Rehoboam's Folly

Kevin DeYoung

READ : 2 Chronicles 10-12

He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord. (12:14 NIV)

Rehoboam was a foolish king. Solomon, his father, had treated the people harshly, imposing a yoke of heavy labor for the sake of his glorious building projects. All Rehoboam had to do was treat the people with a little kindness and they would follow him. That was the advice the new king got from the elders. But Rehoboam, young and indecisive (13:7), listened to his rabble-rousing group of young friends. Instead of lightening the load, Rehoboam promised to make things worse for the people. So the people made things worse for Rehoboam. They packed their bags and ditched their foolish king.

Foolish though he was, Rehoboam was not a total failure. He fortified cities and strengthened the kingdom. But when he became strong, he abandoned the Lord. How often does it happen that leaders lead best out of weakness and worst out of strength?

Rehoboam’s life was a roller coaster. He would stumble, get humble, and grow strong, only to be humbled again. In the end, Rehoboam faltered because he did not set his heart on seeking the Lord. He did not consider worshiping God and obeying him to be something worth working at. He did not hunger and thirst after righteousness, and so he left this world empty.


Father, we seek after you. Help us to walk in your ways. Amen.