Pr. 15:22: “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.”
King Solomon requested from the Lord an understanding heart to discern between good and evil and to judge the Lord’s people. 1 Kings 4:29 says, “And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore.”
Fast forward to his death and burial, and the beginning of the reign of his son, Rehoboam. Because Solomon had turned his heart to other gods, the Lord had told him that his kingdom would be torn out of the hand of his son, and we find that his son played a critical part in what the Lord had spoken.
At the beginning of his reign, King Rehoboam consulted the elders who previously stood before his father Solomon, asking “How do you advise me to answer these people?” They advised Rehoboam that if he would be a servant to the people, answer them, and speak good words to them, then the people would be his servants forever.
But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the wise, experienced elders who had helped make his father’s reign successful. He went and found the young, inexperienced friends he had grown up and hung out with and asked for their advice.
The advice the young men gave was to oppress, chastise, and belittle the people. While he did received counsel, he made a very unwise decision about which counsel he would accept and which he would reject. As a result of his decision, 10 of the tribes of Israel rebelled against Rehoboam and chose another as their king. Rehoboam’s plans certainly went awry.
We cannot be too proud to seek out or receive counsel of others. We must be careful, however, which counsel we reject or accept. I am semi-young myself, but I am wise enough to understand that those who are older and more experienced than I are going to be the ones who have the most wisdom, if for no other reason than the lessons they have learned and seen over their lives.
My 5-year-old still thinks that if there is no money in our “eating out” account that we can just use our check card to eat out. I would never allow his whims or lack of understanding to control my check book. After seeking the Lord’s will through His word and prayer, we should seek the counsel of those wiser than us when making plans. If we want our plans to be established (fixed), then we need to ensure the foundation will be strong and secure.
Even in his unsurpassed wisdom, Solomon knew it was wise to seek counsel. We need to do the same, but prayerfully, carefully, and with discretion.
Thanks for the lesson through Rehoboam’s mistakes, Lord.