Lesson 27: The Influence of Wicked and Righteous Leaders

Old Testament Class Member Study Guide, (2001), 18–19


Study the following scriptures:

  1. a.

    1 Kings 12:1–20. Rehoboam succeeds his father, Solomon, as king over the twelve tribes of Israel. He rejects the counsel of wise men to serve his people, seeking instead to impose greater burdens on them (12:1–15). The kingdom is divided as ten tribes revolt (12:16–19; the ten tribes retain the title kingdom of Israel, while the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remain under Rehoboam’s rule and are called the kingdom of Judah). The kingdom of Israel selects Jeroboam as king (12:20).

  2. b.

    1 Kings 12:25–33; 13:33–34; 14:14–16, 21–24. Jeroboam leads his people into idolatry (12:25–33; 13:33–34). A prophet foretells the destruction of Jeroboam’s family and the scattering of Israel (14:14–16). Rehoboam leads the kingdom of Judah into idolatry (14:21–24).

  3. c.

    2 Chronicles 17:1–10; 20:1–30. Jehoshaphat, Rehoboam’s great-grandson, reigns righteously in the kingdom of Judah (17:1–10). As Judah’s enemies come against them, Jehoshaphat and his people fast and pray. The Lord tells them the battle is not theirs, but his. Their attackers war among themselves and destroy each other (20:1–30).

  • What counsel did the older men give Rehoboam about ruling successfully? (See 1 Kings 12:6–7; 2 Chronicles 10:7.) How can we apply this counsel at home, at work, at school, and in the Church?

  • Jehoshaphat influenced the people of Judah to humble themselves before the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:3–4). What examples have you seen of righteous leadership? What can we do to influence those we serve to live righteously?

Additional reading: 1 Kings 11:26–40; 2 Kings 17:20–23.