Well-Aged Wisdom

Read: 1 Kings 12:1-20
But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers (v.8).

Yam Fot Pau and his wife overcame poverty by pouring their lives into building a successful business, only to see it go bankrupt in 1992. He said at the time, “My philosophy on money is simple: It is important, but it depends on how you get it. . . . I’ve never been afraid of hard work.”

Older people can teach us much about life. They’ve lived longer and have experienced more of life’s peaks and valleys. Sadly, newly crowned king Rehoboam failed to recognize the importance of seeking wise counsel from a seasoned sage.

In 1 Kings 12:3-4, the whole assembly of Israel had come with a petition (or rather, threat). They asked Rehoboam to lighten their harsh labor and heavy taxes, offering him their loyalty in return. What they were actually saying was: If you don’t accept our request, we’ll revolt. Check it out, we have Jeroboam with us. The guy whom God has promised will lead 10 of the tribes (1 Kings 11:31).

Rehoboam understood the seriousness of the situation. He requested 3 days to think about it. He then wisely consulted the elders (v.6). Perhaps he did it out of respect, but he didn’t take their wisdom to heart. In fact, he rejected their advice and took the counsel of the young men with whom he had grown up (v.8).

The pressure to lead well in the shadow of great leaders can be huge. Solomon, Rehoboam’s father, was mentioned at least nine times in the first 20 verses of 1 Kings 12. Distracted by the pressure to prove himself, Rehoboam ignored the true words of wisdom that had been spoken by the elders.

Scripture teaches: “Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old” (Job 12:12). Never let your foolish pride get in the way of wise counsel from someone older than you.

—Poh Fang Chia

Taken from “Our Daily Journey”