“I discipline the arrogant by telling them, ‘No more bragging.’
I discipline the wicked by saying, ‘Do not raise your horn to demonstrate your power.
King Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam when the prophet Ahijah predicted that Israel would divide into two countries with Jeroboam leading the Northern Kingdom.
The Israelites requested that Jeroboam meet them in Shechem at the coronation. Together, they made a request of Rehoboam, who would be their new king.
This next conversation between Rehoboam and the tribes is pivotal for the nation of Israel and the twelve tribes. The prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite in the 1 Kings 11story foreshadows that God is going to give Judah—and neighboring Benjamin—to Rehoboam, but Jeroboam in the north gets ten tribes. The story is ironic since it appears that the Eternal favors Jeroboam by giving him most of the Israelite tribes and territory, and Rehoboam is portrayed as a despotic fool. In the end, the Davidic offspring, King Rehoboam, has a disastrous reign, and Jeroboam sets up Dan and Bethel as temple sites to worship the Eternal One. It seems that a king, whether in the Northern or Southern Kingdom, is a bad deal for the people.
Israelites (to Rehoboam): Your father made us work very hard for the building of Israel.We built cities and palaces and temples and roads for him. We are tired of this constant work which your father required. If you will reduce the amount of work we are required to perform for the nation, then we will coronate you as king and serve you as your people.
Rehoboam: Let me think about this for three days. Then I will give you an answer.
As the Israelites left, King Rehoboam asked older men who were his father Solomon’s advisors for advice about the situation.
Rehoboam: What do you think I should tell the people?
Solomon’s Advisors: Listen to their concerns, show them kindness, and please them. Then they will be your subjects and will always respect you.
But Rehoboam did not listen to the advisors’ recommendation. Instead he asked the opinions of his childhood friends who were more likely to give him the advice that he wanted to hear.
Rehoboam: How do you think I should answer these people’s request that I reduce the amount of work my father required of them?
These younger childhood “counselors” encourage Rehoboam to be a stronger, more dominant ruler instead of a kinder, more respected ruler.
Rehoboam’s Friends: Tell those who want a reduced workload, “I am stronger and more virile than my father ever was! You will long for my father’s leniency. He made you work hard, but I will make you work even harder. He disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with the sting of scorpions.”
On the third day, Jeroboam and the Israelites returned to Rehoboam as the king had requested. The king followed the advice of his young friends, answering harshly and ignoring the advice of his father’s advisors.
Rehoboam: You will long for my father’s leniency. He made you work hard, but I will make you work even harder. He disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you withthe sting of scorpions.
By ignoring the Israelites’ desires, the king fulfilled the Eternal God’s prophecy that was spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam, son of Nebat (2 Chronicles 10:3-15).
[God tells the prophet Nathan,] you shall tell David, My servant this message is from the Eternal One, the Commander of heavenly armies: “I took you from the pastures where you followed sheep and made you king of all My people Israel so you now lead My sheep. I have been with you wherever you journeyed and have given you victory over your enemies; and I will make you highly respected, with a name as great as any who live on earth.And I will select a place for My people Israel and plant them firmly in that place, a land they can call their own, a land of peace. The wicked will not bother them again as they did from the time I appointed the judges to govern My people, and I will give you rest from fighting your enemies.
More importantly, I, the Eternal swear to you that I will raise up a dynasty from your family. When you come to the end of your days, and you leave this life to lie down with your fathers, I will raise up from you a descendant, your own flesh and blood, and I will make his kingdom and family sure. He will be the one to build a temple honoring My name, and I will establish the leadership of his kingdom for all time. I will be to him a father, and he will be to Me a son. When he crosses the line and acts badly, I will teach him with a rod used by people for correction and a lash for discipline. But I will not withdraw My love from him as I did from Saul, whom I set aside in favor of you. Your dynasty, your kingdom, will stand perpetually in My sight; your descendants will rule continually.” (The Voice)
[D]iscipline yourselves not to eat the blood because the blood is the soul, and you mustn’t eat the soul along with the meat. Don’t eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.
To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him. From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, while you heard his words coming out of the fire. And because he loved your ancestors, he chose their descendants after them (NRSV).