1 Kings 12

To whom do you turn when you need advice? You might seek wisdom from an experienced elder, talk it out with a trustworthy buddy, ask God to reveal the right call for your situation, or try any combination of these options. Beyond that, do you tend to go with the advice that makes the most sense or the advice that was closest to what you wanted to hear? Ultimately, the choice is yours, but we often find that the most favorable outcome stems from choosing to follow the right advice from the right source.

In 1 Kings 12, we see this concept exemplified. King Rehoboam takes counsel with two groups, the old men and the young men, to decide how to respond to the people’s pleas to lighten the heavy yoke placed on them by Solomon. The old men said to serve the people, the young men said to tell the people “my little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs” (v. 10), which is a super cool and super strange way of saying “I’ll show you a heavy yoke.” We see that Rehoboam takes the advice of the young men and that this choice leaves Israel divided. At this point, it seems safe to assume that he made the wrong choice. Maybe he did, but we read a little later in the text that “it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word” (v. 15).

We get two important takeaways from this chapter. The first is that our choices can bring about good and bad results, which makes it crucial to seek wisdom and take advice from the right sources. The second is that God works through everything and in every moment, through our good choices and bad decisions. We may not be making the kinds of choices that divide nations, but the Lord fulfills his word regardless of our decision-making skills.

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