Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the wrong counselors

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.
2 Chronicles 10:8

The people of Israel forever divided at this point in their history. Solomon's son, Rehoboam, is the king at this crossroads. And his decision to ignore the good advice of his father's counselors was crucial in the loss of the northernmost ten tribes of Israel. There were many factors at work in this revolt. Those ten tribes were clearly disgruntled with the way the Jerusalem administration had handled their affairs. They were heavily taxed and conscripted to labor for Solomon's many building projects. Since these projects primarily centered around Jerusalem in Judea, they felt unfairly burdened. Judah thrived while the north remained less developed and less protected. They demanded that Rehoboam lighten the load. It was a reasonable request given the king's need to unify the people at his coronation.

But Rehoboam took counsel with proud young men who advised him to be macho and to threaten the tribes of Israel with even harsher treatment. The result of this browbeating was division and rebellion. And Rehoboam was all fluff and bravado. He did not have the power or the means to stop them from leaving the "union". He was helpless as ten tribes seceded from the kingdom, and then he barely escaped Shechem with his life.

Of course, God was not surprised by any of these events. In His sovereign purposes, He had prophesied and hand prepared Jeroboam to take control of the northern kingdom of Israel (2 Chronicles 10:15). But it does not change the fact that Rehoboam lost the majority of his father's kingdom in less than a week's time, just be choosing to follow the wrong counsel. Our relationships and who we choose to shape our thoughts and actions can impact our lives dramatically both for good, and for bad.

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