Last night I was reading in 1 Kings 12 as part of my daily reading plan. This pivotal moment in a new king’s reign is interesting to investigate.
I mean, we knew based upon a warning God gives to Solomon that the better part of the kingdom would be removed from the hands of his son. But how it happened is intriguing to me.
In the latter part of Solomon’s life, his great wisdom was not on display. In fact, I would argue that in the season his son, Rehoboam, was growing up, Solomon’s focus was on experiencing the pleasures of life.
Although I’m sure Rehoboam learned how to throw a crazy shindig, I don’t think Solomon was focused on raising his successor to understand how to lead a kingdom with wisdom. And we see this play out soon after Rehoboam takes the throne.
In 1 Kings 12, Jeroboam comes before Rehoboam representing all of Israel. He has one question: Will you work us as hard as your dad? Because if you do, we won’t serve you. But if you don’t, we will: “Your father made us carry a heavy burden. Reduce the hard work and lighten the heavy burden he put on us, and we will serve you.”
Rehoboam had a critical decision to make—and it had nothing to do with what kind of party he would host. It had everything to do with whether or not he could create a following.
Rehoboam first went to some of the older leaders that served his father. He asked them for guidance in his response to Jeroboam. Then Rehoboam consulted his buddies.
The problem is, Rehoboam had no trust invested in the older leaders that served his father. Who knows what his perception of them might have been? It’s likely he was familiar with them since they were part of Solomon’s court. However, we don’t know what kind of relationship Rehoboam had with them. We only know he disregarded the advice of the leadership in favor of the advice of his buddies.
It’s a great leadership reminder for me today. Seeking guidance and advice from seasoned leaders is a wise move. They can see things I can’t see. They’ve experienced things I haven’t experienced. Their perspective is better than mine.
Ultimately, the decision still falls with the leader. So you’ve got to be prepared to stand behind it. But when you gather advice and input, make sure your source is rooted in wisdom.
Gina McClain is a speaker, writer and children’s ministry director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tenn. For the original article, visit ginamcclain.com.