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Sunday, November 20 2011

Rehoboam's Answer

King Solomon, in his earlier years, was one of the wisest men that have ever lived. Solomon's great wisdom was based upon the wisdom that the LORD gave to him - because Solomon had enough wisdom and humility of his own to look to the LORD and ask for true wisdom.

Israel In The Time Of Solomon

"1:7 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.

1:8 And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast showed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead. 1:9 Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. 1:10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?

1:11 And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: 1:12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like." (2 Chronicles 1:7-12 KJV)

The Kingdom of Israel reached its greatest extent during the time of King Solomon because the LORD blessed Solomon's obedience to Him.

"9:22 And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 9:23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. 9:24 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.

9:25 And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. 9:26 And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. 9:27 And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycamore trees that are in the low plains in abundance. 9:28 And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands.

9:29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat? 9:30 And Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 9:31 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead." (2 Chronicles 9:22-31 KJV)

"Whereas 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"

As we read, Solomon was wise because he humbly worshiped and obeyed the LORD. What happened, in his later years, when Solomon turned from the LORD and became a moral and religious pervert? What happened when Solomon became so arrogantly full of himself that he thought that he could do no wrong?

The Visit Of The Queen Of Sheba

"11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 11:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.

11:7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 11:8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods." (1 Kings 11:1-8 KJV)

Solomon squandered the blessings that the LORD gave to him. Therefore, all of the blessings for that former righteousness were thereafter to be removed, in due time.

"11:9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 11:10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. 11:11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. 11:12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. 11:13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen." (1 Kings 11:9-13 KJV)

The Judgment of the LORD that the kingdom of Israel would be divided was, as the LORD declared, brought about in the time of Solomon's son and royal successor Rehoboam - a foolish young man (a product of his father's liberal foolishness) whose advisors consisted of "the young men that were grown up with him." When the people of the kingdom reasonably requested relief from Solomon's heavy tax burden, Rehoboam replied that he would instead make their tax burden even heavier.

"12:1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. 12:2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) 12:3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, 12:4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.

12:5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.

12:6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?

12:7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.

12:8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: 12:9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?

12:10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. 12:11 And now whereas 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 12:1-11 KJV)

The united kingdom of Israel was thereafter divided into The Southern Kingdom of "Judah," consisting of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin (see Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?) and the Levites whose lands were in the south (see Are Levites 'Jews'?), and The Northern Kingdom of "Israel," consisting of the other ten tribes and the Levites whose lands were in the north (although the northern Levites later immigrated to Judah (see No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?).

The Division of The Kingdom under Rehoboam

"12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day. 12:13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him; 12:14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 12:15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

12:16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.

12:17 But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.

12:18 Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 12:19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. 12:20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only." (1 Kings 12:12-20 KJV)

When Rehoboam attempted to restore the united kingdom by military action, the LORD commanded him to stop.

"12:21 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.

12:22 But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 12:23 Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, 12:24 Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD." (1 Kings 12:21-24 KJV)

Rehoboam's rule over Judah was, right from the start, as grossly corrupt as Solomon's was over all of Israel at the end. He "built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree" and "there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel." Rehoboam was also militarily weak; Shishak king of Egypt invaded the capital city of Jerusalem, whereby he looted the Temple and the royal palace. Despite the attacks from Egypt, Rehoboam ignored the command of the LORD and fought with Israel, under Jeroboam: "And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days."

"14:21 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.

14:22 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. 14:23 For they also built them high places, and images, and Groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. 14:24 And there were also Sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

14:25 And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem: 14:26 And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 14:27 And king Rehoboam made in their stead brazen shields, and committed them unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king's house. 14:28 And it was so, when the king went into the house of the LORD, that the guard bare them, and brought them back into the guard chamber.

14:29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 14:30 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days. 14:31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 14:21-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: While Rehoboam continued on as the king of Judah, who became the first king of the separated kingdom of Israel?
See Jeroboam Of Israel; see also Kings of Israel and Judah for a complete list of all of the kings of Israel and Judah, with detailed studies for each king.


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This Day In History, November 20

269: Diocletian was proclaimed emperor.

1272: Edward I became King of England.

1541: John Calvin, 32, established a religious government at Geneva, creating a center for growing Protestantism in Europe.

1759: In the Battle of Quiberon Bay during the Seven Years War, the British fleet with 23 warships under Admiral Hawke destroyed the French invasion fleet of 21 warships under Admiral Conflans.

1780: Britain declared war on the Netherlands after the Dutch had supplied French and Spanish arms to U.S. rebels (the Dutch were the colonial rulers of the colonies before Britain took them and renamed them "New England," while France and Spain both had colonies throughout North America, that they tolerated no independence for, while they at the same time supported the revolt of the English colonies against Britain).

1820: An 80-ton whale "attacked" the Essex, a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts. The peaceful whale (and members of its family) was actually the one being attacked by the whaling ship, thrashing about after being harpooned. The mis-reported event was later used as the false idea for the 1851 fictional novel Moby Dick.

1873: In Hungary, the rival cities of Buda and Pest were joined to form the national capital - Budapest.

1917: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), 324 British tanks struck at the German lines in the Battle of Cambrai, France, the first major battle involving tanks. By the end of the battle, no gains had been made and the British lost 43,000 men.

1922: In Switzerland, the Lausanne Conference began to resolve differences between the allied powers after the First World War.

1945: The war crime trials of 24 Nazi leaders began at Nuremberg, Germany. On the same day, the Allied Control Commission approved the transfer of 6,000,000 ethnic-Germans from Austria, Hungary and Poland back to West Germany.

1946: Alberta's oil boom began when the initial drilling was done at the famous Leduc well south of Edmonton.

1947: Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) married Philip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh, in Westminster Abbey.

1967: Lester Pearson, a Nobel Prize winner who would later become Prime Minister of Canada, was presented with the Medallion of Valour of the State of Israel for his efforts on behalf of Israel at the United Nations.

1977: Egyptian president Anwar Sadat addressed the Israeli Knesset.

1980: Jiang Qing, widow of Mao Zedong, went on trial in China on charges of treason.

1992: A fire that burned for 15 hours before being brought under control severely damaged part of Windsor Castle in London.

1992: 20 paintings by Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) went unsold at an auction after they failed to receive a single bid.

1998: A Taliban court in Afghanistan declared Osama bin Laden to be "a man without a sin."





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