Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rehoboam-My Father's Enemy Has Returned

By Mary Vee
I kings 12, II Chronicles 10

From Jeroboam's Journal

A messenger pounded on my door and asked for permission to deliver a message right away. Living in Egypt where I escaped King Solomon, I rarely received messages. This news intrigued me. I allowed the messenger into my chamber.  "King Solomon has died. His son, Rehoboam has been crowned king."

"What interesting news. You may go." 

Once the messenger left, I called for my servants. "Pack everything, we will journey to Israel."

I couldn't wait to return. Perhaps Solomon's son will reason with my men and me. We settled into our new homes and requested to go before the newly crowned king, Rehoboam. He allowed us to bring our concerns to his throne, which seemed like a good sign.

My men and I stood before his throne and when given permission to speak, I said, "Your father put a heavy burden on us. The labor is more than we can endure. If you will but lighten the harsh labor and the heavy burden he placed on us, we will serve you."

King Rehoboam sat silent for a moment then said, "Go away for three days and then come back to me." This made sense. Although we'd hope for his compassion right away, we respected his choice to consider what he would do. So we left, as he asked.

We had a friend who worked in King's Rehoboam's house. He brought us news whenever he heard anything. King Rehoboam consulted the elders who served his father, Solomon. He asked for their advise regarding our situation.

They answered him, "If you will ease these people's burden as they have asked, they will always be your servants."

Apparently Rehoboam didn't like their advice. He called together a group of friends who grew up with him and served in his court. At their meeting he asked them for their advice regarding our situation.

They answered him, "Tell these people who have asked to have their burden eased, your father may have given them a heavy burden, but you will make it even heavier. My father beat you with whips to make you work, I will beat you with scorpions.

Three days later my men and I returned to Rehoboam's chambers for his answer. The king said he made his decision. He said, "My father beat you with whips to make you work, I will beat you with scorpions."

Imagine that. He didn't listen to us. We would have been willing to serve him, we only wanted to suffer less torment. I rallied the people and turned everyone against King Rehoboam, son of Solomon since he only wanted to be a cruel tyrant. Only Judah remained loyal to David's throne and his grandson, Rehoboam.

King Rehoboam sent out his captain in charge of forced labor. The people of Israel stoned him to death. When news of the rioting reached the palace, King Rehoboam climbed into his chariot and escaped to Jerusalem, which is in Judah. This was the only place he found safety.

The people of Israel gathered together and asked me, Jeroboam, son of Nebat, to be king. King of Israel. I accepted. Rehoboam remained king of Judah.

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photo courtesy of visualbibleslive.com

1. Why was Jeroboam in Egypt?
2. Why did he come back to Israel?
3. What did he ask King Rehoboam?
4. Who did Rehoboam first ask advice? 
5. Who did Rehoboam ask advice next?
6. What did Rehoboam decide to do?
7. What happened afterwards?

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