Though Solomon may have been the wisest man who ever lived, his many extensive building projects placed a heavy burden of servitude on the people, and they had had enough. Notice that the people did not ask Rehoboam to remove the load, just lighten it a bit so that they could handle it. It was not an unreasonable request.
When the people had first asked for a king more than a century before this, God had warned them that this would happen. That story is told in I Samuel 8, and in verses 11-18, Samuel tells them that the king would take all the good things for himself and make them his servants. Nevertheless, the people wanted a king "like all the nations" (verse 19-20), so God gave them one. We should always be careful what we ask for; we might just get it.
Ronny H. Graham
Take My Yoke Upon You
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing 1 Kings 12:4:
1 Kings :
1 Kings 11:42