1 Kings 12:
1Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all
Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2Now when Jeroboam the son
of Nebat heard of it, he was living in Egypt (for he was yet in Egypt,
where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon). 3Then they sent
and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and
spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4“Your father made our yoke hard; now
therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke
which he put on us, and we will serve you.” 5Then he said to them,
“Depart for three days, then return to me.” So the people departed.
Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon
while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this
people?” 7Then they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant
to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition,
and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”
8But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and
consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. 9So
he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this
people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your
father put on us’?” 10The young men who grew up with him spoke to him,
saying, “Thus you shall say to this people who spoke to you, saying,
‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!’ But
you shall speak to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s
loins! 11‘Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to
your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline
you with scorpions.’”
12Then Jeroboam and all the people
came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying,
“Return to me on the third day.” 13The king answered the people harshly,
for he forsook the advice of the elders which they had given him,
14and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men,
saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my
father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with
scorpions.” 15So the king did not listen to the people; for it was a
turn of events from the LORD, that He might establish His word, which
the LORD spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying,
“What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;
To your tents, O Israel!
Now look after your own house, David!”
So Israel departed to their tents.
as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam
reigned over them. 18Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the
forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made
haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19So Israel has been
in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
came about when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, that they
sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel.
None but the tribe of Judah followed the house of David.
21Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of
Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors,
to fight against the house of Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam
the son of Solomon. 22But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God,
saying, 23“Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to
all the house of Judah and Benjamin and to the rest of the people,
saying, 24‘Thus says the LORD, “You must not go up and fight against
your relatives the sons of Israel; return every man to his house, for this thing has come from Me.”’” So they listened to the word of the LORD, and returned and went their way according to the word of the LORD.
did God choose to break the kingdom into two pieces, or did Rehoboam
choose to speak harshly to the people, of his own free choice, and did
the people choose Jeroboam as king of their own free choice?
What if the answer to all of those is Yes?