Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional thoughtfully penned by leaders in DUMC arising from their daily devotions. The devotional’s title, “Our Best Thought” is taken from the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” as a reference to God: “Thou my best thought, by day or by night.” Publishes on Sundays.
Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked. They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
The young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now 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.’”
1 Kings 12:6-11 (NIV)
In earlier chapters, we read of how Jeroboam fled to Egypt and stayed there until Solomon’s death (1 Kings 11:40). After Solomon’s death, Jeroboam returned from Egypt to appeal to the new King Rehoboam to lighten the yoke that King Solomon has put on them on behalf of the people (1 Kings 12:1-4).
Upon meeting Jeroboam and his group, King Rehoboam approach the elders to discuss Jeroboam’s request on reducing the hard labour the people were going through.
The elders, who were advisors to King Solomon before, advised Rehoboam that kindness to the people would make the people love and serve him always.
However, instead of heeding the good advice of the elders, King Rehoboam sought the advice from a younger group of men. These young men, who had grown up with Rehoboam, were like-minded in their views and experiences. They advised Rehoboam on the contrary. Instead of kindness and mercy, they felt that the people should bear an even heavier load under Rehoboam.
We can be a “Rehoboam” at times. When at crossroads, we seek advice from many parties; our family, closest confidante, friends, colleagues; depending on the issue at hand. We continue to “shop” for advice until we hear what we want to hear. But are these advice the best for us? Do they come from reliable people with the best intentions? Some advice are difficult to hear as they are the truth.
But these truthful, wise, and honest words usually come from sincere hearts with the best intentions. On the contrary, some advice is easy on the ears as they are precisely what you want to hear. Regretfully, these pleasing words may not always be uttered with the best intentions. Ill advice can lead to chaos, conflicts, sufferings, and destruction.
Therefore, be wise about seeking counsel from the right people. It is better to receive advice from a few wise, godly and trustworthy people, then from many who only speaks what you want to hear. The right advice is God-centred, and will help to lead you out of challenges, and bear the fruits of the Spirit. Poor advice from the wrong people, will yield no solutions. Let’s not be a “Rehoboam”, as his poor judgement in following the advice of his young counsel led to the destruction of the nation Israel.
Father Lord, forgive us for being a “Rehoboam” at times. We admit that often, when faced with challenges, we choose to listen to the advice that pleases us the most. We disregard the good advice that comes from wise and caring people as it may sometimes admonish us into repentance. We pray that You impart onto us the wisdom of seeking counsel from the right, trustworthy people. Keep us focused on godly and wise ways to get counsel so that the outcomes are fruitful. Amen.
Adeline Ting is a Writer with Ignite.
Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional that follows DUMC's Bible Reading Plan. Posts on Sundays.