1 Kings 12:7-8—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 forever. 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:
Solomon reigned for forty years, the same number of years as his father David. Because his heart turned to other gods, the LORD promised ten tribes to one of his overseers, Jeroboam. When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, was to be crowned king, the people asked him to please lighten the burden Solomon had placed on them. Solomon had heavily taxed the people and given them assignments in service to the kingdom. Rehoboam asked the people to give him three days to consider their request. First, he went to the elders that had advised his father. They had been a part of the success of his father and had a track record of giving good advice. They had years of experience and were probably very wise individuals. They advised Rehoboam to be a servant leader. They told him that if he would indeed lighten their load, they would keep their word and serve him faithfully all their life. Rehoboam didn’t like that advise. He wanted what his father had. Why should he tighten his belt and do with less? He sought out the advice of the young men he grew up with. They told him what he wanted to hear. He answered the people that he would be harsher than his father. The ten northern tribes drew away with Jeroboam as their leader, fulfilling the word of God. Man always wants more. It is hard for the carnal nature to give up niceties of life but oh so easy to desire more. In Rehoboam’s greed, he lost nearly all. Instead of a minor cutback, he had to make a major one.