Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kings: Rehoboam the Proud King

1. Lesson:
  • Last week we learnt: God had prophesied to Solomon that because of his disobedience, his kingdom will be taken away from him. The prophet Ahijah had prophesied to Jeroboam that he would become king over 10 of Israel’s 12 tribes. 
  •  The People’s Request
    • Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, succeeded to the throne after his father, Solomon, died.
    • Rehoboam went from Jerusalem to Shechem, a city about 40 miles north of Jerusalem, to establish himself as king in the north. (This is where Joshua spoke his last words and where Joseph’s bones were buried.)
    • Jeroboam had been an administrator of Shechem during the reign of King Solomon. He was popular there.
    • During the reign of King Solomon, Solomon had many big building projects, such as the Temple and his palace. And the people had to do a lot of the work and pay a lot of the taxes. So the people asked Jeroboam to talk to King Rehoboam on their behalf for some help.
    • Jeroboam and the people of Israel told King Rehoboam, “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
    • King Rehoboam told the people to give him 3 days to think about their requests.
    • Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?”
    • They replied, “If you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.” The elders said that If King Rehoboam helped the people, the people would always serve him faithfully. It was good advice.
    • But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders. Instead, he consulted his friends for their advice.
    • The young men gave King Rehoboam bad advice. They told him NOT to help the people and to make their problems even BIGGER! “Tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”
    • So 3 days later, Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam.
    • The king answered the people harshly. “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”
    • So the king did not listen to the people. He did not help them. This was so that God’s prophesy through the prophet Ahijah would be fulfilled.
    • When all Israel saw that King Rehoboam refused to listen to them, they rebelled against the king and rejected him.
    • Instead they made Jeroboam their king.
    • Only 2 tribes — Judah and Benjamin — remained faithful to King Rehoboam.
    • Revise: Jeroboam was king of 10 tribes (Israel); Rehoboam was king of 2 tribes (Judah)
  • Conclusion: The Proud King vs Jesus: The Servant King 
    • Rehoboam did not consult God. He did not listen to good advice. He thought he was smart enough to make his own decisions. He did not listen to the people. He had no compassion for them. He lorded over them and wanted to show his power and strength.
    • Rehoboam was the exact opposite of Jesus, the Forever King.
    • Rehoboam refused to serve his people. Jesus came to serve and to give His life for us. Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 
    • Rehoboam wanted to put a heavier yoke on the people. Jesus offered an easy yoke, a light burden and rest. Matt 11:28, 30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 
    • Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people. Jesus is gentle and humble in heart. Matt 11:29  for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
    • Even though Rehoboam was not a good king, God still preserved David’s line so that one day, the best king, Jesus, would come and reign as our Forever King. Thank you Jesus!

2. Suggested Activities
  • Memory Verse:
    Mark 10:45
    For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
  • Worksheets

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