And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. And they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam,“Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” He said to them, “Go away for three days, then come again to me.” So the people went away. I Kings 11:43-12:5 ESV
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written,“Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:10-14 ESV
One’s pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:23 ESV
There has long been a television game show called “Let’s Make a Deal.” One thing that usually happens on this show is that a contestant wins a prize that has a good value, such as some money or a TV set. The contestant then is given a choice. Will he or she keep the good prize, or trade it away for a prize that might be better? The problem is, the new prize is hidden behind a door or in a box, and there’s no way of knowing if it is something better than the good prize, like a car or a trip to Hawaii, or instead a “zonk,” like a llama or a room full of ruined furniture. The contestant has to make a choice without knowing how the choice will turn out.
When Solomon’s son Rehoboam was about to be made king after his father’s death, the people had a request for him. They might have been proud of the beautiful temple and of Solomon’s magnificent palace, but they were tired of being forced to work to build all these things. They wanted life to be easier for them in the future. Jeroboam came back from Egypt to speak for them and ask Rehoboam to lighten their load. Now Rehoboam had a choice. He could give the people what they asked for, and then they would serve and obey him as their king. Or he could try to keep the power his father Solomon had. Rehoboam didn’t know what the consequences would be if he made that choice. What should Rehoboam do? Should he accept the idea of being a weaker, kinder king, or should he go after power and risk losing the people’s loyalty? He would let the people know his decision in three days.
Rehoboam’s choice was the difference between being proud or being humble. It was a choice between being greedy for power, or being satisfied to be a king who cared for his people’s needs. Being proud and greedy often leads to trouble and loss, and being proud before God is especially foolish. We want to think we can do good things to earn more favor and blessing from God. God provided everything we needed to be his people forever when he sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay for our sins. Sometimes we don’t want to admit that we are sinful and need God’s forgiveness every day. We want to be able to feel proud of our own work and efforts, but then we risk losing everything God wants to give us through Jesus. He sends us his Holy Spirit to help us stay humble and be satisfied with his free gift of love and forgiveness.
Dear Heavenly Father, please help me be humble and satisfied with what you give me, especially forgiveness through Jesus. In His Name, Amen.