Chapters 1-11 Calm United Kingdom
Chapters 12-22 Chaos Divided Kingdom
The condition of your heart will set the course of your life. Those you choose to listen to will also help set that direction.
Saul had no heart, David had a whole heart, and Solomon had half a heart. In 1 Kings 2:10, we see that David is dying, and Solomon takes over the Kingdom. Everything starts out well, and he is asking for wisdom and rebuilding the Temple. People from all over are coming to hear his Proverbs and songs.
But...he accumulates wealth, horses, and wives (700 wives and 300 concubines). Solomon's life begins a slow fade away from the LORD. He began to listen to their different world views, gods, and idols. They turned his heart away from the LORD. He actually built high places (vs 5-8) (places of worship) to gods that worshiped sex (Ashtoresh) and baby sacrifices (Molech). He listened to the wrong people and his heart followed his ears and set a bad course for the end of his life.
Rehoboam became king, and right off the bat the Southern Kingdom came to him to ask Rehoboam to "lighten their heavy yoke" and they would serve him. Well, Rehoboam went to the older men, who served with his father, and asked how he should respond. They counseled him (vs 12:6-7) to be a servant leader. Unfortunately, Rehoboam abandoned their counsel and "took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him." They counseled him to take a heavier hand and to "add to their heavy yolk" and to "discipline them with scorpions." That is what Rehoboam did. And in that moment, the kingdom divided. Solomon took 72 hours to unravel what 3 kings took 122 years to establish.
God speaks to us through the Scripture, through the Holy Spirit, and through godly counsel. He wants to speak to us, and His heart's desire is for us to listen.
"We all need people in our lives who are not impressed with us."