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The Kingdom Divided 
By Dr. Jeanette Grattan Parker
Published August 18, 2022

 

Dr. Jeanette Parker

Dr. Jeanette Parker (File Photo)

Scriptures declare Solomon as the wisest, wealthiest, most influential (at least in our minds) of all the kings. Of course, his father David, the great warrior, is not less renowned than he.  

We hear repeatedly of David’s most well-know sin of having sex with Bathsheba, who was another man’s wife. You have heard before about how she was bathing in his view. She was beautiful and voluptuous.  David sees her, wants her, and calls for her.  

Those who called for her knew the king was doing wrong and that Bathsheba was another man’s wife. Many unfounded stories have floated about as to whether she plotted this. Did she know he would be looking out from over his quarters? and on and on. It becomes gossip and the Bible is not based on gossip.  

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Here’s another way to look at it…could she have refused “the king?!” David is sexually overcome with his own shortcomings. They unite sexually. She becomes pregnant. Here’s where the coverup begins.  

David calls her husband in from the battlefield for the sole purpose of getting him to lie with his wife, Bathsheba, only to come to the place that he would not have sex with his own wife because he was a committed, loyal soldier and wouldn’t have fun at the expense of the other soldiers being in the battlefield – for they too would probably like to be with their wives and loved ones.  

David sees that his deceitful plot fails, so he orders her husband back to the battlefield with instructions from David to put him on the front lines to be sure he would be killed. All this plotting still doesn’t get David what he had planned for it to accomplish. His scheme was to hide his dreadful behavior of fooling around with another man’s wife, getting her pregnant, planning to hide it so no one would know.  

Well, it all does not end well because everyone eventually knew what had happened. The child died, which brought great sadness to David and to those around him, to Bathsheba and the other children to follow. This offense against morals and offense against God results in disastrous family problems thereafter.  

What lesson can we learn from this brief synopsis? I have heard someone say repeatedly, “30 seconds of pleasure and resulting in a lifetime of pain.” How true this can be. It doesn’t take a long time to get into big time trouble that you cannot get out of.  

Solomon reigned, but he made major bad judgment calls. For example, although Jehovah allowed him to build the lavish Solomon’s Temple, he had other extensive building projects. But, his lavishly appointed palace and the need to maintain his lifestyle of extravagance caused the need to increase taxes 

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He divided the society into the privileged and the menial classes. The menial class was mostly made up of foreigners. Heavy, burdensome taxes resulted in a tax revolt (see 1 Kings 12:1-19.) Trade was going well, but natural resources were being depleted (1 Kings 9:26-28)  

The glaring reports of Solomon’s success brought a lot of “feel good.” But, great success and people praising compliments lavished over you has a downside of something may be lurking in the background that ends in a flop.  

So, here we have everything going great. It’s those taxes, trade agreements, labor force. The high point of Solomon’s fall was when we read in 1 Kings 11:1 – Solomon loved foreign women. God had warned him against that because his heart would follow those idolatrous practices and he would follow idolatry.  

Things are going downhill. God pronounces judgment on him (read chapters 11 and 12). Some might say, “Aah, it couldn’t be all that serious!” Could it not be? God raises up adversaries against Solomon. The kingdom becomes divided after Solomon’s death (1 Kings 11:1-19).  

Solomon and Naamah were the parents of Rehoboam. Rehoboam played an important part contributing to the division of the kingdom. What happened? Rehoboam listened to very bad advice. Although, he consulted with the older men who gave him wise advice; he rejected it!  

The young men whom he grew up with advised him to make the yoke on the people heavier than that of his father, Solomon, he responded: “My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s. Whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke…whips, scourges, and more chastisements (1 Kings 12:10, 11).”  

The people were laden with heavy taxes, harsh treatment, overburdening building projects, idolatrous sinfulness, idol worshipping, heavy taxes on gas, shortage of food, paying for the labor to take care of 40,000 stalls of horses, breaking into people’s houses, shooting people indiscriminately in their own house unjust treatment. Instead of taking care of his own population, he funded others, but neglected his own, taking away their weapons, hiring more and more tax collectors and just broke the backs of the people.  

Things were out of control. Funding other people’s wars with no limits. The people revolted with all the taxes. The kingdom split. Read the handwriting on the wall.  

Thanks for reading! Jeanette Grattan Parker is founder-superintendent Today’s Fresh Start Charter School, 4514 Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90043, 323-293-9826, www.todaysfreshstart.org (Ask Dr. Jeanette TM) Inquiring Minds Want to Know” All articles are copyright. All rights reserved © The Holy Bible New Testament, Errors? Let me know. Sundays for music & message: 11:30am {1-712-775-8971—code 266751} References: (The Holy Bible) References: Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible and Word In Life Study Bible. Pray; always. Don’t stop praying and hoping. 

 

Categories: ASK DR. JEANETTE, SUCCESS ON THE WAY
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