Introduction: God is displeased with King Solomon. Where will the
kingdom go after Solomon dies? What kind of a king will follow
Solomon? What lessons can we learn about the leading of God and the
making of wise choices in our life? Let’s jump into the lesson and
find out!

  1. Jeroboam

    1. Read 1 Kings 11:26. What do we learn about the background
      of Jeroboam? (Sounds like he was raised by his mother. He
      was a “public employee” and he is from the tribe of

      1. Jeroboam’s mother was named Zereda. Depending on
        which Hebrew dictionary you use, her name means
        either “full breasted” or “leprous.” Needless to
        say, this makes quite a difference in considering
        Jeroboam’s childhood life. If he lived with a leper,
        what kind of life would he have? (Being raised by
        a single mother who was a leper would be hard.)

      2. The JFB Commentary tells us that Jewish tradition
        says Shimei (the one David told Solomon to kill) was
        Jeroboam’s father. That would also give us a picture
        of a difficult childhood for Jeroboam. Frankly, I
        doubt the accuracy of the Jewish tradition because
        the information about Jeroboam’s lineage does not
        line up with that of Shimei.

    2. Read 1 Kings 11:27-28. What kind of a worker was Jeroboam?
      (He seems to have had a position of some importance in
      Solomon’s employ. However, when Solomon saw what a good
      worker he was, he made him a manager. Jeroboam is
      obviously ambitious.)

      1. Is Jeroboam in charge of the people working on the
        house of a guy name Joseph? (No. Remember that
        Jeroboam was an “Ephraimite.” You will recall that
        Ephram was one of two sons of Joseph. ( Genesis 41:51-52) What this text means is that he was in charge of
        the work of the entire tribe. He is a very important
    1. Read 1 Kings 11:29-31. What is the message of the prophet?

      1. Why not just tell Jeroboam? Why waste a new coat?

      2. Do you think Jeroboam kept the ten pieces the prophet
        gave him?

      3. Remember we started out in v.27 with “this is the
        account of how [Jeroboam] rebelled against the king.”
        Is this rebellion? Can you be a rebel and led by God?

    2. Read 1 Kings 11:37-38. On what does Jeroboam’s future and
      the future of his descendants depend?

    3. Read 1 Kings 11:40. Why do you think Solomon tried to kill
      Jeroboam? (He apparently heard the prophecy about

      1. What does this show us about the current character of
        Solomon? (If God has decreed that Jeroboam will be
        the successor for the ten tribes, this shows that
        Solomon is resisting God. He has sunk to a very low

  1. Rehoboam

    1. Read 1 Kings 11:42-43. Who succeeds Solomon as king? (His
      son, Rehoboam.)

    2. Read 1 Kings 12:1-3. Who is the “they” who sent for
      Jeroboam to come back? (Seems to be the assembly of

    3. How do you explain that (v.1) “all the Israelites” went
      to Shechem to make Rehoboam king, while at the same time
      they sent for Jeroboam to come back? (It seems the people
      were uncertain what to do. There must have been some

    4. Read 1 Kings 12:4-5. Is it obvious to you the Israelites
      were all Republicans? (They were complaining about taxes
      being too high!)

      1. Why didn’t the Israelites say to Rehoboam, “We are
        tired of all of these false Gods. Destroy them and we
        will serve you?” (This shows the people were more
        interested in economic than spiritual matters.)

        1. Is this a warning to us in our political

      2. Since when do “the people” get to tell a King that if
        he shapes up they will serve him? (Our next texts
        give us a fuller picture, but I think this text shows
        us the standing of Jeroboam with the people. These
        people figured they actually had an alternative – and
        that alternative was Jeroboam.)

        1. Read 1 Samuel 11:15, 2 Samuel 5:3 and 1
          Chronicles 29:22. What traditional authority did
          the people of Israel possess? (The people were
          used to “confirming” the king. They thought they
          had the right to ask the potential king a few
          questions and to make a decision.)

      3. What do you think about Rehoboam’s answer in 1 Kings
        12:5? (I think Rehoboam could consider the response
        of the people rather insulting. He showed
        intelligence and restraint when he said, “Let me
        think about it.”)

    5. Read 1 Kings 12:6-7. People came to Solomon for wisdom.
      Why is Rehoboam going to others for wisdom? (Read Proverbs
      11:1 4 and 15:22. These are two of several texts in
      Proverbs that tell us that we should seek advice from
      others. “Lone Ranger” decisions are dangerous. Rehoboam is
      doing exactly the right thing.)

