Pastor’s Desk August 26th

Scripture Passage:  “And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him.”  I Kings 12:12    “Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people.”  I Kings 12:15a
 
Dear Friends,
 
     This week’s Sunday School lesson was a reminder from God to seek for and listen to wise counsel.  The first part of the lesson taught about the foolishness of Solomon who was said to be the smartest man to ever live. He started out well, but after having made many treaty’s with other countries by marrying foreign wives, he began to lose his sincere dedication to the Lord.  At their bidding, he began to build places of worship for his wives to worship their gods.  After a while he began to also worship their gods in addition to the worship of Jehovah God.  His separation and compromise began to deteriorate his loyal devotion to the One True God.  God sent correction to Solomon but promised not to remove the kingdom from him while he was yet alive.  It would be under the rule of his son that the kingdom would become divided and only one of the ten tribes of Israel would remain loyal to David’s dynasty.  It is a sobering reminder that it does not matter how well you start out, but how well you finish that determines the legacy you will be remembered for.
 
     After the death of Solomon, Rehoboam was made king of Israel.  A young man who had been placed in charge of the house of Joseph was prophesied to become king of the other tribes of Israel who did not remain loyal to Solomon.  For that reason Solomon wanted to kill him.  The young man fled to Egypt to protect his life until the passing of the great king.  Upon the passing of Solomon, Jeroboam was sent for and brought back to Jerusalem to sort everything out and prepare for the future.  Rehoboam had some major decisions to make and in a moment of temporary sanity, he sought out the advice of the old men who had stood before Solomon and counseled him.  The advice was this:  “If you will have a servant’s heart and speak kindly to your people, they will serve you forever.”  Then he went to the younger men that he grew up with.  Their advice was to show the people who was boss and usurp his authority.  His decision is revealed in verses 13-14.  The king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him; and spoke to them after the counsel of the young men.  The result was a rebellion of the people against the king.  Verse 15 says the king did not listen to the people because the Lord allowed it to fulfill the prophecy of Ahijah.
 
    The manner Rehoboam handled one situation determined the course of a nation. There are many times all of us are faced with decisions we are unsure about.  We seek counsel from family, friends and even professionals. Rehoboam never sought the Lord’s counsel and was not even interested in what He had to say.  He was wise in seeking the counsel of older godly men, but was foolish in ignoring what they had to say.  There was nothing wrong in seeking the advice of the younger men, but the lack of discernment showed his spiritual immaturity.  These guys told him exactly what he wanted to hear and he was duped into believing them.   The result was a divided kingdom.  Let us learn from Solomon and Rehoboam’s mistakes.  We need to remain loyal to the Lord and to Him alone.  We need to be as vigilant after the battle as before the war.  Advice we are given needs to sifted through the strainer of Scripture and wise counsel.  There is too much at stake to us to ignore the signs.
 
In Christ,
 
Pastor Johnny