Saturday, June 11, 2011

Convo with Pastor - 1 Kings 12:3-4

all the assembly of Israel
came and said to Rehoboam,
"Your father made our yoke heavy.
Now therefore lighten the hard service
of your father ... and we will serve you."
1 Kings 12:3-4
We've just been reflecting on Solomon's Ecclesiastes for the last few days.
Solomon was once a man of great faith. He talked to God. He built a magnificent temple.
But the headings for the final chapter of his life -- 1 Kings 11 -- are: "Errors," "Rebellion," and "Death." Indeed, it says, "11:9 The Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from God."
That's bad.
Here's what's worse: Our sin often infects the next generation.
For example, a sinful young romance leads to an ill-conceived marriage and an all-but-inevitable divorce. And who's the victim? The next generation.
An abusive father often produces what? An abusive next generation.
A racist mother often produces what? A racist next generation.
Laziness. Greed. Drug addiction. Faithlessness. All these sins of the fathers are often visited upon the next generation.
The end result of Solomon's reliance on human wisdom was clearly visited upon his son, Rehoboam. When Rehoboam ascended to the throne, the people said, "Your father made our yoke heavy. Lighten the hard service and we will serve you." Therefore, the first consequence of Solomon's humanity visited now on young King Rehoboam, was his father sowing the seeds of unrest.
The second consequence of Solomon's reliance on human wisdom, was that when the people confronted Rehoboam, the young king sought wise advise from humans. Some was good (12:8-9), and some was not good (12:10-11). And then Rehoboam relied on himself to make the final judgment, and relying on the worst of the advice, he made matters even worse. Israel rebelled.
Rehoboam, like his father before him, relied on human wisdom and himself. And the kingdom of Israel split in two.
That's my natural human tendency too. Rely on myself first. Rely on the wisdom of others second -- whether it's consulting others or reading "how-to's." Ask God last. Oops. I need to remember what it says in 1 Corinthians 1:25, "the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom."
In Christ's Love,
a guy who wants to be
much, much, much less wise
(and a whole lot more faithful)
I was taught at a young age that JOY stood for Jesus - Others - Yourself and that was how we were to live. Put Jesus first, then others, then yourself.  It seems that formula would also work for advice ... seek the answer from Jesus first, then wise counsel from others, then rely on yourself if you still need to. If these kings had done that, they would have not been in so much trouble!

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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