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The Kingdom of Israel went through a series of different leadership styles. They were at first led by Moses, before being ruled by other Judges, and finally got into the hands of Kings. Saul was the first King before David. It can be noted from the scriptural history that during the reign of King David there were many attempts to overthrow his governments. After his reign, the kingdom of Israel was split into two parts with one side ruled by Jeroboam and another Rehoboam. There is a clear distinction of these two Kings’ administrative styles. It is important to note that their way of managing the subjects are a part of the contemporary political religious leadership experienced in the world (Wiersbe 96).
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The actual heir of the Israelite leadership was Solomon’s son Rehoboam, who suffered from leadership lapses, leading to failure in uniting the Kingdom, and this subsequently lead to the split of the Northern tribes (Israel) and the southern faction (Judah). Rehoboam had just descended into power after the demise of the father, and was travelling across the kingdom, seeking legitimacy, which was just right (Hooker 131). However, he turned out to be an unmindful of the people dictator, espcially after vehemently refusing to assent to the economic concessions that his father (King Solomon) had previously placed. This developed a rebellion of some part of the kingdom, leading to separation.
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Rehoboam’s leadership as the King of Judah is described in 1 Kings:12, 14 and 2 Chronicles:10. He was the grandson of David and the son of Naamah (the Ammonitess), and Solomon. He was brought up in the royal family of King Solomon and it was noted that the leadership of his father influenced his reign. Rehoboam became the King of Judah at the age of forty and his reign lasted for 17 years. He was one of the Kings of Judah, who disobeyed God. During the early years of his reign, Rehoboam was much disciplined to God and even worshipped God in public. However, during his last years, he became very disobedient. He allowed idolatry, chose his successor without seeking God’s advice (Hooker 124-6).
Rehoboam was a young King with the energy to rule but was weak in commanding people to take part in war and this was one of the worst qualities of a King. This was experienced when he literally cowered around the wall when King Shishack of Egypt attached Judah. (Wiersbe 89-90). This made himm ignore people’s problems, he failed to answer their petition and did not accommodate the wise counsel of the elders, some of whom had been serving during king Solomon’s regime.
Jeroboam was a very intelligent leader who also summed up to be the King of Judah, which was generally the northern part of Israel. He understood the psychological composition of the people and built religious deals with the headquarters, that he would convince the people on the ground of long distance to Jerusalem, thereby consolidating his influence and power. He is the only King who believed in the wise counsel of the advisors and sought to solve the issues of the people as the best approach to leadership. This was comparatively fairer than Rehoboam. However, unlike Rehoboam who tried to adhere to God’s command, Jeroboam made seven distinguishable sins against God (Holy Bible 569). The Worst of these sins was the complete alteration of the religious calendar against the wish of God.
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In summary, Jeroboam had the interest of Northern tribal people of Judah at heart, while Rehoboam practiced autocratic leadership style that defined his failure to deliver to the southern tribes of Israel.
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