The wisdom of life experience!

Scripture reading for April 5: 1st Kings 12-16

“Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.  I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:32 “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” Proverbs 16:31

Old people are often marginalized in today’s world and it was no different in Solomon’s time.  Rehoboam became king.  His mother was an Ammonite, one of Solomon’s many wives.  Solomon had accumulated great wealth through forced labor and excessive taxation.  The people appealed to Rehoboam to lighten the burden and harsh yoke of his father and they would serve him.  He had to choose what to do and wisely consulted the elders.  (1st Kings 12:4-7)  They advised him to serve the people and lighten the yoke on them.  But Rehoboam rejected the elder’s good advice.

He next consulted his peers, young men he grew up with.  They advised him to answer the people with harshness and more taxes.  The new king refused to listen to the people or the elders but instead took the advice of his peers.  This divided the people and fulfilled the Word of the Lord to Jeroboam through the prophet Ahijah that Solomon’s kingdom would be divided.  (1st Kings 12:13-16)

This passage of Scripture reminds us of the importance of having ears to hear the voice of the Lord.  God is always ready to speak to us, if we are willing to listen.  Our hearts can easily be led astray by sin and selfish ways.  In the abundance of counsel there is safety,  but we must be discerning with whom we listen to.  We often find that those most easy to receive from are those we agree with.  The younger generation often does not value the advice of the older.  This often leads to division and strife as in this story.

Ask the Lord to help you with discerning His voice today.  Identify an “elder”  God has placed in your life who has been a source of wisdom for you.  Thank the Lord for that person today.  Call that person and thank them for their wisdom. 

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