Today we are continuing the stories of Israel’s history through the old testament. Today’s story comes from 1 Kings 12.
So King Solomon had done some great things for God, but also made some bad choices, and worshipped other pretend gods and set up statues and places to worship those pretend gods. God told him that because he had done this, that Israel would have bad consequences.
Solomon got old and died and his son Rehoboam became king over Israel.
The people of Israel had to work really hard when Solomon was king. They went to Rehoboam and said, “Please don’t make us work that hard! Can things be a little bit easier now?”
Rehoboam didn’t know what to say, so he told the people to come back in 3 days and he would think about it.
So he went to the old, smart leaders and said “What should i tell the people?”
The leaders responded, “Yes, if you are nice to them, they will love you forever and they will do good work for you.”
The Rehoboam asked his friends, “What should i do?”
They were young and not as smart and they said “No man, show them who’s boss! Make them work REALLY hard to prove YOU a powerful king.”
Well, Rehoboam liked the sound of that, so when the people came back he told them they would have to work TWICE as hard! The people were very angry. And just like God had said, that only one tribe (big family) would stay with Rehoboam and the rest would leave, that’s just what happened. The tribe of Judah stayed with Rehoboam and the rest of Israel followed a new king, Jeroboam.
The people fought and fought. Rehoboam’s people and Jeroboam’s people fought a lot and God’s people were not living the life He had wanted for them. This promised land was supposed to be a great place where all God’s people could live together with him and worship Him at the temple. But Jeroboam decided the temple was too far so he built other places for the people to worship, and Rehoboam did too. God was not happy that the people were fighting and not listening to Him and soon they would have even more bad consequences.
Isn’t it crazy how the people could see all God had done for them and they still didn’t always obey Him? We do that sometimes too. We know God loves us and takes good care of us, and we don’t always obey us. God promises to forgive us when we ask Him to, but there are still consequences for our choices.
Next time, we’ll see what else happens to Israel as a divided kingdom. Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all.