Rehoboam (Southern King 17 years) — Rehoboam ignores the wisdom of answering gently.
Reading 1: 1 Kings 12:1-24
Reading 2: 1 Kings 14:21-30
Reading 3: Proverbs 15:1
If David’s united kingdom and Solomon’s building of the Temple were the peak of the nation of Israel, we now start the descent into the dark valley of judgment. It will be years before there is a powerful display of godliness in the nation again.
And it all begins with pride, just as with satan’s fall (and Adam & Eve’s sin). When we think we are right, and act without being open to wise counsel, then we will always fail. Rehoboam makes this fatal mistake. Listening to his peers, and failing to heed the wiser counsel of his father’s advisors, leads him into prideful boasting and threats which drive the nation from him. If he had read the wisdom of Proverbs, he would have known that a gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
After tempers flared, and the eleven tribes rejected David’s tribe and their king, Rehoboam is left with just the tribe of Judah (and the city of Jerusalem) to reign over. And there is constant war, eating away at what little he has left. What a high price he paid for failing to listen to advice!
We do well to remember that none of us has all the answers, and none of us is without weakness and sin, so God’s provision of wisdom through others around us is invaluable. This is especially true of those older than ourselves with godly experience. Let’s resolve to seek wise input today, and to thank those we recognize, that God has put around us to provide it!
Have a great day!