April 6, 2021
But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. 1 Kings 12:8
As the story continues, Rehoboam’s arrogant and foolish response to Jeroboam resulted in a civil war that divided the nation. There are two lessons from this failed succession plan. First, and foremost, Solomon abdicated responsibility for raising his son to his foreign wife, Naamah, an Ammonite who worshipped the pagan god, Milcom. Solomon also failed to trust in God’s protection of Israel, which is why he married the daughters of foreign kings (in violation of the Mosaic Law).
While the lack of leadership was on Solomon, Rehoboam failed to act on the wise counsel of the elders of Israel who had laid out a gracious plan of restoration that would have bonded the nation in loyalty to Rehoboam. Instead, Rehoboam followed the youthful, foolish advice of his friends. Sadly, the resulting civil war would rage for the remainder of Rehoboam’s reign.
The takeaway? Let’s invest more time preparing the next generation to exercise godly leadership rather than trying to fix what only God can sort out.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling