1 Kings 12: Rehoboam loses his kingdom to Jeroboam

Synopsis:

After Solomon’s death all the congregation of Israel goes to Rehoboam and tells him – your father taxed us too heavily, please make our burden lighter.  So Rehoboam asks the elders that counselled Solomon, his father. They tell him, agree to lighten their yoke and they will be your servants forever. He then asks his childhood buddies what to do and they said, tax them even more for complaining. So Rehoboam tells everyone he is going to be even worse and tax them even more. When Rehoboam sends out his tax collector Adoram to collect tribute, he is stoned. Rehoboam flees to Jerusalem. When the rest of Israel hears Jeroboam is back from Egypt, they made him King. Rehoboam was king only over Judah. So Rehoboam assembles an army of 180,000 men, but one of Rehoboam’s priests speaks for God and tells everyone not to take up arms against their brothers. So Rehoboam’s army departs and goes home. Jeroboam builds Shechem in mount Ephraim. But he is worried that if people go to Jeruselum to make sacrifices, they will eventually turn against him, so he has two calves of gold made and he puts one up in Beth-el and the other in Dan. He also made priests of the lowest of people and did not use the sons of Levi. All of this was a sin against God.

In other words:

The son of Solomon gets greedy and loses the kingdom.

Favorite bit:

1 Kings 12:18 – where they stone the tax collector. Clearly Rehoboam made a tactical error thinking he could be a greedy jerk and rule over the people.

Craziest bit:

1 Kings 12:28-31 Jeroboam, because he doesn’t want people to worship in Jeruselum, because that’s where Rehoboam is, he sets up, literally, golden calves for the people to worship, even though a golden calf was the reason why Moses and the Levites went on a murderous rampage back in Exodus.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Without the consent of the governed, you cannot govern (1 Kings 12)