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Was Rehoboam able to choose good advice if "the cause was from the Lord"

Here is the complete story at 1 Kings 12:1-15 (KJV):

1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. 2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) 3 that they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, 4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. 5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.

6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? 7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. 8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: 9 and he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter? 10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. 11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day. 13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him; a14 nd spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

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2 Answers 2

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The account shows that he chose bad advice, despite having the opportunity to choose good advice.

The account teaches us about the sovereignty of God, for he knows the hearts and minds of all, and how they will act, react, not act etc.

The account concludes by saying that Rehoboam performed the saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat. God was in control, knowing what Rehoboam would do, and knowing when and how his will would be carried out.

Only a few verses earlier, the account states what happened when Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met Jeroboam, Ahijah tearing his new cloak into 12 pieces. He gave Jeroboam 10 pieces as prophetic of God's decreed will:

"This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand and give you ten tribes... I will do this because they have forsaken me and worshipped Astoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molech the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon's father, did." 1 Kings 11:29-40 NIV for the whole account

It was Rehoboam opting for the very bad advice younger men gave him that resulted in that breaking apart of the nation, into 10 tribes, and two. Yet nobody forced him to make that choice. Rehoboam was fulfilling God's prophecy though he didn't know it at the time, but God is sovereign, you see.

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    I would up vote but can't, I need 15 reputation points to do that. Thank you for answering my question.
    – jeaq
    Mar 10, 2023 at 18:37
  • @jeaq Given that these points don't actually exist, they are inconsequential! Your sentiments appreciated.
    – Anne
    Mar 11, 2023 at 15:45
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In short, no. As verse 15 mentions, "for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat."

But why?

Let's look at the background. Rehoboam was the son of Solomon whom had deviated from true worship of Jehovah God. This is the reason why, as vs 15 stated, Ahijah prophecied this turn of events:

30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: 31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: (1 Kings 11:30, 31 KJV)

Since this had been decreed by Jehovah God, it had to happen. This event was how Jehovah God caused the other 10 tribes to turn and separate from the established kingdom.

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  • I would up vote but can't, I need 15 reputation points to do that. Thank you for answering my question.
    – jeaq
    Mar 10, 2023 at 18:37

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