Text: “And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.” – 1 Kings 12:10.
Comment: When Rehoboam was about to be installed as king of Israel, the people appealed to him to reduce their burdens in terms of heavy taxation and tedious labour. Rehoboam was prudent to ask for time to meditate over their demands and possibly make consultations. He met the grave and experienced men of his father’s time who counselled him to accede to their demands and speak kindly to them as that would make them serve him willingly throughout his reign. (2 Chronicles 10:7) But Rehoboam, unfortunately, displayed lack of wisdom in that “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” (verse 8), as stated in the text for today. The consequence of his arrogance was a split in the kingdom as 10 out of the 12 tribes revolted against him and made Jeroboam their king. (1 Kings 12:20) One should accept godly counsel that emerges from fruitful dialogue, not the advice that suits one’s fancy. God Almighty, speaking through King Solomon said, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil”. (Proverbs 3:5-7) King Solomon also said, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger”. – Proverbs 15:1.