October 24, 2008
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)
Do you have an important decision to make today? Rehoboam’s story in I Kings 12:1-19 has a lesson for each of us in the midst of making hard choices. Rehoboam had a dilemma. He had an important decision to make, and he didn’t know what to do.
Following Solomon’s death, the people of
The first group that he asked for advice was a group of elders who had served under his father. These were men of experience both from years lived and from the places where they had served. They advised Rehoboam to answer the people affirmatively. The elders encouraged him that the people would follow him faithfully if only Rehoboam would humble himself to be a servant leader.
Rehoboam didn’t like their answer, so he sought out a different group to ask. This time he decided to ask “the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.” Are warning bells going off for you, too? Not only were these men young and inexperienced, they also were on Rehoboam’s payroll and stood to lose or gain by their answer. Here was their advice: “Tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions’” (I Kings 12:10b-11 NIV). Rehoboam foolishly listened to his friends.
If we want to make wise decisions, we need to seek wise counsel. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” (NAS) How can we make sure that we pick the right people to seek advice from?
Choose a godly person. Proverbs 2:6 tells us, “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (NIV). When I choose to seek advice from someone who knows scripture and seeks God in personal quiet time, I can be assured their advice is based on a foundation of truth.
Choose a person with experience. It’s always been helpful to me to learn from other women who have walked before me. I’ve sought out other teachers, wives, and mothers who are purposeful about building godly relationships and behaving righteously to give me counsel as I live life. It’s the principal of the older believers teaching the younger believers that’s found in Titus 2.
Choose someone who will tell the truth in love. Ecclesiastes 7:5 explains, “It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to listen to the song of fools” (NIV). So many around me would rather “sing me a song” than tell me what I need to hear. I have several friends that I trust to tell me the unvarnished truth when I ask for advice. They love me, but they fear God!
Rehoboam’s decision changed history. He reaped a rebellion that ripped the country in two. He lost his following, his potential for enormous power, and the favor of God. We don’t have to make those mistakes. We can head the warning taught by Rehoboam’s story and follow God by seeking wise counsel.
Finding a Mentor, Being a Mentor by Donna Otto
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Read the full story of Rehoboam and Jeroboam in I Kings 11:26-12:24.
List the people that you most often turn to for advice. Do they meet the three suggested criteria above?
Do I usually seek counsel when I am making a decision?
Who in my life will tell me the truth in love rather than saying what I want to hear?
Has there been a time when I’ve reaped the consequences of following unwise counsel?
Job 12:13, “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” (NIV)
Proverbs 20:18, “Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105