Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC

1 Kings 12:1-19
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from[a] Egypt. 3 And they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam, 4 “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” 5 He said to them, “Go away for three days, then come again to me.” So the people went away.6 Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” 7 And they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8 But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. 9 And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?” 10 And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to this people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us,’ thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs. 11 And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, “Come to me again the third day.” 13 And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the old men had given him, 14 he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.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. 17 But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboam hurried to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

All throughout my Christian life I have had the opportunity to have men in my life who poured into me. From the early days of being a Christian to surrendering to a call to ministry, God has provided men who were wise and loved Him to invest in my life. To this day I am thankful for them and I know for sure I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. 

There is value in having influences in your life who are older and wiser than you pouring into your life. There is value In listening to those wise individuals and following their lead as they have lived more life and may know what they are talking about. We see here in 1 Kings 12 the mistake of King Rehoboam in choosing not to listen to the counsel of the older and wiser men. They offered up sound wisdom in v.6-7 on how to deal with the people of Israel as the new king. However, he rejected it and chose to solely listen to his friends/contemporaries who told him what he wanted to hear. In doing so, he ruined his relationship as a leader to the Israelites and in essence caused the divide of the kingdom which had ramifications which affected generations of people. 

Rehoboam out of pride and comfort chose to solely listen to his friends’ counsel instead of the counsel from the older men and it cost not only him but the kingdom of Israel. If we are not careful we can find ourselves doing the same thing. Because of pride and believing you’ve got all the answers, you are choosing not to listen to the wisdom of the individual who has walked in your shoes. Because of pride and knowing that you are wrong, you are choosing to neglect that counsel in needing to change, so you choose to listen to just your friends who will tell you what you want to hear.  Choosing to listen to wise counsel from wise men and women is valuable because in doing so we grow as men and women of God. We grow in maturity as believers and as people. 

So, who are you choosing to listen to? As we see here in 1 Kings 12 the decision you make can have a major impact not just on you but on those around you as well. Let us resolve to have men and women in our life who love God and are wise and choose to invite them to speak truth and wisdom into our lives in the days ahead. For we all need those individuals in our lives.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your love for me. Help me to choose to listen to the wise counsel of those who love you and live for you. Help me to set aside my pride and comfort and take in wisdom and encouragement that will help me grow and mature in my walk with you as well as grow as a leader/individual. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Proverbs 16:16
How much better to get wisdom than gold!
    To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver