1Ki 12:1 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king.
1Ki 12:2 Now when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, he was living in Egypt (for he was yet in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon).
1Ki 12:3 Then they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying,
1Ki 12:4 "Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you."
1Ki 12:5 Then he said to them, "Depart for three days, then return to me." So the people departed.
1Ki 12:6 King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, "How do you counsel me to answer this people?"
1Ki 12:7 Then they spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever."
1Ki 12:8 But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him.
1Ki 12:9 So he said to them, "What counsel do you give that we may answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, 'Lighten the yoke which your father put on us'?"
1Ki 12:10 The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, "Thus you shall say to this people who spoke to you, saying, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!' But you shall speak to them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's loins!
1Ki 12:11 'Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.'"
1Ki 12:12 Then Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, "Return to me on the third day."
1Ki 12:13 The king answered the people harshly, for he forsook the advice of the elders which they had given him,
1Ki 12:14 and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions."
1Ki 12:15 So the king did not listen to the people; for it was a turn of events from the LORD, that He might establish His word, which the LORD spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
As a result Jeroboam, who was in exile in Egypt for rebellion against Solomon,also rebelled against the rule of Rehoboam and took with him the northern 10 tribes and split the country.
1Ki 11:26 Then Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king.
1Ki 11:27 Now this was the reason why he rebelled against the king: Solomon built the Millo, and closed up the breach of the city of his father David.
1Ki 11:28 Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious, he appointed him over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph.
We see that Jeroboam is actually promised an inheritance and a Kingdom if he only obeys the voice of the Lord.
1Ki 11:29 It came about at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah had clothed himself with a new cloak; and both of them were alone in the field.
1Ki 11:30 Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak which was on him and tore it into twelve pieces.
1Ki 11:31 He said to Jeroboam, "Take for yourself ten pieces; for thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give you ten tribes
1Ki 11:32 (but he will have one tribe, for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel),
1Ki 11:33 because they have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the sons of Ammon; and they have not walked in My ways, doing what is right in My sight and observing My statutes and My ordinances, as his father David did.
1Ki 11:34 'Nevertheless I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of My servant David whom I chose, who observed My commandments and My statutes;
1Ki 11:35 but I will take the kingdom from his son's hand and give it to you, even ten tribes.
1Ki 11:36 'But to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name.
1Ki 11:37 'I will take you, and you shall reign over whatever you desire, and you shall be king over Israel.
1Ki 11:38 'Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.
1Ki 11:39 'Thus I will afflict the descendants of David for this, but not always.'"
1Ki 11:40 Solomon sought therefore to put Jeroboam to death; but Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt to Shishak king of Egypt, and he was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
But alas and alack, neither Rehoboam nor Jeroboam make the decision to serve the Lord. The Kingdom is split and the rest is history - not a good history either.
1Ki 12:16 When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, "What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse; To your tents, O Israel! Now look after your own house, David!" So Israel departed to their tents.
1Ki 12:17 But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
1Ki 12:18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.
1Ki 12:19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
1Ki 12:20 It came about when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, that they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. None but the tribe of Judah followed the house of David.
1Ki 12:21 Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
1Ki 12:22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
1Ki 12:23 "Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin and to the rest of the people, saying,
1Ki 12:24 Thus says the LORD, ‘You must not go up and fight against your relatives the sons of Israel; return every man to his house, for this thing has come from Me.’” So they listened to the word of the LORD, and returned and went their way according to the word of the LORD.
When Jeroboam enters into his rule, he does something totally contrary to the instruction of the Lord and makes up new rules that will solidify his control over the northern tribes.
Jeroboam's Golden Calves
1Ki 12:25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived there. And he went out from there and built Penuel.
1Ki 12:26 Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom will return to the house of David.
1Ki 12:27 If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah."
1Ki 12:28 So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt."
1Ki 12:29 He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.
1Ki 12:30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan.
1Ki 12:31 And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi.
1Ki 12:32 Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
1Ki 12:33 Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense.
His rebellion is no different than the rebellion of the Children of Israel when they were delivered from Egypt. They also worshiped a Golden Calf in the name of the Lord. Actually they both called the Golden calf by the name of the Lord. To this day that boggles my mind – they could be that rebellious against the Holy One of Israel.
Jeroboam sets up idols in a false temple, chooses his own illegitimate priests and invents a feast to resemble Sukkot on the wrong day,one month later. To summarize I’ll quote Frank Sinatra, “I did my way”.
So, you might ask, how does this blog have anything to do with Christmas? Well, if the Lord changes not (Mal 3:6), If He is He same yesterday today and forever (Heb 13:8), If He did not endorse the actions of Jeroboam to do His own thing in regards to building a pagan temple with a golden calf and establishing a contrived holiday of his own invention, then why would the Lord tolerate the same actions in the church? Good intentions are not good enough when we have the Word of the Lord with clear instructions on what we are not to do. When we look at Xmas it clearly has all the same characteristics that were present during the time of Jeroboam, Selah.