The Divided Kingdom

The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the LORD, to fulfill the word the LORD had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite. When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: “What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, Israel! Look after your own house, David!” So the Israelites went home. But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them. 1 Kings 12:13-17

King Solomon has passed away. His son Rehoboam succeeds him as king. Too bad succeeding Solomon doesn’t bring success with it. King Rehoboam in his first big decision as king, listens to the advice of young men who grew up with him rather than the advice of the elders, and promises to put an even heavier burden on the people than his father Solomon did. This decision brings about the split in Israel that lasts some 200 years until the northern tribes fall to the Assyrians around 723 BC and many taken as captives to Assyria. Taking wise council in the very beginning could have kept Israel together as a country. Accepting council from your elders is both wise and godly, something we should all practice.