VERSES: 1 Kings 12:1-33
MEMORY VERSE: 1 Kings 12:19 "So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Esther. Write "Esther" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class.
PRAYER: Pray that we will always have that good and honest heart that will accept good advice from godly men and women.
SPECIAL SONG: Read, Read Every Day (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog)
VISUAL AID: Take an old shirt and cut it in twelves pieces before the students. Explain about how the kingdom was divided in twelve parts. Choose two children, one holding a sign that says, "Jeroboam" and the holding a sign that says "Rehoboam. Ten tribes are given to Jeroboam and two tribes are given to Rehoboam. Would be nice to have two crowns, one that says King Of Israel and the other King of Judah. This is a difficult concept for the children--and some adults--to understand. Perhaps this exercise will make it more clear.
- After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam traveled to the city of Shechem because that was where all Israel had planned to make him king. We remember how Solomon behaved before he died and the prophet of God said that Jeroboam, Solomon's servant, would be given ten tribes for him to rule over, but Solomon's son, Rehoboam, would only rule over the remaining two tribes.
- The Kingdom was divided into two parts: Judah and Israel. Before Solomon's death, there was just one kingdom that Solomon ruled over. King David ruled over one kingdom. King Saul ruled over one kingdom. But, now, there were two parts to the kingdom.
- Jeroboam had run away to Egypt because Solomon had tried to kill him. King Solomon wanted all of the kingdom to go to his son, Rehoboam, but that was not God's plan. Ten tribes of Israel sent for Jeroboam to come back to Jerusalem. Jeroboam and Israel talked to Rehoboam. They told him how his father had made their yoke very hard and they asked if Rehoboam would make their burden lighter. If Rehoboam would do what they asked, then they would serve him. Rehoboam told them that he would think about it and get back to them in three days.
- In the meantime, Rehoboam asked the old men who had served his father what he should do. The old, wise men told Rehoboam to serve the people and speak good things to the people, then they would be his servants forever.
- Rehoboam also talked to the young men whom he grew up with and asked them what they thought he should do. The young, foolish men told Rehoboam to tell the people that he was going to rule harder and harshly with the people and would add to their yoke. They told Rehoboam to tell the people that his father had disciplined the people with whips, but he was going to discipline them with scorpions!
- On the third day, Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam just like they had three days before. Rehoboam gave them his answer. He chose not the good advice, but he chose the young foolish men's advice.
- So when all the people knew that Rehoboam had not listened to them, they did not like his answer and Israel revolted or separated themselves from Rehoboam and did not accept him as their king. Only the people in the cities of Judah accepted Rehoboam as king and he ruled over them. So, Rehoboam ruled over Judah. Rehoboam was the King of Judah.
- When Israel heard that Jeroboam was back from Egypt, they made him king and followed Jeroboam and he ruled over them. So, Jeroboam ruled over Israel. Jeroboam was the king of Israel.
- Rehoboam was not happy. He began counting all the soldiers that were in Judah and he was preparing to fight Israel, but the Word of God came to Shemaiah, a man of God, and said to tell Rehoboam not to fight his brothers and for everyone to go back to his own tent. God was behind what was happening to the kingdom.
- Then Jeroboam led the people of Israel to sin. He did a terrible thing! He made two golden calves for the people to worship. He placed one golden calf in Bethel and one golden calf in Dan, so it would be more convenient for the people to worship the idols. He set up idols in the high places and sacrificed to the calves. He made up everything he did in his own head and never consulted God. We will see what God has to say about all this next time.
Materials needed: 5" x 7" piece of yellow construction paper, 9" x 12" piece of blue construction paper, 9" x 12" piece of red construction paper, scissors, stapler, staples, balck and white crayons.
- Hand out red construction paper.
- Fold in half.
- Staple up sides, leaving top open.
- Do the same with the blue paper.
- On the red pocket, write "Jeroboam, King of Israel"
- On the blue pocket, write "Rehoboam, King of Judah" and "1 Kings 12."
- Hand out yellow paper.
- Draw a large coat.
- Cut up coat into twelve pieces.
- Put two pieces of the coat into Rehoboam's pocket.
- Put ten pieces of the coat into Jeroboam's pocket.
- Tell the story of the coat symbolizing the kingdom and how it was divided up.