Listening to Advice

Everyone needs help now and again. No matter what age we are there is bound to arise events that we don’t know how to handle. Such was the case with King Rehoboam. His father Solomon had died and the kingdom of Israel was his to rule. The people came to him to ask to “now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee” (1 Kings 12:4). Being still a young man and new to the responsibilities of ruling a nation he asked the people to give him three days to consider the matter (vs. 5).

Rehoboam asked advice of the older men that had experience serving a king. He also asked advice of the men his own age that had no more experience than he had. For reasons unbeknownst to us he chooses to listen to the younger men. The result: “when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents” (vs. 16).

Proverbs 1:8 exhorts one to “…hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” If Rehoboam had done that, through the aged men that served his father, the kingdom would have remained whole and the division would have at least occurred at some later time. Proverbs 19:20 also teaches this idea: “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” Wise counsel only comes from those with experience in the matter at hand. For Rehoboam to take the advice of those who knew no more than him was foolishness. Titus 2:4 carries this idea in the New Testament by exhorting the older women to teach the younger women.

Never be too proud to seek the advice and counsel of others. Just make sure the person you are asking advice from knows what they are talking about.

In Christ, Steve Preston

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