“There was constant war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam.”
“There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam…”
“There was constant war between King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel.”
1 Kings 14:30; 15:6, 16, & 32
Even though God had warned, “Don’t fight against your relatives,” the wars continued for nearly fifty years!
The kings of Israel and Judah were both guilty of establishing idolatry in their kingdoms; and the same pride that caused idolatry also caused wars. Rehoboam forced loyalty to himself by using harshness; Jeroboam forced loyalty to himself by keeping his people away from Jerusalem. Each king fought hard to keep what HE wanted—HIS people, HIS land, and HIS wealth.
Where pride abounds, family wars will abound. Pride causes me to think MY opinions are best, so I judge my brothers for theirs. Pride causes me to lash out in anger to defend MY rights, even though using MY rights cuts other sisters down. And if another sibling’s actions offend ME, pride simply locks me in a cell of bitterness so dark I cannot see the truth about that sibling or even the truth about God!
When King Rehoboam’s counselors had earlier advised him to be a servant to his people (12:7), they were not talking about taking off his kingly robe to put on a servant’s gown. They were talking about the attitude of his heart. He needed to take off his "haughty shoes" to walk in his people’s humble shoes.
Perhaps changing shoes could also stop the wars in God’s family today!