It is indeed an abysmal end for a once glorious kingdom. Solomon had died and his kingdom is left to a foolish son. No wonder he cried in Ecclesiastics 2:18-19, “then I hated all my labours…because I should leave it to the man that shall be after me and who knows whether he shall be wise or foolish”. In his foolishness Rehoboam could not read the hand writing on the wall. In his weakness he left Jerusalem the capital and went to Shechem, the heart of the the northern tribes, to be made king.
From verse 3, it was obvious that what prophet Ahijah pronounced upon Jerobaom was an open secret, hence they sent for Jerobaom before Rehoboam could be crowned king. Rehoboam was presented with a very logical and diplomatic move by the Israelites; a wonderful opportunity for him to retain the family dynasty. In his foolishness he threw the chance away.
The elders gave him the best advice but with his heart already lifted up in pride he rejected it. For him to go seeking a second set of counsellors simply showed that he rejected the first. He wanted to hear what sounds like what he has already concluded in his mind to do. It is often said that no one could deceive us if we have not already deceived ourselves. Israelites were committed to Solomon’s leadership even though it cost them a lot because they had a shared vision but his son only wanted to be a tyrant over them.
Hence the people revolted and the once majestic kingdom came crashing down. God had determined to do this thing, yet, it was Solomon’s sin, his son’s folly and the wrong choices they made that finally sealed the deal. Our choices definitely make or mar us. Whatever choice we make today, can affect thousands of generations yet unborn.
This lesson is very timely in the light of current events in our dear country Nigeria. Insensitivity on the part of government and leaders will always breed discontentment among the led. In any leadership position we’ve found ourselves, may we always keep in mind that it was God who placed us there in the first place. May we allow his precepts to direct everything we do. The people who are being led are not fools. Without their support and allegiance, there will be no leadership.
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