to Jerusalem. Jeroboam was slowly leading himself and his people into sin.