When Solomon first became king, he was obedient to God’s commandments. Later, he took many wives. 1 Kings 11:3 states that he had 700 wives from royal families and 300 concubines. He took wives from foreign countries, who worship idols. As a result, his foreign wives led him astray into worshiping their gods. Solomon did not completely devote his heart to God, like his father, King David. Solomon built served many foreign gods such as the Sidonian god of Astoreth, the Ammonite god, Molek, and the Moabite god Chemosh, He built high places for the gods of his foreign wives so that they could offer sacrifices to their gods.
God was angry with Solomon as he was stubborn and refused to repent from his idolatry sin. As a punishment, God told Solomon that he will tear away part of his kingdom and give it to someone who is under him. However, God did not do this during the lifetime of Solomon because of the promise he made to David. God promised David that a son will always be heir to the throne of Israel. Instead, God promised to do it after his death when his son, Rehoboam succeeded him as king of Israel.
At this time, Jeroboam son of Nebat met the prophet Ahijah when he was exiting the city of Jerusalem. When Ahijah saw him, he tore his cloak into 12 pieces and took 10 pieces and gives them away to Jeroboam. This symbolizes that God will tear away 10 tribes of Israel and give them over to Jeroboam to rule. Rehoboam will still rule over the remaining 2 tribes which are Judah and Benjamin. When Solomon learned about this, he tried to kill Jeroboam.
When Rehoboam became king, the Israelite sent Jeroboam as their representative to plead for him to reduce their workloads. The Israelite agreed to continue to labor for Rehoboam if he reduce their workload. Rehoboam first sought advice from the elders who served his father. They advised him to reduce the workload of the Israelite. Then, Rehoboam sought advice from the young men who grew up with him. The young men who grew up with him counseled him to increase the workload of the Israelite and use scorpions to scourge them instead of whips. This made the Israelite angry and they all returned home.
Rehoboam tried to get back his kingdom by sending the official in charge of the force labor, Adoniram but they stoned him to death. Rehoboam managed to escape on his chariot to Jerusalem. He mustered his army from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to fight against the Israelite. Before they proceeded to attack the Israelite, the prophet Shemaiah came and told Rehoboam that it is God’s doing so they should not fight against their brothers. Rehoboam listened to his advice and returned home.
Meanwhile, Jeroboam had built 2 golden calves, one in Bethel and the other in Dan, to make it convenient for the Israelite to worship God. He did this to prevent the Israelite from going to the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem to worship God. He was afraid that the Israelite would return to the loyalty of Solomon. Jeroboam was selfish, in building the 2 golden calves. He only cared about him being the king of Israel and don’t care if the Israelite were led astray from God. This is why most of the Israelites were pagans.
Idolatry is a sin, no matter if you also believe in God. Christians are not to enter temple and bow down to idols even if they don’t believe in them. You should get rid of everything related to idolatry in your life include t-shirts with idols, paintings of idols, statues, photos and etc. Keeping these things can open a door for the devil to attack you and lead you away from Christ.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5 KJV)
They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. (Jonah 2:8 KJV)
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:21 KJV)
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:3-6 KJV)
They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? (Isaiah 44:9-20 KJV)
Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. (Psalm 16:4 KJV)
Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14 KJV)
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)
For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: (1 Peter 4:3 KJV)
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. (Acts 15:20 KJV)