Parenting: Influence is not Cause

2 Chronicles 12:14

Dr. Jim Binney made a very wise statement regarding parenting; “Influence is not cause.”  In this lesson we will look at the life of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son and heir to David’s throne.  As parents we have influence over our children, but we are not the cause of their decisions.  We will look at Solomon’s influence as a parent and the predicament his influence left his son, Rehoboam in.  We will also look at Rehoboam as the son of Solomon who was responsible for his own bad decisions.

As Bible believing parents we have a concern that our kids go through the motions without a heart for the Lord.  They will do what they’re told, but there is not an inclination to do right.  You’re constantly playing bumper cars with their behavior.  They go through the motions, but when it comes to making decisions they keep hitting walls: no internal governor.  As parent’s we can make it easier or harder for our children to make good decisions and have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

There are three events in Rehoboam’s life that God points out to be remembered.  These events show the influence of a parent and responsibility of the child.

Divided Kingdom

Solomon’s Influence

  • 1 Kings 11:11 God’s judgment on Solomon’s sin of idolatry
  • 1 Kings 11:27-28 Jeroboam is Solomon’s regent over the 10 northern tribes
  • 1 Kings 11:40 Solomon seeks to kill Jeroboam after he finds out that Jeroboam will take the kingdom.  Solomon oppresses the people.

Rehoboam is the Cause

  • Rehoboam decides to further oppress the northern tribes because of fear.  Rehoboam’s disregard for wiser, older counsel is made easier by his dad’s hatred for Jeroboam – 1 Kings 12:8.  Old men counsel, “Kindness is capital.”  Young men counsel, “Kindness is weakness.”
  • Rehoboam’s responsibility – Proverbs 28:16; get understanding.  Dictatorial leadership lacks understanding.

Rise in Idolatry, Nature Worship, and Sodomy

Solomon’s Influence

  • Solomon married an Ammonitess and made an idol to the god of Ammon in Jerusalem according to 1 Kings 11:5-8.
  • Solomon’s inconsistency as a parent.  Rehoboam has the Proverbs, but he also has Ecclesiastes.
  • It appears that the blessing of God in the kingdom occurs simultaneously with the rise in idolatry and in covetousness.  It breeds confusion about the character of God because it appears one is the cause of the other.

Rehoboam is the Cause

  • The increase of wickedness in the kingdom is just further allowance of things to go on that went on under his dad, Solomon’s reign. – 1 Kings 14:21-24
  • Rehoboam watched prosperity increase as idols went up.
  • Proverbs 29:15-17.  Rehoboam never set boundaries on wickedness.

Israel’s Diminished Honour

Solomon’s Influence

  • Solomon gathers horses from Egypt, gold from the ends of the earth and begins to believe he is the reason Israel is blessed.  The entire book of Ecclesiastes records his life in a backslidden state away from God.

Rehoboam is the Cause

  • Rehoboam continues with his dad’s belief that he is the reason Israel is blessed.  Consequently, Judah is brought under servitude of Egypt – 1 Kings 14:25-28.  Rehoboam won’t deal with sin.  At first it is tough to see the brazen shields replace the gold ones (1 Kings 10:16-17), but as time goes on his heart becomes harder and harder.  He’s willing to justify his sin and therefore removes himself further and further away from God.
  • Proverbs 5:7-14