So what would you rather hear, the truth or what’s easy? Would you rather hear good godly counsel… good spiritual advice, no matter how hard, or what makes you feel good? There’s a big difference you know. Sometimes we don’t want to hear the right thing to do – we want to react… blurt out… attack, when we know we should just walk away. Sometimes, when our emotions are high, we just want to engage, when we know what we should do is just be silent. Sometimes the voices of reason are silenced by the voices of stupidity and we end up paying for it later. That’s what happened in 1 Kings 12.
King Solomon had died and his son Rehoboam took his place. He is addressed one day but another young man named Jeroboam, and others from Israel, about lightening the load of hard labor and taxation that his father, King Solomon had put on them. The new king, Rehoboam, told them he would think about it and give them an answer three days later.
First, he went and ask the senior statesmen who served King Solomon and sat under his wisdom and discernment for years, what they thought he should do. Here’s what they told him…
“If you will be a servant to this people today, will serve them, grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, they will be your servants forever.” 1 Kings 12:7
Sounds like good advice, right? Take care of the people. Minister to the people. You’re in a position of service, even as a king, so be good at it. Evidently that’s not what Rehoboam wanted to hear because the next verse tells us Rehoboam, “forsook the counsel of the elders…” (1 Kings 12:8)
Instead he went and talked to his old gang that he grew up with. His old school buddies, who didn’t have any diplomacy, any experience in kingly ways, any knowledge of kingdom business, who proposed some foolish guidance. They told him to tell the people that if they thought his dad was tough, they hadn’t seen anything yet. He would be tougher in every sense of the word. He liked the sound of that and that’s what he did.
When the people came back three days later, Rehoboam took the advice of the young, un-experienced men, and told them what he decided. I’m not sure what he thought was going to happen, but what happened next was devastating – they walked! They all walked away. At that moment, the kingdom divided. Rehoboam was left with 2 nations, while the other young man, Jeroboam, became king of the other 10.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Who’s speaking into your life? Who’s helping you make life decisions? Make sure you have people who are telling you good godly truth – not just what you want to hear… what makes you feel good… or what’s easiest. Seek good godly, Holy Spirit, counsel. There’s a big difference.
Thank You for putting people in my life who speak Your truth to me. Help me appreciate them more. Jesus in Your name I ask this, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen