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. They replied, ‘If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favourable answer, they will always be your servants.’
2 Chronicles 10:6-7 (NIV)
Read: 2 Chronicles 10
Consider: There is a proverb/saying – ‘Like father, like son’. If this were true Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, would have been on a winner. If he had even a fraction of his father’s character and wisdom he would succeed in life. Despite his nurture, his nature did not resemble his father’s in terms of either wisdom or integrity.
Rehoboam faced a dilemma when Jeroboam and the people of Israel came to him and asked that he reduce the heavy burdens on them. Under these circumstances Rehoboam did a wise thing, he sought advice from the elders who had advised his father, Solomon. However, the advice they gave him was rejected and he sought the advice of the young men he had grown up with. The advice these young men gave was full of youthful bravado, it was confrontational and reckless.
Perhaps Rehoboam really believed it when the young men said of him – ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist’ (v10). Whatever his reasoning, Rehoboam got it wrong by following bad advice. This led to the kingdom being split and there being constant trouble between the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Rehoboam’s problem was that he was prepared to rely totally on human advice and not take the issue before God and seek his advice.
We all need advice as we go through life. What we have to decide is whose advice we will seek and if we will follow it. As Christians, our ultimate guide must be the Bible and we should always test any advice given to us against the authority of Scripture. We should be willing to pray about a situation and lay the matter before God, and be prepared to wait for an answer.
Also we should not be afraid to seek human advice. However, we need to be careful about the source of such advice. Seeking the advice of older, godly Christians is better than allowing ourselves to be swayed by the impetuousness of youth. I’m not saying that all advice given by young Christians will be wrong. Older Christians, having more life experience, should be able to see both sides of the situation and provide a balanced view. If they are truly spiritual people, they will always tell you to bring the matter to God in prayer and may even be willing to pray with you.
When we do take human advice, we should ask ourselves if following it results in us acting in a Christlike manner. God will not ask us to do anything which is contrary to his Word, or which would result in us acting in a way that Christ would not.
Returning to the proverb/saying – ‘Like father, like son’, it occurred to me that as Christians it should be ‘Like Father, like Son’.
Pray: Father, show us that the ultimate source of good advice is to be found in you. Help us not to be rushed into making rash decisions, but to take time in prayer and reading your Word. May we be patient in waiting for clear guidance. Lead us to godly Christians who would be willing to share their wisdom with us when we are faced with difficult choices. Amen