Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 26

(TAB Media photo)

Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 26


1 Kings 12:6–19

Experience Speaks (6–7)

How different the history of Israel might have been if Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, had realized the wisdom of his father.

Rehoboam started off well. He asked the men who had advised his father to advise him.

They told him to ease up on the demands he put on the people. This was sound advice.

After a generation of building projects — seven years on the temple and 13 years on Solomon’s palace (1 Kings 6:38–7:1) — the people were in need of a break.

The advice of the elders was sensible. Rehoboam would win the hearts of the people if he gave them a break from the harsh demands of work and taxation.

Moreover if Rehoboam demonstrated he would be a servant leader to the people of Israel, they would follow him forever.

Wise leaders seek the counsel of experienced advisers rather than the voices who always tell them what they want to hear.

Arrogance Reigns (8–15)

It’s worth noting that Rehoboam had already rejected the elders’ advice before he ever even heard an alternate perspective.

Twice the text emphasizes that the next group Rehoboam sought for advice was the young men who had grown up with him. Verse 8 adds the additional detail that these men had attended him. Likely these young men knew Rehoboam would be the next king of Israel, so they were well practiced in currying favor for power.

In all probability they also reasoned if they appealed to the king’s ego, they were more likely to gain favorable status in the new administration.

The young men advised Rehoboam to clamp down on the people. He promised to increase their workload and to make their punishments more severe. Like many tyrants and dictators throughout history, Rehoboam and his young friends seemed to think oppression was strength and compassion was weakness.

If you lead people on any level, or even if you are a parent leading your children, ask yourself which of these two leadership styles reflects the way you lead people in your sphere of influence.

Division Ensues (16–19)

Predictably, Rehoboam’s actions resulted in civil war. For the next 400 years the southern kingdom of Judah, comprising the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, would be divided from the northern kingdom of Israel which represented the other 10 tribes.

For the remainder of 1 and 2 Kings, the narrative will ping-pong back and forth between Israel (the northern kingdom) and Judah (the southern kingdom).

Of the 19 kings of Israel, none of them would do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. And in 722 B.C., roughly 200 years after this, Israel would fall to the Assyrian army.

Judah didn’t fare much better. Eight of their next 20 kings were considered good. Judah would last a little more than 125 years longer than Israel, but in 586 B.C. they, too, would fall to the Babylonians.

At the time of the writing of 1 Kings, Israel and Judah continued to exist in a state of civil war. Selfishness and self-centeredness inevitably cause division.

Pastor of Glynwood Baptist Church in Prattville, Alabama

Share with others:


Related Posts