God had told Solomon in the previous chapter that the kingdom of Israel would be torn away from him. This would be done not during his lifetime, but the during the lifetime of his son. God even went so far as to tell Solomon that he would leave his son ONE tribe (out of the 12). Rehoboam was set to be King over Israel.
1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king.The people gathered. They told Rehoboam they would follow him, but they wanted their burden to be lighter. He promised to consider their request.
3And they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam, 4 "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." 5He said to them, "Go away for three days, then come again to me." So the people went away.
Now God could have had Rehoboam take the good counsel that he was offered. But he didn't. In fact, Rehoboam turned from that fine advice, and took the advice of the young men. Men who didn't have the benefit of experience, who were still learning to exercise wisdom.
6Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, "How do you advise me to answer this people?" 7And they said to him, "If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever." 8But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. 9And he said to them, "What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, 'Lighten the yoke that your father put on us'?" 10And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, "Thus shall you speak to this people who said to you, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us,' thus shall you say to them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs. 11And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.'"
Rehoboam did not listen to the people. The end result.... King Rehoboam was left with what God promised. ONE tribe to rule.
16And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, "What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David." So Israel went to their tents. 17But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. ........ There was none that followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah only.
This whole situation could have been handled by God in so many different ways, but God orchestrated events so that what he wanted, happened.I actually find comfort in that this week. For you see I know the promises of God. He will take care of me. He will continue to watch over me. Even though life is a tad bit stressful, God will continue to care, and he will work it out. His glory will show forth (at least I hope so!) :)