Be Careful Who You Listen To!
Scripture reading for April 7th: 1st Kings 12-16
After the death of Solomon and his 40 years of peace and prosperity, Rehoboam, a son of Solomon, took over the throne of his father. Rehoboam had the wisest man who ever lived up to that time as a father and example. Even though wise, Solomon was still human and a sinner and his son Rehoboam failed to learn from the wisdom and truths available to him. When we fail to listen and learn and let pride determine our conduct, trouble always results.
Rehoboam brought the wise older advisers of his father before him for advice. The men of Israel had approached him appealing to him to lower their taxes and lighten their load of forced labor for the king. These older advisers told Rehoboam to listen and lighten up the load. Rehoboam then went to his peers for their advice. They told him to make the load heavier and mocked the people. (1st Kings 12:6-15) Rehoboam liked the younger peers advice and answered the people harshly. This turned their hearts against him.
Scripture notes that Rehoboam’s action was from the Lord to fulfill a word of prophesy spoken to Jeroboam by Ahijah the prophet. God knows all things and sees the end from the beginning. This doesn’t mean that God was controlling the situation as much as that He knew the response before it happened and was working everything out for His purposes! We do well when we listen and obey the word of the Lord! Wise counsel is a precious commodity for those in leadership.
Rehoboam’s decision caused Israel and their ten northern tribes to choose Jeroboam as king. Jeroboam, however, also disobeyed the Lord’s word and direction by making two golden calves and setting up an alternative place of worship. He also placed in the priesthood all who desired to be priests. He did this because he feared the Israelites going down to Jerusalem for sacrifices. (1st Kings 12:26-33) Operating in fear instead of faith always leads to trouble! The sin of Jeroboam led to the downfall of his house, and the many kings of Israel who followed him also held to this idolatry and a false priesthood.
Take a moment today and commit your life to obedience to the Lord and ask God for wise counsel in your life. Ask for discernment and walk by faith!