Jun 18, 2023. Father’s Day 2023

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I Kings 12:2-20

2 So it happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it (he was still in Egypt, for he had fled from the presence of King Solomon and had been dwelling in Egypt), 3 that they sent and called him. Then Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made our yoke [a]heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” 5 So he said to them, “Depart for three days, then come back to me.” And the people departed. 6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, and he said, “How do you advise me to answer these people?” 7 And they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8 But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. 9 And he said to them, “What advice do you give? How should we answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” 10 Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you should speak to this people who have spoken to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter on us’—thus you shall say to them: ‘My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s waist! 11 And now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!’ ” 12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had directed, saying, “Come back to me the third day.” 13 Then the king answered the people [c]roughly, and rejected the advice which the elders had given him; 14 and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with [d]scourges!” 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the LORD, that He might fulfill His word, which the LORD had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16 Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying: “What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Now, see to your own house, O David!” So Israel departed to their tents. 17 But Rehoboam reigned over the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was in charge of the revenue; but all Israel stoned him with stones, and he died. Therefore King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. 20 Now it came to pass when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back, they sent for him and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel. There was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.

1. Background

                a. Solomon angered God by marrying alien wives

                                a1. His wives worshiped idols

                                a2. Solomon set up idols for his wives to worship and he burned incense to them

                b. Because Solomon’s heart was not totally with God, God  promised to give Jeroboam 10 tribes to rule

                                a1. Jeroboam rose up against Solomon, but had to flee to Egypt before Solomon

                                a2. Jeroboam returns after Solomon died

2. A king’s choice

                a. Israel gathered at the coronation of Rehoboam

                                a1. They elect Jeroboam as their spokesman

                                a2. Israel was not unconditionally going to submit to the new king

                b. Israel had suffered a heavy load of taxes and service under Solomon to support his high lifestyle

                c Israel asks for Rehoboam to lighten the load on them and then they will serve the king

                                a1. Their burden was real and request rational

                                a2. Leaders should take care of those they lead

3. Three days of destiny

                a. Rehoboam asks for 3 days to make a decision

                b. Rehoboam grew up under his father’s avarice

                c. Rehoboam asks the advisors of Solomon what to do

                                a1. The elders had seen Sol.’s greed, the alien wives who turned his heart, and the burden placed upon the people

                                a2. Having asked for wisdom to rule Israel, Solomon indulged himself instead

                                a3. The advisors tell Reh. to lighten the load on Israel and serve the people

                                a4. Reh. immediately rejects the advice

                d. Rehoboam wanted a kingdom as glorious as his father’s

                                a1. To him, the people were subject to do his bidding without complaint

                                a2. To show kindness is to show weakness

                e. Rehoboam asks his young friends what to do

                                a1. They advised to make the burden heavier

                                a2. Rehoboam’s little finger will be thicker than Solomon’s waste and he will us scourges on them

                f. This is the rule by fear and not respect approach

                g. This response was of the Lord to split the kingdom, but Reh. also made the choices he wanted to make

4. Servant leadership

                a. The key to being a leader of one’s home, at work, at church, or in a position is to serve those you lead

                                a1. Matthew 20:20-28 servant leadership is the pattern that the Lord set out for us

                                a2. We are stewards of the Lord assigned to help those God places in our care

                b. Reh. is an example of selfish uncaring leadership

                                a1. He did not care how difficult his demands were on his subjects

                                a2. He earned the resentment of his subjects

                c. To expect compliance without caring and respect without reciprocity is naïve, cruel, and foolish

                d. A father and leader must have the wisdom to know how to be both gentle and firm

                                a1. To uphold what is right in spirit of love

                                a2. Caring seeks to do what is best

                                a3. A partnership between leader and follower

                e. Ephesians 6:5 all must stand before Lord to give account

Key verse: Matthew 20:20-28

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, [a]and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” 23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, [b]and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”