Today’s Passage – 2 Chronicles 9 – 12; Proverbs 19
(Second Milers also read – Acts 10 – 12; Memorize – Proverbs 10:19)
“And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye me to return answer to this people? And they spake unto him, saying, If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants for ever. But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him.” – (2 Chronicles 10:6-8)
In our reading passage today, in chapter 10, we see the the beginning of the reign of King Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. It seems that shortly after Rehoboam became king his leadership was tested when a delegation from the northern tribes of Israel came to him asking him to lighten the burden that had been placed upon them by King Solomon. I am assuming that the burden that was placed upon them was a tax burden. Government has always been good at taxing its people, hasn’t it? Anyway, it appears that Rehoboam’s father, Solomon, had gradually increased the tax burden placed upon the people of Israel, and they were tired of it. By the way, it is very interesting to note that in the beginning of Solomon’s reign his people were very happy (9:7); but somewhere along the line his spending became out of control, and the source of most of the revenue came from the people.
Reheboam decides to ask the people to give him some time to consider the request, and he seeks counsel from two groups of people. First, he talks to the old men. Their counsel to Reheboam was to “be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words unto them”. Their belief was that if Solomon worked with the people, the people would love him; but if he continued to tax them as his father had, the people would rebel.
The second group that Reheboam sought counsel from was the young men. They told him to whip the people into shape; to show them who was boss. Basically they told Reheboam to make it harder upon the people. They wanted him to rule with an iron fist. Unfortunately, Reheboam listened to the counsel of the young men. The result was disastrous for him, and for the kingdom. The northern tribes rebelled against Reheboam and formed their own kingdom, resulting in a civil war that would last for many years. Reheboam’s decision ended up costing him a whole lot more than the little bit of tax money that the old men had suggested he let the people keep for themselves.
Reheboam should have listened to the old men. Who do you have in your cabinet of counselors? I believe the principle that we can glean from this passage is that we need to be very careful whom we allow to influence us. I would recommend that you would put many godly people in your cabinet of counselors. The Bible says that in the multitude of counselors there is safety, but I am sure that it means only godly counselors. We need to have people in our lives who will be willing to tell us what perhaps we do not want to hear. That cabinet ought to include older men and women who have experienced a little bit of life, and are a little further down the road than we are. It also ought to include some people who are knowledgeable in the Scriptures, like a pastor, or youth leader. It also ought to include godly people who are knowledgeable in particular areas of expertise, such as finances. Choose your counselors wisely, and heed their advice.
Posted in Thoughts from 2 Chronicles by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.