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Revolt of the Ten Tribes.

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BY REV. C. SIMEON, M. A. 1 Kings xii. 24. Middle clause. This thing is from me.
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  REVOLT OF THE TE TRIBES. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M. A.1 Kings xii. 24. Middle clause. This thing is from me. I histories written by men, events are always traced to human efforts and sagacity ; but in the inspired history every thing is traced to God. We always find, even in things apparently most contin- gent, a secret overruling agent, accomplishing his own purposes of mercy or of judgment, and operating with unerring wisdom to the production of his own ends. As '* every good and perfect gift is repre- sented as coming from above, so the Prophet asks respecting things most calamitous, *' Shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done if? In the account given us of the revolt of the ten tribes, and their establishment as a separate kingdom under Jeroboam, the proceedings of all the different parties appeared to spring wholly from themselves: but God says of the whole together, This thing is from me. We will, I. Confirm this assertion — We will begin with stating what was the thing here referred to — [After the death of Solomon, the different tribes assem- bled at Shechem, to acknowledge Rehoboam as his successor to the throne. But previous to their investing him with regal authority, they sought from him a promise that he vvould lighten their burthens, and redress their grievances. That they had been aggrieved and burthened in some degree, we may easily conceive; because the keeping of seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, together with the building of temples for them all, and maintaining of worship for so many idols, in addition to all the expenses of his own government, must have necessi-  tated Solomon to lay heavy taxes upon his subjects. But still the taxes were not such an intolerable grievance, when it is considered how much wealth Solomon had brought into the kingdom, and what peace and prosperity they had enjoyed during the whole of his reign. Had they complained of the licentiousness and idolatry which Solomon had introduced, and sought the re- moval of those great abuses, they would have acted well : but it was not about God's honour that they were concerned ; they regarded * Am. iii. 6. 30 1 KIGS, xir. 24. [227. regarded nothing but their own interests: and, like the generality of disconteiited patriots, they overlooked all the blessings they had enjoyed under his government, and were unreasonably cla- morous about the taxes levied for its support. Rehoboam took three days to consider of the proposal; and bv this delay he at once discovered his unwillingness to comply with their wishes, and gave them time to form and mature a conspiracy against him. He first consulted the old men, who had been his father's counsellors; but, not relishing their sage advice, he consulted his own young companions; who re- commended rather a system of intimidation : this was more con- genial with his own pride; but it exasperated to the utmost those whom by conciliatory measures he might easily have won''. The event was such as might have been foreseen : the ten tribes would no longer acknowledge any allegiance to the house of David, but appointed a king of their own, even Jeroboam, whom they had sent for out of Egypt, to be an head, or centre of union to them, on the present emergency*^. The contemp- tuous way in which they spake of David was most ungrateful, seeing that his whole life had been spent in their service'^: but past obligations weigh but little with men irritated by a sense of present injuries.  The mode adopted to appease their minds, was no less absurd than the measure by which they had been incensed. Rehoboam sent Adoram, his tax-gatherer, the most obnoxious of all persons, to confer with them : but him they immediately stoned to death*. Rehoboam then fled to Jerusalem, and raised a large army of 180,000 men from among the two remaining tribes, to reduce the rebels by force : but God sent a prophet to him, and to the whole army, forbidding them to proceed, and declaring that the whole matter had been ordered by God himself : 'ihus saith the Lord, Ye shall not go up nor fight against your brethren, the children of Israel : return every man to his own house; (or this thing is from me. ] That this thing luas from God, we now proceed to shew — [Hitherto nothing has a])pearcd to be from God, except the sending of a p)o])het to declare his will respecting the pro- secution of the war: but the whole was really of God, in its rise, its progress, and its iermination. From God it took its rise. On account of Solomon's trans- gressions, God declared to Solomon himself that he luould rend the ten tribes out of the hand of his son, and give them to his servant^. He sent also a prophet to Jeroboam, to announce to him by a very expressive emblem, that ten of the tribes should l>e ver. 5 — 14. ã= ver. 2, 3. ãã ver. l6. ver. 18. 'ch. xi. 11 — 13. 227.] REVOLT OF THE TE TRIBES, 31 be taken from Solomon on account of his iniquities, and be  given to him^. These matters were well known to all Israel; for Solomon had on this account sought to kill Jeroboam'' ; and constrained him to ftee to Egypt for protection : and from thence had the ten tribes sent for him as soon as Solomon was dead. Jeroboam was indeed of an ambitious turn of mind, par- ticularly after he had been raised by Solomon from a low station to a place of great honour and authority' ; but it was the decla- ration of God's purpose that called it forth into activity, and directed all the ten tribes to look to him as their future head. Every step of its progress must also be traced to the same source. The complaints of the tribes, and the infatuation of the young monarch, might be supposed to srcinate wholly with themselves, and to spring entirely from the discontent of the one, and from the other's pride : and it is true, that God did not infuse these evil dispositions into their minds : but it is also true that he suffered these dispositions to rage, and the collision to arise, on purpose that he might accomplish his own purposes by them. This is expressly asserted in the history before us : The king hearkened not unto the people ; for the cause was from the Lord, that he might perform his saying, which the Lord spake by Ahijah the Shilojiite unto Jeroboam the son of ebat^ . That its termination was from him is plainly declared in the words of our text 5 This thing (from first to last) is from me : and, that it was from him, he shewed, by constraining Reho- boam, and the whole army that he had raised, to acquiesce im- mediately in the loss they had sustained, and to rest satisfied with having all the other tribes for rivals and enemies, whom hitherto they had had for friends and brethren. ow this kind of statement is by no means uncommon in the holy Scriptures. God is often represented as overruling both men and devils for the accomplishment of his own purposes. God had determined to deliver the Amorites into tlie hand of Israel, though he would not deliver into their hand either Moab or Edom. Hence he influenced the minds of both the Moabites and Edomites to supply his people with food for money, that they might be spared ; and equally influenced the minds of the Amorites to refuse that succour, that they might be destroyed'.
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