A sad political chapter. Israel divides along religious lines.
Everyone who wants to worship in the temple joins the two tribes who occupy the South, including all the Levite/ priest tribe.
The rest set up an alternative religion in the North.
They worship a calf, the folk religion from the wilderness years after the flight from Egypt.
There must have been festering political unrest from Solomon’s time.
It nearly erupts into civil war, but the word of a man of God averts it. It’s the only reference to God, as opposed to religion, in the chapter.
The southern king fortifies various towns anyway.
Working in a Christian organisation, it’s the case that it’s easy for politics to dominate a lot of the time. It’s important to keep connected to God, and in that balance the fairness to those who don’t necessarily believe.
We despair over the decline in the church, but even at this high point of an identity as the people of God, 9 out of 12 tribes were largely unconvinced.
Jesus had an 11 out of 12 hit rate in his followers. The betrayal by Judas was evil, but also was used in the plan.
It’s the way it is.