Introduction: King Solomon’s reign over Israel saw the country grow in wealth and fame. The Temple and other buildings he constructed were beautiful pieces of architecture that required lots of money and hard work. Some of the money came from the people’s taxes, and they provided much of the hard work too. When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became Israel’s king. As the new leader, he had a decision to make. Do I tax and work the people just as hard as my father did or do I make things a bit easier for them now that our construction projects are complete? So Rehoboam went to some of the older, wise men of Israel to ask for their advice.
Read 1 Kings 12:6-7
Devotional: The older men gave Rehoboam good advice. In fact, their words sound very much like what Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 20:26-28. There Jesus said, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” Rehoboam would have been wise to accept the advice of the older men. But he didn’t like what they had to say. Sometimes the people who love us the most and want the best for us will tell us things that we don’t want to hear. But they tell us those things because they want things to go well for us. Even the Bible sometimes tells us things that we might not want to hear. In times like that, it is very important to think about what is best instead of just what we want to do. Unfortunately for Rehoboam, he refused to listen to the good advice of others. Instead he turned to people his own age to see what kind of advice they would give. They told Rehoboam what he wanted to hear.
Read 1 Kings 12:8-11
Instead of being a good and kind king like the older men said he should, Rehoboam decided to make life even more difficult for the people of Israel. That is the advice that his so-called friends gave him, and that is what he wanted to hear. As a result, most of Israel rebelled against Rehoboam and became their own nation. Sadly, the twelve tribes of Israel would never ben united again.
DISCUSSION: What would you have done if you were Rehoboam? Who would you have listened to?
Prayer: Thank God for giving you people in your life who want the best for you and ask God to help you listen to the right people.