But the final verdict on Rehoboam was that he was a bad king--God was not important to him; his heart neither cared for nor sought after God. (2 Chronicles 12:14, MSG)
After these months of studying the kings of Israel and Judah from Saul to Jehoichim, we have seen some truly evil kings, men who actively encouraged their people to idol worship and who sacrificed their own children.
The writer of Chronicles doesn't say what Rehoboam did wrong. He doesn't even call him an evil king, just a bad one. Bad in a moral sense, perhaps, but also ineffective. He let his nation down. 2 Kings only mention what the people of Judah chose to do. Rehoboam didn't lead in idol worship, but neither did he interfere.
As Chronicles says, God wasn't important to him. Rehoboam didn't care about God enough to seek after him. If David's approach to worship was whole-hearted, and Solomon's approach was philosophical, Rehoboam's was--going with the flow.
His approach reminds me of Jesus's words to the church at Laodicea: I know you inside and out and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot--far better to be either or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant.
I suspect God's command to Rehoboam would have resembled what Jesus command the Laodicean church: buy medicine from me so that you can see, really see.
Rehoboam didn't see that his inattention to God set his kingdom on a downward spiral that they never fully recovered from.
Moral for the day? Check your temperature--turn on the heater for God.