An heir to his grandfather’s and father’s big legacies, Reheboam had a choice if he would seek God like they did or lean on his own understanding. Just as we cannot get to heaven on the coattails of another’s faith, the new king should have tapped into what had made David and Solomon’s forty-year reigns great in the first place.
I. 1 Kings 12:1-5. Born sometime, no doubt, in the spiritual decline of his father’s reign into a chaotic household of 999 stepmothers or “aunts” who worshiped a variety of gods, Reheboam might argue today that he was a victim of a lost world plunged into sin and relative morality. And yet, he was on the waning edge of Israel’s golden age and knew the covenants God had made with his grandfather. His dad built the temple! At the moment of his crowning, however, Reheboam had a choice to make. Would he include God in his decision-making (Joshua 24:14-15) or would he lean on his own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6)?
II. 1 Kings 12:6-17. He had at least heard of his father’s wisdom given to him by God (1 Kings 3:10-13) if not seen those coming to the palace seeking it (1 Kings 10:21-27). But, he seemed to have forgotten the important ‘if’ attached to the gift (1 Kings 3:14) and the reason for the spiritual decline of the kingdom because his father had ignored it too (1 Kings 11:1-4). So, when forced to choose between relying on those who had advised his dad and stepping out on his own, he chose the counsel of the young men who had grown up with him. The result was that he did get to establish his own legacy–that of splitting God’s kingdom!
III. John 5:19-23. Jesus lived to be his Father’s Son as well … except that His Father was God! He went around doing good (Acts 10:38), spent regular time in prayer (Mark 1:35), insisted on others knowing the Scriptures as He did (Mark 12:24), and was an example for us to live up to (John 13:15). His dying on a cross and rising from the dead empowered us to be our Father’s children as well (John 20:17). So, we must seek wisdom (James 1:5-8), answer with gentle words (Proverbs 15:1-5), seek advice from godly counselors (Proverbs 24:6) who follow God’s Word (Psalm 119:24), and live as an imitation of Christ (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Oh, how things might have turned out differently if Reheboam had chosen differently!