After Solomon dies, his son Rehoboam ascends to the throne of Israel.
When a man named Jeroboam hears about the new king, he goes to visit Rehoboam.
Solomon never really liked Jeroboam because he wanted to declare himself King in the North. He wanted to split Israel in half and rule over the 10 tribes that occupied the northern section. You can see why this might have rubbed Solomon the wrong way.
So Jeroboam comes to Rehoboam looking for some relief. If Rehoboam will ease up on some of the punishments Solomon doled out, Jeroboam will swear allegiance to Rehoboam.
Rehoboam tells him to come back in a couple days and consults with his advisers.
The old guys—the ones who served Solomon in his day—tell Rehoboam to cooperate with Jeroboam. Give a little, and they'll be back in the fold. It's a win-win.
But when Rehoboam consults with his younger friends, they advise the king to double down on the punishments. You don't want to look weak to your enemies
When Jeroboam and company come back to see the king, Rehoboam delivers the bad news. He tells them, "My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions." Big mistake.
Jeroboam and the rest of the people in Israel turn their backs on the House of David and decide to make their own way with Jeroboam as their king.
King Rehoboam even has to hide out in Jerusalem because his subjects just might kill him.
However, the Chronicler would like to note that all this only happened because God wanted it to. He made sure that Rehoboam listened to his friends because God wanted Jeroboam to rule over Northern Israel.