Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 12-13
Today’s Reflection: 1 Kings 12:16
And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents.
Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, came to a critical challenge soon after his father’s death and becoming king. Jeroboam, whom God had raised to be a rival to Solomon’s rule when Solomon sinned and began worshipping idols, returned from exile in Egypt and asked the new king to ease the burdensome work on the labourers of Israel.
Rehoboam received advice from his father’s mature counselors, the wise old men who understood the very kingdom was at stake, who told him to listen to Jeroboam, deal fairly with him and restore his loyalty to Rehoboam’s rule. Rehoboam also received advice from his own friends, young and inexperienced like himself. They told him to put Jeroboam in his place, assert his authority and show he was in charge of things.
Rehoboam listened to his friends instead of the wise old men. And he tore the nation in two, a rift that would never be repaired.
You might think this is going to be a lesson about how young people ought to consider the wisdom of their elders. At times this is true, but the Bible teaches that it is not age but the spirit of God within man that makes one wise (Job 32:7-9). And this is the real lesson to be learned here.
The friends of Solomon were motivated by concern for their nation and their people, rather than for themselves. The friends of Rehoboam were motivated by a desire to feel powerful and to feed their own egos. Which do you think was in harmony with the spirit of God? It’s pretty obvious.
Had Rehoboam put a relationship with God first—had he humbled himself like his father Solomon and asked God for wisdom to rule—he would have known which advice to listen to. Lacking this insight Rehoboam chose poorly, and a whole nation paid the price.
The true wisdom of the age comes from God. You can’t make a good decision without being in harmony with Him.
Job 32:7-9 – 7) I said, ‘Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.’ 8) But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. 9) It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right.