1 Kings 14:21. And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah.
After great mountains often come low valleys. Solomon was a wise man; Rehoboam was otherwise.
1 Kings 14:21. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when be began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there.
Rehoboam ought to have been a good king. Jerusalem was the holy city, the chosen city; God put his own name there. It is a sad thing that this king should try to put away God’s name from the chosen city.
1 Kings 14:21. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
There was bad blood in him. How often do we find that the good king has a good mother’s name mentioned with his own! Bad kings generally come from some stranger, some heathen princess. It was so with Rehoboam.
1 Kings 14:22. And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.
Their fathers had been great sinners; but, in the days of David, they had not set up false gods. In the days of Solomon, after the temple had been built, they began to go astray. It is a curious thing that a high ritualistic service, even if it be right, is usually attended with a down-coming in spirituality. When the temple service was instituted, it was the beginning of a decline; but in Rehoboam’s day that decline became more apparent, the “down-grade” became more visible.
1 Kings 14:23. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.
They could not have enough of it. When men go wrong, they generally go wrong very greedily; they cannot have too much of evil.
1 Kings 14:24. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
When men once turn aside from the living God to follow inventions of their own, there is no telling where they will go; nothing is too foul, nothing is too filthy for them. Now read the same story as you find it in 2 Chronicles 12.