Friday – October 11, 2019 – Divided Rather Than United
1 Kings 3:7-10 (NIV) “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.
1 Kings 12:6-8 (NIV) 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.7They 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.” 8But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
David had another son named Solomon. Like his father, he was less than perfect. Still, he had a heart for God and wanted to govern well. Of all the things that he could have asked for from God, he asked for wisdom. The wisdom wasn’t so he could advance his own agenda. It was to be used as a blessing to those he was responsible to oversee. If you have ever had to oversee others, you understand what a heady responsibility it is. You truly need God’s help.
Part of Solomon’s responsibility was to keep the nation united. His father had paid a great price to secure that unity. Solomon had several nations around him that could become enemies. He made treaties with them that could easily fall apart. It was imperative that Israel live in harmony with one another.
When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam began to rule. A marked difference between him and his father is he went to earthly counselors before he went to God. It is not patently foolish to seek counsel from men, but you should always include God in your decisions.
What is tragic is that the advice from his father’s counselors was correct. He, like Absalom, his uncle only wanted to hear what he wanted to hear. Have you ever sought counsel and rejected what you heard until you got the advice you desired? It was his desire to oppress rather than serve to get rather than to give. So, he rejected godly counsel to pursue his own course. The result was that the nation entered civil war again. All kindness was removed, people stopped being civil with each other and the selfish desires of the younger generation broke down the peace that had been so costly to obtain.
When will we learn the lesson and let each generation be a blessing to the next rather than a curse?
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that each generation does not have to be at war with each other. We can be a blessing. Help my generation to be a blessing to those who follow. Help them to take up the blessings we provide and avoid the curses.