1 Kings 11:41 – 12:20
Then he (Solomon) rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king. Verse 11:43 (NIV)
Solomon’s 40-year reign was called The Golden Age. Unfortunately, he allowed false religions to creep into the land of God’s people, and when he died, his son Rehoboam became king. Things would not stay golden for long.
From the very beginning of Rehoboam’s reign, the kingdom split in two like a lightning strike on a tree. If Rehoboam had just been a bit kinder and reduced his power-taxes; if, he had just listened a little bit to the people, they might have stayed with him.
Rehoboam asked two groups of people for advice. One group encouraged him to serve his people with kindness. The other encouraged him to force the people into serving him. He took the advice of the second group, and in just a few days his kingdom crumbled.
As you look forward to Thanksgiving Day, reflect on how you have treated those around you. If you are dreaming of an enjoyable time around a thanksgiving dinner, then consider your level of kindness to those who gather with you. Kindness and inviting words will foster peace. Harsh words and self-centred attitudes will likely result in hard feelings and tension.
Jesus, the ruler of all kings, humbled and emptied himself (Philippians 2:5-8). The way to truly succeed – in all your relationships with others – is to be different from Rehoboam. Humble yourself. Be kind. Make sacrifices. Give – and not just a little, give a lot.
Father, make me more like Jesus. Help me to give as Jesus gives. Fill me with the strength to care about others and serve them for your sake. Amen.