1 Kings 12:18-19 (NIV) 18 King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
On verses 16-20: Finding Rehoboam to be unresponsive to their demands, the Israelites, other than the tribe of Judah reject Rehoboam as their king. Rehoboam tries sending Adoniram his messenger to appease the people, but the people kill Adoniram and nearly kill Rehoboam. They appoint Jeroboam as their new king instead, in rebellion against the house of David.
What can we learn from this? These verses paint a picture of our predicament with God. God is our rightful king, yet all of us in our own way rejected God as our king. Just as the Israelites killed Rehoboam’s messenger Adoniram, we killed God’s messenger — His only Son — Jesus, and appointed ourselves as our own king. In so doing, we rebelled against God. Until the day we make amends with God through Jesus Christ and the cross, we will always be in rebellion against God.
1 Kings 12:24 (NIV) 24 ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.'” So they obeyed the word of the LORD and went home again, as the LORD had ordered.
On verses 21-24: Rehoboam mobilizes 180,000 men from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to fight against Jeroboam and recapture the kingdom. However, a prophet called Shemaiah receives a word from God warning Rehoboam not to fight the Israelites but to go home, for God is behind this turn of events.
What can we learn from this?
1. Be quick to learn from your mistakes. Earlier Rehoboam made the mistake of taking too lightly the advice of his elders. He would not make the same mistake twice. When advised by a man of God not to go up and fight Jeroboam, Rehoboam listens to this advice and acts accordingly. May we too be quick to learn from our mistakes and prayerfully consider what God has to say before making a big decision that affects us and those in our care.
2. God’s plans are firm and there’s no fighting them. If you try to fight against God’s plans for your life, you will only find yourself frustrated and defeated. Instead of fighting God’s plans, work with God and walk alongside Him. God’s plans may be different from your own plans, but His plans are always infinitely better.
Heavenly Father, rather than continuously rebelling against You, may I be quick to learn the lessons You teach me, quick to respond to Your cautions and warnings, and quick to move in accordance with Your plans. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!