      1. Seeking advice is a good thing, but seeking advice
        from the right people is more important. Would you
        seek advice from your father’s counselors if you were
        Rehoboam? (Aren’t they the people that got Rehoboam
        into the mess he was in? Were they not the people in
        power during the “tax and spend” days of Solomon?)

      2. What do you think about the advisors’ advice?
        (Rehoboam might have been concerned about the source
        of the advice, but I think it was golden. If you are
        kind and helpful to someone, they will remember it.
        On the other hand, if you assert your “authority”
        over someone, they will remember that too. Sometimes
        it is hard to avoid a clash of “authority,” but it is
        helpful to try.)

        1. Are the advisors saying that Rehoboam should
          give up his authority to the people? Isn’t that
          a bad idea for a king? (They are really saying
          that if he gives up his authority this day on
          this issue, the people will give up their
          authority to him for the rest of the time and
          the rest of the issues.)

        2. Can you apply this advice to your decisions at

    6. Read 1 Kings 12:8-9. Was Rehoboam really seeking the
      advice of the younger men?(He was not really seeking their
      advice. Verse 8 tells us he rejected the advice of the
      old-timers before he consulted the younger men. Since
      there were only two solutions to this problem, this shows
      his mind was made up. Rehoboam was only asking the young
      men to agree with him. He was not actually looking for
      advice any longer.)

    7. Read 1 Kings 12:10-11. What kind of young men were these?
      How would you guess they grew up? Were their parents
      worried about taxes? (These are no doubt the sons of
      “royalty,” sons of the rich. These guys give the arrogant
      “we don’t have to listen to you” response that you would
      normally associate with a king.)

    8. Read 1 Kings 12:13-14. Here is some “kingly” talk! Tough,
      no-nonsense, take charge kind of stuff. Do you agree this
      is a good idea for a king?

      1. What would you say if you were one of the people
        complaining about your taxes? (Read 1 Kings 12:16.
        The people said, “We are not going to make you king.
        We are going home.”)

    9. Did Rehoboam accept this rebellion? (Read 1 Kings 12:18.
      Later we read, in 1 Kings 12:21-24, that Rehoboam
      assembled an army to take back the ten tribes, but God
      intervened and stopped it.)

  2. King Jeroboam

    1. Read 1 Kings 12:20. Jeroboam becomes king over the ten
      tribes and God’s prophecy to Solomon and Jeroboam is
      fulfilled. What kind of attitude should Jeroboam have had
      towards God?

    2. Read 1 Kings 12:26-28. Is Jeroboam’s worry well-founded?
      Will the people return to Rehoboam because Jerusalem is
      within his kingdom? (No. God told Jeroboam he would become
      king of the ten tribes and he did.)

      1. What do you think about Jeroboam’s solution to his

      2. What (v.28) advisors did he consult?

      3. Re-read what God said to Jeroboam were the reasons
        for taking the kingdom away from Solomon’s
        descendants in 1 Kings 11:33. Re-read what God told
        Jeroboam in 1 Kings 11:38. If God has already told us
        what to do, why consult advisors?

    3. Read 1 Kings 12:28. How great an insult is this to God?
      How do you explain Jeroboam’s decision? (This is a huge
      insult. God’s primary claim to His people was that He had
      lead them out of Egypt. This is a cross between someone
      taking credit for your work and your spouse running off
      with someone who is dog-ugly. Jeroboam not only takes
      credit away from God, he gives credit to fake cows!)

    4. Read 1 Kings 14:1-3. Why is it when we really face
      distress we turn back to God?

    5. Read 1 Kings 14:6-10, 12-14. Does it make any sense to you
      that Jeroboam followed after other gods?

      1. Again, what was Jeroboam’s reason for instituting the
        worship of other gods? (He did not want to lose his

      2. What is the result of instituting the worship of
        other gods? (Exactly what Jeroboam feared would
        happen, came to pass because he did not follow God.)

      3. Look at the situation of the little boy who died. Was
        it a blessing for him to die? (This is a very
        interesting passage. God let him die as a favor to

        1. Why was it a favor? (Apparently the rest of
          Jeroboam’s family was going to die in battle and
          be left on the ground.)

    6. Does anyone believe, after reading this, that our God will
      not execute judgment on the wicked? (Our God is a God of
      love, but He is also a God of judgment.)

    7. Friend, who do you rely on in times of trouble? God, or
      “idols?” I invite you today to place your trust only in

  3. Next Week: The Rise of the House of Asa