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Lesson 27:   The Influence of Wicked and Righteous Leaders   (See L27 Class Member Study Guide)

Purpose:

To encourage us to develop good leadership qualities so we can influence others to live righteously.

1. The kingdom of Israel is divided, primarily because of Rehoboam’s harsh leadership.

• Read and discuss 1 Kings 12:1–20. (A good leader: 1. Gives service.)

• 1 Kings 12:1-4. “And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.”

†1. Jeroboam's background:

 “Jeroboam had been one of Solomon’s 12 superintendents over taxes and labor. Toward the end of Solomon’s reign, the prophet Ahijah had prophesied that Jeroboam would become king over many of the tribes of Israel.” (LM)

• 1 Kings 11:29-31. Ahijah told Jeroboam, “Behold, I will … give ten tribes unto thee:”


• 1 Kings 12:6-7. “And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men …” (See also 2 Chronicles 10:7.)

Why are we more likely to be influenced positively by a leader who is kind and who serves us?

How can we apply this counsel at home? At church? At school? At work? (See D&C 121:41–46.)

What are some examples you have seen of parents or other leaders applying this counsel successfully?

• 1 Kings 12:8-11. “But he forsook the counsel of the old men … and consulted with the young men”.

• 1 Kings 12:12-17. “And the king answered the people [of Israel or the Northern Kingdom] roughly …”

• 1 Kings 12:20. Israel “called [Jeroboam] unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel”.

What can we learn about leadership from this story?

2. Jeroboam and Rehoboam lead their kingdoms into idolatry.

• Read and discuss 1 Kings 12:25–33; 13:33–34; 14:14–16, 21–24. (A good leader: 2. Trusts and obeys the Lord.)

 “Through the prophet Ahijah, the Lord promised Jeroboam that he would be given a ‘sure house’ (a secure kingdom) if he would walk in the Lord’s ways (1 Kings 11:38).”  †2. Jeroboam's bad example

• 1 Kings 12:25-33; 13-33-34. Jeroboam does not trust the Lord. “And Jeroboam said in his heart …”


 “When his son became sick, Jeroboam sought the help of the prophet Ahijah” who prophesied about his kingdom. Ahijah also prophesied of the death of Jeroboam’s son. (See 1 Kings 14:1-17, esp. verses: 1-3, 4-9, 12-13, and 17.)

• 1 Kings 14:14-16. “For the Lord shall smite Israel … and he shall root up Israel out of this good land”.

1 Kings 17:20-23. “So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.”


 “Like Jeroboam, Rehoboam also disobeyed God by leading people into idolatry (1 Kings 14:21-24). The wicked leadership of these two kings had long–lasting results. Both kingdoms were scattered or carried away captive many years later ... because they continued in their wicked traditions.” (LM)

How can one wicked leader have such a profound effect on so many people?

Helaman 14:30–31. God gave us our agency to choose good even if our leaders choose evil. (See 1 Kings 19:18; 12-18.)

3. Jehoshaphat leads the kingdom of Judah to follow the Lord and His prophets.

• Read and discuss 2 Chronicles 17:1–10; 20:1–30.

(A good leader: 3. Has faith in God. 4. Teaches from the scriptures. 5. Follows the prophets.)

 “Three generations after Rehoboam, his great-grandson Jehoshaphat reigned over the kingdom of Judah.” (LM)

• 2 Chronicles 17:3-4, 6. “And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because … his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord”.

How does our private devotion affect our ability to lead others?

What might we remove from our homes or personal lives so we can worship God with greater devotion?

• 2 Chronicles 17:9-10. “And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord with them”.

How has personal and family scripture study helped you?†3. President Ezra Taft Benson  †4. Scripture Power

• 2 Chronicles 20:1-13. The “children of Moab, and … Ammon … [and others] came against Jehoshaphat to battle.”

What did Jehoshaphat do to receive help? (See 2 Chronicles 20:14–17, 20. “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle”.

• 2 Chronicles 20:21-25. “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against” their enemies.

How does Jehoshaphat’s counsel apply to us?

• 2 Chronicles 20:3-4. “And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord”.  †5. George Washington

Next Week: L28: “After the Fire a Still Small Voice; See L28 Class Member Study Guide.

(You can download a free LDS Institute Manual at: Old Testament Manual: Religion 301 and 302.)

†1. Jeroboam’s background: “Jeroboam, an Ephraimite who had been a military leader in the army of Israel during Solomon’s reign, was rewarded for his accomplishments with a building project in the city of David. He was made an administrator over all the house of Joseph, that is, over the territorial districts of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, two of the most powerful tribes in Israel (see 1 Kings 11:26-28). Later, Ahijah, a prophet of that day, revealed to Jeroboam that he, Jeroboam, would become the ruler of the northern ten tribes (see 1 Kings 11:29-29).

 “Solomon, fearful of Jeroboam, sought his life. Jeroboam fled to Egypt, where he lived in exile until after Solomon’s death (see 1 Kings 11:40; 12:2-3). The people of the north called Jeroboam out of Egypt to lead their confrontation with Rehoboam, Solomon’s son (see 1 Kings 12).

 “As part of this rebellion, the northern people seceded from Judah and made Jeroboam their king. They became known as the kingdom of Israel, or the Northern Kingdom. This kingdom was often referred to as Ephraim, particularly by the prophets, because the tribe of Ephraim was a dominant power from the days of Joshua to the time of Jeroboam (see Numbers 13:3, 8; 14:6).

 “The capital of the Northern kingdom was established first in Shechem and later in Samaria, both of which cities were located in the territory of the tribe of Ephraim. Sometimes the names of these cities were used to mean the whole of the Northern Kingdom. (See Isaiah 7:1-9; Jeremiah 7:15; Ezekiel 37:16-19; Hosea 4:17.)

 “With the power of the kingship, Jeroboam established a state religion of idolatrous worship (see 1 Kings 12:25-33). The new nation never repented of this wickedness, which contributed to its downfall.” (OT Student Manual, 33)

†2. Jeroboam's bad example: “Jeroboam was afraid that if his people went to Jerusalem to worship, they might go back to Rehoboam. In an effort to control his people and retain their loyalty, he made golden calves in Bethel and Dan, two cities in the Northern Kingdom, and invited his people to worship in those cities. In doing this, he allowed his fear of defeat to override his trust in the Lord’s promises.” (Lesson Manual)

†3. President Ezra Taft Benson “Often we spend great effort in trying to increase the activity levels in our stakes. We work diligently to raise the percentages of those attending sacrament meetings. We labor to get a higher percentage of our young men on missions. We strive to improve the numbers of those marrying in the temple. All of these are commendable efforts and important to the growth of the kingdom. But when individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, these other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 44).

†4. Scripture Power: “A certain rich man of the city [Lyons], called Waldo, was curious when he heard the gospel read [in Latin] since he was not much lettered, to know what was said. Wherefore he made a pact with certain priests, the one that he should translate to him the Bible: the other, that he should write as the first dictated. Which they did; and in like manner many books of the Bible … which when the said citizen had often read and learned by heart, he … sold all his goods, and despising the world, he gave all his money to the poor, and usurped the apostolic office by preaching the gospel, and those things which he had learned by heart.” (See Lenet H. Read, “How the Bible Came to Be: Part 5,” Ensign, June 1982.)

†5. George Washington:Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity [i.e. happiness]. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

 “It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government.” (Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796, Text, The Avalon Project, Yale Law School.)

Recommended Reading:

 1. Nancy Green, “Old Testament Lesson #27,” LDS Gospel Doctrine Plus, July 9, 2010.

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