26 Then Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also [l]rebelled against the king. 27 Now this was the reason why he [m]rebelled against the king: Solomon built the [n]Millo, and closed up the breach of the city of his father David. 28 Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior, and when Solomon saw that the young man was [o]industrious, he appointed him over all the [p]forced labor of the house of Joseph. 29 It came about at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now [q]Ahijah had clothed himself with a new cloak; and both of them were alone in the field. 30 Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak which was on him and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 He said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces; for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give you ten tribes 32 (but he will have one tribe, for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel), 33 because they have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the sons of Ammon; and they have not walked in My ways, doing what is right in My sight and observing My statutes and My ordinances, as his father David did. 34 Nevertheless I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him [r]ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of My servant David whom I chose, who observed My commandments and My statutes; 35 but I will take the kingdom from his son’s hand and give it to you, even ten tribes. 36 But to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name. 37 I will take you, and you shall reign over whatever [s]you desire, and you shall be king over Israel. 38 Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. 39 Thus I will afflict the [t]descendants of David for this, but not always.’” 40 Solomon sought therefore to put Jeroboam to death; but Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt to Shishak king of Egypt, and he was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
The Death of Solomon
41 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon and whatever he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? 42 Thus the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 43 And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David, and his son Rehoboam reigned in his place.
This passage shows the responsibility of leadership, as the judgment God has planned is not just because of Solomon’s sin. God says through the prophet “because they have forsaken Me…” So even though Solomon may have thought his failure would only affect him, and the wives who chose to worship other Gods, it went much further.
No doubt it affected his children, who would continue to suffer the consequences after his death. It also became an example to the people of Israel, for after all, was not Solomon the wisest man alive? For those who have been granted leadership through whatever means, fame, supervision, etc. there is a huge responsibility to lead well, and live well.
No one is expected to be perfect, but how you handle those mistakes speaks volumes to those around you. Trying to cover them up only makes it worse, and destroys any credibility that you’ve worked to build. Thus integrity as a leader is about more than avoiding mistakes. It’s being honest about who you are, and being transparent. Anything less is a recipe for disaster, no matter the good intentions.
In all of this, we rely on God for the results. We are who we are, and pretending to be something different, something other than who He made us, is not the path He chose for us. We do our best to follow Him, and let God take care of the rest, knowing that He desires to work things for our good.