King Rehoboam's Seventeen Years
Expository Files is entering its seventeenth year of
existance. For this Warren and I are grateful. Without the encouragement of our
readers as well as the help from those who have written I am sure it would not
have lasted this long.
Seventeen years is some ways is not very long, but in other ways it is. Joseph, son of Jacob, was sold into slavery by his own brothers when he was seventeen. He would no longer be a young man when he saw his father again many years later.
Rehoboam, Solomon's son, reigned as king in Jerusalem for seventeen years. I guess his father, Solomon, had used up all the wise genes in the family's genetic pool because he seems to have passed none of them on to his son. In today's world, politicians often want to raise taxes. Often, it is explained how difficult, but necessary a choice it is. Also emphasized are the many services that can then be provided which guarantee to make it all worth it.
Rehoboam did not use that approach. When asked by representatives of the people for tax relief, He put it this way: " "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions." (1 Kings 12:14).
Of course, kings are not elected officials so Rehoboam isn't worried about the next election. It would have been difficult for him to campaign successfully if there had been. "Elect Rehoboam; he will add to your heavy yoke!"
Election or not, this was definitely a bad move for Rehoboam to make. I could have told him it was going to lead to nothing good. The older couselors had advised "If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever." (1 Kings 12:7). Rehoboam rejected their counsel.
Of the twelve political districts that made up Israel, ten of them broke away from the nation and formed another. Civil war ensued between the new kingdom (which continued to be called "Israel") and Rehoboam's remaining kingdom which began to be referred to as "Judah". The two remained separate kingdoms for a couple centuries, both kingdoms were ultimately conquered by enemies.
So, Warren and I have been publishing Expository Files for the same length of time as Rehoboam reigned. Warren and I have always wanted to be "servants of the people" by working hard to offer something beneficial. I do believe that our efforts have "served the people" and trust that our publication has spoken "good words to them". Neither Warren nor I want to be kings (we already have One), It is in the name of our King that we hope Expository Files accomplishes its purpose.
By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 17.1 January 2010