1 Kings 12:21-33
And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin…
1 Kings 12:21-33.
I. AN ERROR THAT COULD NOT BE REPAIRED (verse 21-24). Rehoboam had zeal and strength behind him in his attempt to bring back the tribes by force. One hundred and eighty thousand men responded to his call; but all were dispersed at the lifting up of God's hand. The attempt was forbidden,
1. Because of the ties of kindred. These were forgotten by Rehoboam when he threatened the people with a heavier yoke. Tyranny is possible only in the denial of the brotherhood of man. It was forgotten now as he gathered his hosts together. Wars are impossible in the recognition of the brotherhood of man. This is God's word to the nations, to England as to the rest: "Ye shall not... fight against your brethren."
2. Because the loss was of God. "This thing is from Me." These two thoughts assuage anger and beget repentance; they who are against us are our brethren, and the blow is from our Father's hand. Our mistakes are permitted, and we eat their bitter fruit in God's righteous judgment. Keep the way of love and lowly dependence on God. Every other is full of mistake and irreparable loss.
II. THE BLINDNESS OF WORLDLY POLICY (vers. 25-33). Judged from a merely human standpoint, Jeroboam showed commendable foresight, and took effectual precautions against a great and possible danger. Yet he did not look far enough or high enough. The range of his vision did not embrace the mightiest of all forces. It shut out God, and every step he took ensured the destruction of the power he sought to guard,
1. His fear was unbelief. There did seem to be a danger in the recourse of the tribes to Jerusalem, but he had God's promise that he would build him a sure house if he would do that which was right in God's sight (1 Kings 11:38). Do not our fears go right in the face of the promises of God?
2. It was base forgetfulness of God's mercy. The Lord had fulfilled part of what He had said. The very circumstances in which the fear arose (the possession of the kingdom) were thus its answer. Our fears not only deny God's promises, but also the testimony of the past. Unbelief and ingratitude are the first steps in the path of sin (Romans 1:21).
3. His defiance of God. When unbelief has shut Him out of the heart, His commandments are lightly esteemed. To suit the exigencies of state, God's ordinances were overturned, other holy places were set up, the commandment against image worship broken, the priesthood and the feast time changed. Jeroboam's sin lives still in our statecraft, in the conduct of our business, etc. God's purpose regarding us and the world is nothing! His commandments are the only things that with safety can be disregarded!
4. His misdirected ingenuity. He cleverly takes advantage
(1) of the jealousy of the tribes. Why should Jerusalem be the only holy place, or Levi the one servant of God?
(2) He only repeats the sin, and quotes the words, of Aaron, and the fathers (Exodus 32:4).
(3) He uses places already consecrated, Bethel by Jacob's vision and altar, and Dan, the shrine of Micah's image (Judges 18:30).
(4) He hides zeal for his own safety under the plea of care for the people's convenience (ver. 28). Misused ability cannot shield[ from God's judgment. In every step he took he was the more surely sealing his own doom, and ensuring the final extinction of his people. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked." - U.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
WEB: When Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, and the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand chosen men, who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.