Rehoboam: Turmoil and Idolatry in Judah

Idolatry offends God’s glory, erodes human dignity and hampers Christian character and service. In part 6 of 1 Kings: The Cost of Rejecting God, Pastor Dan Cox reads from 1 Kings 12 and 1 Kings 14.

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Study Notes

Jeroboam Rehoboam
North South
10 tribes 2 tribes
“Israel” “Judah”

Understanding the Text

  1. Israel revolts against the house of David (1 Kings 12:1-20)
  2. The LORD warns Rehoboam against trying to regain the kingdom (1 Kings 12:21-24)
  3. Turmoil and Idolatry in Judah (1 Kings 14:21-31)

Idols: Human-Centered Substitutes for Devotion to God

The Appeal of Idols


  • Freedom from the authority of both God and the priests
  • The people wanted religion to fit their life-style, not their life-style to fit their religion.


  • Exalted sensuality without responsibility or guilt
  • People acted out the vicious and sensuous personalities of the gods they worshiped, thus gaining approval for their degraded lives


  • People were reduced to little more than animals
  • People did not have to be viewed as unique individuals, but could be exploited sexually, politically and economically


  • The high and holy nature of God was replaced by gods who were more a reflection of human nature, thus more culturally suitable to the people
  • These gods no longer required sacrifice, just a token of appeasement

Idolatry in America

  1. Materialism
  2. Sensuality
  3. Entertainment
  4. Radical Individualism

Idolatry in the American Church

  1. Materialism in place of Stewardship and Generosity
  2. Sensuality… Holiness
  3. Entertainment… Worship and Service
  4. Radical Individualism… Servanthood
  5. “Church Growth”… Church Health
  6. Evangelical Gurus… The Good Shepherd
  7. Doctrine… Whole Person Transformation
  8. Sentimentality… Spiritual Depth
  9. “Body-Count” Evangelism… Making Disciples
  10. Political Affiliation… Salt and Light Presence

Applying the Text

  • The PURPOSE of God for You
  • The CALL of God to You
  • The LOVE & CLEANSING of God for You