What Should I Do?
Rehoboam . . . rejected the advice of the older counselors and followed the counsel of his younger advisors (vv.13-14).
One of my favorite books on writing is Writing for the Soul by Jerry Jenkins. In his book Jerry gives some excellent advice for Christian writers. For example, “We can’t write for other people’s souls unless ours are healthy.” Or how about this gem: “No writer ever arrives.” Jerry also advises, “Allow yourself to be moved, and write what moves you.” As an inexperienced writer I read this book closely and tried to follow Jerry’s advice.
Counsel from an experienced person is always helpful, especially when we’re taking on a new challenge.
Rehoboam needed some good advice from his father Solomon’s counselors when he became Israel’s new king. The Israelites were asking him to lighten the existing “labor demands and heavy taxes” (2 Chronicles 2:4), and the older, wiser men recommended, “If you are good to these people and . . . give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects” (v.7). This advice reflected several principles of godly wisdom—it was peaceable, gentle, willing to yield to others, sincere and impartial (James 3:17).
Still scratching his head about what to do, Rehoboam decided to ask some younger men—his mates (who also doubled as his royal advisors). These men labeled the Israelites as whiners and told Rehoboam to make life even tougher for his subjects. They suggested he say: “My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions” (v.11). Sadly, Rehoboam “followed the counsel of his younger advisors” (vv.13-14).
This story proves that not all advice is good advice. Maybe today you’re facing a challenge and wondering, What should I do? If so, look for advice from an experienced person. Compare what you hear with what the Bible says about wisdom from above. Pray for direction and then, when the time is right, act on the sensible counsel you have received.
—Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Why do we sometimes refuse to listen to good advice? Why is it unwise to merely have someone tell you what you want to hear?