Rehoboam's accession, The people's petition, His rough answer.
(1-15) Ten tribes revolt. (16-24) Jeroboam's idolatry. (25-33)
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.
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
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.