“My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I
will make it even heavier.”
1 Kings 12:11
Rehoboam probably didn’t think there was anything wrong with being harsh to the people
or laying heavy burdens on them, since his father had been doing it for forty
years. He might be thinking about outdoing his father in all aspects of his
reign to show that he was his own man who would do all things his own way.
The new king might have been full of gusto and hot air; he surely wasn’t all that wise, for
by insisting on doing things his own way, he would be shown the highway by his
people rather quickly. He would soon lose ten tribes out of the twelve in
Israel, and only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained intact when the dust
He should have learned the good things from his father Solomon, which were many, and forsaken
the bad, yet Rehoboam seemed to lack the good qualities his father possessed,
such as wisdom and cunning, and inherited all the undesirable attributes his
late father left behind. Surely the man was doomed to fail as a king from the outset.
Absolute power makes people blind and causes them to believe that they can get away with
doing anything they want, without having to worry about the consequences of
their ill-conceived actions.
Up to this day, President Chen, the two-term president of Taiwan who was found guilty of
embezzlement and money laundering, still believes he is innocent and is the
victim of political persecution. The man might have lost the power he once
possessed, but he seems to consider that he still has whatever entitlement he
once had as president.
“My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier.”
By uttering this impulsive statement, the man might have felt rather manly and superior,
not knowing what a severe result his arrogance and unyielding spirit were
causing both for himself and his nation. How could a wise father such as
Solomon produce such a foolish son?
A little dose of humility goes a long way.
It was hard for a man who was born with a sense of entitlement to acquire the virtue of
humility. King David was born a shepherd and his flesh had been battered
repeatedly before he became a king; therefore the man was far more humble than
his sons, who were born and raised in comfort and luxury. Our self-perception
determines pretty much whether we are humble or not, and the ones who view
themselves as princes will never kowtow to anyone, including the Lord himself.
“Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what
If the Son had to learn how to yield to his Father in
heaven through suffering, how much more do we have to experience the same thing?
Humility is born in sweat and tears when we are buffed and battered; it’s not
made in the warm bed of comfort and laughter. Indeed there is no true humility
without the cross.