1 Kings 12

* Rehoboam's accession, The people's petition, His rough answer.

(1-15) Ten tribes revolt. (16-24) Jeroboam's idolatry. (25-33)

1-15 The tribes complained not to Rehoboam of his father's

idolatry, and revolt from God. That which was the greatest

grievance, was none to them; so careless were they in matters of

religion, if they might live at case, and pay no taxes. Factious

spirits will never want something to complain of. And when we

see the Scripture account of Solomon's reign; the peace, wealth,

and prosperity Israel then enjoyed; we cannot doubt but that

their charges were false, or far beyond the truth. Rehoboam

answered the people according to the counsel of the young men.

Never was man more blinded by pride, and desire of arbitrary

power, than which nothing is more fatal. God's counsels were

hereby fulfilled. He left Rehoboam to his own folly, and hid

from his eyes the things which belonged to his peace, that the

kingdom might be rent from him. God serves his own wise and

righteous purposes by the imprudences and sins of men. Those

that lose the kingdom of heaven, throw it away, as Rehoboam, by

wilfulness and folly.
16-24 The people speak unbecomingly of David. How soon are good

men, and their good services to the public, forgotten ! These

considerations should reconcile us to our losses and troubles,

that God is the Author of them, and our brethren the

instruments: let us not meditate revenge. Rehoboam and his

people hearkened to the word of the Lord. When we know God's

mind, we must submit, how much soever it crosses our own mind.

If we secure the favour of God, not all the universe can hurt

25-33 Jeroboam distrusted the providence of God; he would

contrive ways and means, and sinful ones too, for his own

safety. A practical disbelief of God's all-sufficiency is at the

bottom of all our departures from him. Though it is probable he

meant his worship for Jehovah the God of Israel, it was contrary

to the Divine law, and dishonourable to the Divine majesty to be

thus represented. The people might be less shocked at

worshipping the God of Israel under an image, than if they had

at once been asked to worship Baal; but it made way for that

idolatry. Blessed Lord, give us grace to reverence thy temple,

thine ordinances, thine house of prayer, thy sabbaths, and never

more, like Jeroboam, to set up in our hearts any idol of

abomination. Be thou to us every thing precious; do thou reign

and rule in our hearts, the hope of glory.

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