Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fathers teach their children well.

Rehoboam is the son of Solomon – the wisest man to have ever lived.  Now he has a decision before him that will require all that wisdom.  The people of Israel want their taxes lowered, the burden lightened.  Rehoboam told them to come back in three days and he would have their answer.

Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. "What is your advice?" he asked. "How should I answer these people?" The older counselors replied, "If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects." (1 Kings 12:6-7 NLT)

He begins by turning to the elders of his household.  These were the same people who advised his father.  These were the same people who were in the room when his father made all those wise decisions.  They were also in the room when his father made unwise decisions that would bring about the wrath of God.  They would know the difference.

But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. "What is your advice?" he asked them. "How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?" The young men replied, "This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: 'My little finger is thicker than my father's waist! Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I'm going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!'" (1 Kings 12:8-11 NLT)

Then he turns to his friends.  These are his peers.  These are the people closest to him that he trusts.  These are also the people with the least training, the least experience, and with no experience next to Solomon.  Now, Rehoboam needs to decide.

The problem with his process is not that he asked different groups for their perspective.  His problem isn’t even that he sides with one group or another.  The problem is that he never asks God.  His father, Solomon, turned to The LORD in these situations and The LORD provided wisdom.  Sometimes, that wisdom didn’t match any of the advisory groups.  That’s why people were amazed at Solomon’s wisdom.  That is why many people who know the name of Solomon do not know the name of Rehoboam.  Rehoboam does not seek wisdom from God.

"But as for you, do not be called 'Rabbi,' because you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven. And do not be called masters either, because you have one Master, the Messiah. (Matthew 23:8-10 HCSB)

How about you?  Do you see God as your Teacher, Father, and Master (Lord)?  Do you turn to The LORD for wisdom?  Do you receive that wisdom from God?  Does The Father teach you well?