I Kings 11 and II Chronicles 9
From Rehoboam's Journals
My father, king Solomon, has been called the wisest man who ever lived. He understood scientific and historical facts, could out-reason any philosopher from his day, and well, he knew more than I think he knew. Fortunately for us, he wrote many of his thoughts and kept them in the official library.
As a child, I wanted for nothing. We must have been the richest nation in all the world. Dignitaries from everywhere came to visit, leaving expensive gifts of gold, spices, and perfumes. My father did not keep this wealth to himself or our family, he shared it with the entire nation. The spender of our streets caused visitors to marvel.
When the Queen of Sheba arrived, I ran to the window and watched a long caravan, filled with gifts, stop at the palace. I had never seen such an important person. But then I didn't realize my own father, king Solomon, ranked even higher in the queen's mind.
Tutors and wealth surrounded me.
Father brought many wives and concubines to the palace. It became a small city by itself. He honored their wishes by raising statues to their idols. Services were held to worship each. I hardly knew which one to truly worship. I rarely spoke with my father, his duties kept him quite busy.
After forty years of service to the country, the mournful day came when wise king Solomon, my dad, breathed his last . . . and I was next in line to become king.
We cared for my father's body honoring him as a king should be with a grand ceremony. Many attended the funeral service, and the lamenting, oh, the sound that carried throughout the land. It was then that I felt the pressure of my new position. How could I ever match what my father did, or what his father did? The people loved them both.
The council felt the importance of crowning me king right away to keep the peace and provide leadership.
As is customary for men who are to be crowned king in Israel, I traveled to Shechem to join all the Israelites who went ahead of me to the coronation. The prophets, dignitaries, and other official prepared for the ceremony.
I looked in their eyes and saw sadness and concern. I felt the same way. How could I ever rule Israel. I didn't know what to do. My father had once prayed and sincerely worshiped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but over the years spent so much time with his wives and their gods that I became confused who to worship. Who do I pray to? Who do I ask for help?
I, Rehoboam, son of Solomon, am king of Israel and am overwhelmed with my new job.
photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
1. What had Solomon been called?
2. Who is Rehoboam?
3. What was Rehoboam's childhood like?
4. What happened to Solomon?
5. Why was Rehoboam afraid?