Following Bad Advice
Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10,11; Philippians 2
Today’s Key Passage – 1 Kings 12:1-16
The period following Solomon’s death was a tumultuous time in Israel. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, succeeded him as king and went north to Shechem to try to maintain good relations with the northern tribes. While there, the Israelites led by Jeroboam came to Rehoboam with a request. They said, “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.” (Vs. 4) The Israelites were looking for relief from the forced labor and the high taxes imposed by Solomon during his reign. Rehoboam did not immediately know how to answer the Israelites, so he told them to return in three days for his answer. During the three days, Rehoboam sought advice from two groups – the elders who served his father and the young men who had grown up with him. The elders advised giving in to the Israelites’ demands, but the younger men advised that he should answer them harshly and refuse to back down. In the end, Rehoboam chose to listen to his younger friends, and this decision caused the nation to be divided in two with the ten northern tribes following Jeroboam and the two southern tribes continuing to follow Rehoboam.
In reading today’s key passage, we can learn a lot about making leadership decisions from Rehoboam. The first thing we learn is that when a request is made of us, it is often a good idea to delay our response if we do not immediately know the right decision. Rehoboam was right in allowing himself extra time to make a decision instead of simply answering off the top of his head. Rehoboam made another good decision when he sought advice from the people he trusted. When facing a difficult decision, it is often a good idea to seek the council of others. Sadly, the list of what we can learn from what Rehoboam did ends here. The remainder of our lesson lies in what Rehoboam did not do. To begin with, Rehoboam did not remain impartial to the advice given by the two groups and allowed himself to be swayed by his personal relationships with the young men he grew up with. In addition, Rehoboam made his final decision based on what he believed to be his own best interest instead of the best interest of the group. Finally, and most importantly, Rehoboam failed to consult God. When facing a decision, we should always consult God first to determine the best direction in which to proceed. This can be done by reviewing His Word and through prayer. Rehoboam had all of the tools he needed to make the right decision, but instead he failed in these key areas, followed bad advice, and ultimately made a choice that cost him dearly.
The next time you are facing a decision, remember the story of Rehoboam. Remember the things he did well, and remember the things he failed to do. Give yourself time to make a good decision. Seek the council of others, and do not be swayed by personal biases. Make a decision that reflects the best interest of the group instead of yourself. Above all else, seek God’s wisdom in discerning the right decision. When we follow bad advice, we can set ourselves up for a tremendous fall, but when we follow God’s advice we will always make the best decision.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.