Old Testament
Lesson 27
The Influence of Wicked and Righteous Leaders

Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will encourage us to develop good leadership qualities so we can influence others to live righteously.

Scripture references for study:  1 Kings 12–14; 2 Chronicles 17; 2 Chronicles 20
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

Lesson 27 Handout (PDF)

The Kingdom of Israel Is Divided

"And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 11:42-43)

READ 1 KINGS 12:3-4. Rehoboam called to lighten the burden on the people.

READ 1 KINGS 12:6-7. The counsel of the Israelite elders to Rehoboam.

READ 1 KINGS 12:8-11. The counsel of the young men to Rehoboam.

"And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only" (1 Kings 12:20).

Jeroboam and Rehoboam Lead Their Kingdoms Into Idolatry

Through the prophet Ahijah, Jeroboam was told that if he would "hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments" he would be given a "sure house" or a secure kingdom (1 Kings 11:38).

"At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick" (1 Kings 14:1).

READ 1 KINGS 14:21-24. The wickedness of Rehoboam and Judah.

Jehoshaphat Leads The Kingdom Of Judah To Follow The Lord

Three generations after Rehoboam, his great-grandson Jehoshaphat reigned over the kingdom of Judah.

Jehoshaphat set a new agenda for Israel by his own devotion to the Lord. He "took away the high places and groves out of Judah" (v6).

Jehoshaphat sent Levites throughout the kingdom, "And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people" (2 Chronicles 17:9).

During the reign of Jehoshaphat, Israel faced a difficult situation when several nations declared war against them. Jehoshaphat and Israel were afraid.

As Latter-day Saints, we are like ancient Judah, in that we are surrounded by influences designed to bring us down.

Gospel Doctrine Notebook

One discovers through a study of the stories of Jeroboam, Rehoboam, and Jehoshaphat, that there are distinct qualities in a good leader. A good leader gives service, trusts and obeys the Lord, has faith in God, teaches from the scriptures, and follows the prophets. Jeroboam and Rehoboam forgot these important principles and led their people to wickedness. Jehoshaphat had faith in the Lord and led the people in righteousness. As a consequence, the Lord blessed Judah and saved the nation from their enemies. As we serve in our callings, we should strive to invoke these principles in our lives. Like Jehoshaphat, we too, can be influential in bringing blessings into the lives of those we serve.

Record your thoughts on the impact of righteous and wicked leaders. What can you do in your life and within your home to give greater devotion to God?

Resources Used In This Lesson

Conference Reports (CR).

Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson.

We'll Bring the World His Truth: Missionary Adventures from Around the World by Dean and Tom Hughes.

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Changes last made on:  02 April 2018