“Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. ‘How would you advise me to answer these people?’ he asked. 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. He asked them, ‘What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us?’ The young men who had grown up with him replied, ‘These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’” I Kings 12:6-11
Why does bad advice often sound so good? Our ears are itching to hear, "You don't have to wait." "You deserve that (which is usually pleasurable)", or "They deserve that (which is usually painful)", or "Don't tell them, they just wouldn't understand, keep it a secret." Or one of my favorites, "God wants you to be happy, so this isn't really sin, He understands."
In 1 Kings 12:6-1,1 we see King Solomon's son Rehoboam take bad advice from his young friends. Solomon had just died, and Rehoboam's reign was just beginning. Leadership transitions are always a delicate time in the life of any family, group, country, kingdom, or church. God's people of the Old Testament (the nation of Israel) asked Solomon to be a kinder and gentler king than his dad.
The elders advised that he use his new power and authority to serve the people. But Rehoboam's friends said the opposite. They told him to use his power to lord it over them. As a result, God's Old Testament Kingdom split.
Bad advice broke a kingdom, and it hasn't been fixed since.
What advice are you listening to today?
Remember that the "pattern of this world" continues to subtly spew out bad advice. How are you continuing to "renew your mind?" Reading this Daily Walk is a good start.
Who are the key influencers in your life? Do they love God and do they know the Bible well? If not, start seeking input from somebody that does.
Pray right now and ask God to help you understand and remember the lesson of Rehoboam. Ask God to help you connect with people who will give you good advice. Ask God to help you continue to become someone that does that for others.
Posted on Fri, February 22, 2013
by David Gaunt