Thus says the Lord: “You shall not go up nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me.” ‘ ” Therefore they obeyed the word of the Lord, and turned back, according to the word of the Lord.
On Solomon’s death, the Northern tribes demand that his son lighten the taxes and the forced labor levies which Solomon imposed. Rehoboam threatens to make the load even heavier. Israel immediately rebels. Only the intervention of the prophet Shemaiah prevents civil war between Israel and the still faithful Judah.
and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!” 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word, which the Lord had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
False worship system: 12:25-33. Solomon’s old enemy Jeroboam is made king of Israel. He must now break the strands which link his new nation too Judah. Most serious is the common faith of Judah and Israel, for all Israelites are to come to Jerusalem (the capital of Judah) for worship and sacrifice. Jeroboam devises a false worship system which imitates the system given by God.
He sets up two worship centers, at Bethel and Dan. There he places golden calves: on which the worshiper is to imagine the invisible Jahweh standing. Jeroboam consecrates a new priesthood and institutes festivals which mimic the OT festivals but are held in different months. This apostasy sets the spiritual direction of the Northern Kingdom.
28 Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!” 29 And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. 31 He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi. 32 Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense.