Daily Bible Radio

Inside and Outside

2 Chronicles 10:1-5 :

Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon), Jeroboam returned out of Egypt. They sent and called him; and Jeroboam and all Israel came, and they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, lighter, and we will serve you.”

He said to them, “Come again to me after three days.”

So the people departed.

It appears that the author of these chronicles expects us to have read 1 Kings. It's very difficult to understand what is going on here without remembering what happened at the end of Solomon's life. As I already mentioned, Solomon's heart was turned by his foreign wives, and as a result he built worship places for his wives' foreign gods. We are told that as a part of his punishment, God raised up some enemies, one of which was Jeroboam. Jeroboam was told by God that he was to plan on becoming a king in Israel in opposition to Solomon's house. Solomon chose to go after Jeroboam instead of accepting God's plan and repenting of his sin.

We also learn, after Solomon's death, that he had been oppressive to his own Israeli brothers by making them do excessive government work. So here we have, what you might call, a union meeting between the new king and the union boss, Jereboam. The demand by the union was that the king ease up on them a bit. If he did, they would continue working. They didn't even ask for a pay raise.

Rehoboam told them that he needed three days to make a decision. We find out next that he decided to get some advice. That's a good thing, but sometimes things only look good on the outside. It appears that Solomon had been oppressing his own relatives, even during good times. Things looked good on the outside, but something very bad was going on in his kingdom and in his own family. God keeps track of the inside because that's where everything else comes from.

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