Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Truth or Consequences...

Will a person automatically be wise because of their heritage? Is the guarantee of wisdom handed down? This next passage of scripture (1 Kings 12-14; 2 Chronicles 10-12) gives us the answer, and it is an emphatic no.

Rehoboam, son of Solomon, was not wise. In fact, just after having been made king of Israel, his first decision proved that he was quite foolish when the leaders of Israel asked him to lighten the tax and labor load forced upon them during Solomon's reign. They promised allegiance if he agreed, and he asked them for three days to think about it. Next, he consulted the elders who had advised his father. Sounds wise so far, right?

The elders gave him good advice, explaining that granting the request of the people would ensure him a successful reign as king. But he rejected their advice, deciding he'd consult his own, new advisers, his life-long buddies.

The buddies told him to sock it to the people even harder than his father had, and that sounded like a good plan to him. He wanted to be a big deal, so he did what he probably wanted to do all along, but now he had advocates who gave him the thumbs up, so it was all good. Or was it?

No, it was not. These passages reveal the rough road ahead as a result of his terrible decision. So...what can we learn from Rehoboam's folly? Many things, but here are two that just jump out at me.

First, when elders advise, be quick to listen. If they are godly and mature and wise, they will give counsel with experienced advice that will be worth heeding-- even if it is the exact opposite of what you or I prefer.

Second, when peers advise, be slow to act and quick to pray. I would never suggest that all advice from young/younger people is bad or wrong. But the caution here seems to be that it may be--especially if we surround ourselves by "yes" pals.

It's understandable to think that old/older people don't have a clue. It's common to imagine that they don't understand or can't put themselves in our place. And it's preferable, quite often, to do what seems personally expedient rather than laboriously difficult. It's even worse to hear advice that requires a delay of gratification. But remember this, anyone who tells you what you want to hear, or encourages you to follow your flesh/heart down a path that even in the tiniest way violates scripture, is a bad advisor--and following their advice will render you as foolish as Rehoboam.

My prayer for you, and my prayer for myself, is that we will be wise. First, by praying and asking the giver of wisdom to lead our lives, and second, by always seeking solid, wise, Godly counsel when we are in doubt, from those who wouldn't be "yes" friends.

Father, help us to hear your still, small voice because we've stopped talking long enough to listen, and please send us Godly, wise mentors and friends who will speak the truth into our lives even when it's not what we want to hear. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for not being a "yes" friend in my life! Love you