1 Kings 12:1-20
And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.…
I. DANGERS OFTEN COME DISGUISED.
1. It was a time of joyous expectation. Nothing betokened the nearness of rebellion and disaster. All Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. There was no dispute about the succession, and no unwillingness to own the sway of the house of David. All was hopeful. Danger may lurk in joy like a venomous insect in a flower.
2. The people's request was reasonable. Rehoboam could shield himself under no plea of Divine right. David was appointed to shepherd Israel, and the people had a right to protest against their burdens.
3. Their demand seems to have been urged with moderation. There was as yet no determination to rebel. The issue lay with the king. It was to bear the stamp of his mind as well as theirs. There are moments that face us with a sudden demand to manifest the spirit that is in us and to make or mar our future. Should the demand come to thee today, what mark would be left, what work would be done?
II. A DANGER WISELY MET.
1. The importance of the juncture was felt and owned. He took time for consideration. A good decision is nothing the worse of a calm review: a bad one needs it.
2. He sought counsel. We are helped by the light of others' judgment, but above all we need the direction of God.
III. THE BEGINNING OF DISASTER.
1. A grave defect. Among all that is said of these three days there is no mention of his inquiring of the Lord, or lifting up one cry for guidance. There is pride and passion in us which only God can subdue: these retained are worse than all our foes; they can only harm us through the enemies we harbour within our breast.
2. The counsels of wisdom are rejected (vers. 7, 8).
3. The counsels of folly accepted (vers. 8-11). He was seeking for the reflection of his own proud, vengeful thought, and he now found it in the advice of those who were like minded. What we need is not the strengthening of our own judgment, but its correction by the utterance of love and righteousness and truth.
IV. FOLLY'S HARVEST.
1. The shame of rejection and desertion (ver. 16).
2. His last attempt to assert his authority defeated (ver. 18).
3. His ignominious flight. He who might have won a kingdom has to flee for his life.
4. The separation of the ten tribes completed (vers. 19, 20). If Rehoboam had fled from the evil which was in himself, he would not have required to flee from his people. We give birth to the terrors which pursue us. There is but one flight possible from loss and death - the flight from sin. - U.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.