“They replied, ‘If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.’ But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.” (1 Kings 12:7-8)
Solomon reigned for forty years, the same number of years as his father David. Because his heart turned to other gods, the LORD promised ten tribes to one of his overseers, Jeroboam. When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, was to be crowned king, the people asked him to please lighten the burden Solomon had placed on them. Solomon had heavily taxed the people and given them assignments in service to the kingdom. Rehoboam asked the people to give him three days to consider this.
He went to the elders that had advised his father. They had been a part of the success of his father and had a track record of giving good advice. They had years of experience and were very wise individuals. They advised Rehoboam to be a servant leader. They told him that if he would indeed lighten their load, the people would keep their word and serve him faithfully all their life.
Rehoboam didn’t like that advice. He wanted what his father had. Why should he tighten his belt and do with less? He sought out the advice of the young men he grew up with. They told him what he wanted to hear. He answered the people that he would be harsher than his father. The ten northern tribes drew away with Jeroboam as their leader, fulfilling the word of God.
Mankind always wants more. It is hard for the carnal nature to give up the niceties of life but oh so easy to desire more. In Rehoboam’s greed, he lost nearly all. Instead of a minor cutback, he had to make a major one.
Consider: When seeking advice we have a tendency to look to those who will tell us what we want to hear, and we reject the advice of those who tell us what we would rather not hear. Though age does not always bring wisdom, ask the advice of those who have the life that shows they are wise. Ask people who demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit. Even if you don’t like their answers, realize they are best for you. Refusing sound advice may cause you greater loss than you feared.
Lord, give me Your wisdom to listen to those who are wise and strong in the faith. In this world, it’s too easy to listen to those who tell you what you want to hear, let Your grace guide me to those who will be truthful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.