Summary: Rehoboam was unwise in his administration of the 12 tribes of Israel. His lack of wisdom triggered the split of the kingdom into the two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and the rest of the ten tribes. Jeroboam was rebellious. He was not of David’s lineage and he should not have lead the rebellion of the ten tribes. However, the division of Israel was overruled by God. God declared, “this is my doing.” 1 Kings 12:24
Discussion: In dealing with Israel, God’s object was the purifying of Abraham’s descendants. The Lord wanted the most holy, the most devoted, the most obedient people to be prepared for the presentation of Messiah. This was accomplished.
During Jesus’ first advent, the disciples and five hundred brethren received our Lord. On Pentecost, several thousand were ready to receive him, and more thousands subsequently. It is doubtful if as many thousands of faithful Israelites could have been found in any other period of Israel’s history. The finding of them at that time was not accidental. It was the result of divine providences in their national experience.
Historically, the Lord sifted the nation time after time to take out those with less faith and to bring more closely together those possessing more faith.
In Solomon’s time, the nation of Israel was more or less honeycombed with idolatry. The Temple at Jerusalem was the center of the true faith, and the tribe of Judah – through whom the foretold Messiah would come – became the most religious of all the tribes. The ten tribes, whose territory was further from the capital city and the Temple, were more idolatrous.
During both David’s and Solomon’s reigns, some of the most devoted people of all the tribes had moved to Jerusalem. They lived there partly for their religious convictions. They wanted the privilege of prayer in the Temple and more participation in the religious festivities.
So, when Solomon died, and the ten tribes split from the two tribes, this was part of God’s sifting.
Israel’s continued history reveals that the majority of the people in the ten tribes lost all faith in God’s promises. They knew that a king and deliverer would come from the tribe of Judah and not from them. Therefore, their patriotism tended to alienate them from these religious promises. Idolatry increased in the ten tribes after their separation from Judah.
At the same time, those who respected the Lord and his promises migrated from their own tribes to live in Judah. This division of the tribes, therefore, tended to separate the faithful Jews from the idolatrous Israelites.
This split was directed by God. The Lord declared, “this is my doing.” 1 Kings 12:24. The Lord overruled and is still overruling in the affairs of the Jewish people for the welfare of the true-hearted.
For a detailed study about God overruling Israel’s affairs in the current end times, please download the free PDF: "Will Israel Survive the End Times?"