2 Chronicles 10:4
“Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”
Solomon’s expansive building projects did not come cheaply, and had a devastating effect upon the nation of Israel. The people sat under a heavy yoke of taxation. After Solomon’s death, the people had enough. They sought relief from the tax burden the government had imposed on the nation. Young King Rehoboam, in his arrogance, believed the government knew better than the people, and rather than relief, he promised an increase in the tax burden, and workload of the people. His words drove the citizens to rebel against his leadership, and resulted in ten of the twelve “states” separating from the union. The northern tribes formed a new nation, and this became their independence day. Having experienced a heavy yoke, they broke away in order to have freedom. Sadly, the northern tribes never experienced true freedom. Soon after the nation was formed, they set up a system of idolatry, leading the people into a bondage that was much worse than the taxation they had experienced. Their example speaks volumes to us about bondage and true freedom.
The Bible explains, man is in bondage to sin and can only be set free by trusting in the work of Christ on the cross. His sinless sacrifice is the means to setting us free from the bondage of sin, death, and hell. True freedom is found, not when we consider ourselves to be free to behave however we want, but rather, when we are set free from the power of sin, and able to live lives that bring honor and glory to God.
“He who the Son sets free is free indeed.” (John 8:36)