As Rehoboam sought to reunite the kingdom under one banner (king) the Lord told him that the rendering was His doing, and not to be played with. For three years Rehoboam walked in the Lord’s ways, and when the Levites returned from the northern tribes that separated themselves from Judah and Benjamin, surely Rehoboam thought the Lord was on his side. In fact, during this time he not only established his kingdom, but he also “dealt wisely” (11:23) with matters pertaining to the kingdom. However, Judah’s king decided to forsake the Lord (12:1), and this cost him and the nation much. Egypt became a threat and then they acted on that threat – all because the Lord brought them against Judah to help them learn the Lord is in control. It was learned, for when the Lord’s prophet came, the king and those associated with him humbled themselves before the Lord. Nevertheless, the epithet for Rehoboam was that he did not prepare his heart before the Lord and, thusly, was considered an evil king (12:14).
Application: For three years Rehoboam saw things in a particular light, and when the Lord’s prophet came to him and told him a certain thing, Rehoboam obeyed. Evidently it was during this time that he started thinking a little differently (as the next chapter makes clear). The pressures of life’s experiences can be rather over-powering, but the pressures can be met (even though not easily) when one’s anchor is in the Lord. When the storms of life came against the king, when the varied opinions, suggestions, and demands were leveled against the king (for you know they surely would have been), to whom was he to turn? The king made a wrong turn – will we?