Pure Peer Counsel?

“Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.  [The elders] replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”  But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?” The young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”  1 Kings 12:6-11

Rehoboam, King Solomon’s son, became king of the newly divided Israel at the age of 41.  Rohoboam asked the counsel of his father’s elders how to handle the requests of his people, but he rebelled against the wisdom of his elders, and so instead, turned to his peer group and asked them the same question.  Sadly, but not surprisingly, the answer he got from his peers was the complete opposite advise of the elders.

  • “Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways,”  Proverbs 2:11-13

Instead of trusting the wisdom of those aged in years and experience, he sided with his ‘buddies,’ possibly to fit in, possibly to win their support, possibly because they were life-long friends, possibly because the answer made him more prideful, possibly because his heart was far from God.  His lack of seeking true wisdom from those who loved the Lord and have walked with Him for many years, would cost him most of his kingdom and would also cost the people of Israel dearly.

  • “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.  As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness””  1 Cor 3:10

When making decisions that will affect much, it is tempting for us to seek the support and encouragement from our friends, because they are just that… our friends.  But, the wisdom of friends can be tainted by emotions and desires to please and be accepted.  Instead, we should seek the wisdom and knowledge of those older than us, in years probably, but most importantly, in spiritual years.  Wisdom will be gained in taking heed to their words even if it is contrary to our desires.  We need to realize that we might not always know what is best.

  • “But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.  It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.”  Job 32:8-9

Father God, Help us to always seek godly counsel from your elders when decisions may cost us or others much. Open our minds and our hearts to receive advise and correction, even if it goes against our desires.  Help us to see your bigger picture and be focused on your plans and not our own.  Align our thinking with what is true and what is good.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

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