Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 20
Verse 18: “Plans are established by counsel; by wise counsel wage war.”
Solomon wrote this proverb and gave good advice that we all should follow. If only his son, Rehoboam, would have taken this advice, it would have forever changed the history of Israel. Soon after taking rule over the kingdom, Rehoboam came into a real political crisis. Although his father was considered the wisest person to ever live, he had taxed the people very heavily. The people cried out in protest, demanding to know if Rehoboam would follow in his father’s footsteps. Being caught in such a difficult situation he knew that there was wisdom in council. His father had taught him that for sure. Seeking such direction, he went to the council his father had established. They advised him to consider the needs of the people. Instead of taking the council of the elders, he got a second opinion. He went to his peers. He asked the people he grew up with what he should do. They suggested he refuse the people’s attempt to push him around and make demands. This met more with his youthful pride and he announced to the people that he would take it even a step further than his father and tax heavier with tougher rule. The end result was the division of the Kingdom of Israel. Divided into two kingdoms, they were sure to fall. Jesus said, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24) …and fall it did.
It is known in the scriptures and in history that Israel and Judah (the two halves of the split) would later fall into slavery and would never fully recover. If only Rehoboam would have followed his father’s advice as he wrote in today’s “gold nugget”, “Plans are established by counsel; by wise counsel wage war.” Although he found good council in the older wiser men, he chose to please himself and his friends to his own demise. When making decisions in life, we should consider the life of Rehoboam. Let us not think so highly of ourselves that we will not submit to wisdom and direction from those who have obtained it. Furthermore, poor council is worse than no council. Finding those that will agree with your position is not confirmation that you should continue with your own ideas. If you seek wisdom, you will find it. When you find it, take it!
Lord, there have been times where we needed council and you provided it, only to have us seeking a second or third opinion until we found one we preferred. Help us to recognize good council and adhere to it when you send it. Amen
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