Person: King Rehoboam
Passage: 1 Kings 12
When King Solomon died his son Rehoam succeeded him as king. King Rehoam,
- Became king at a young age.
- Became king following the wealthiest and wisest king ever.
- Had a group of experienced and wise people around him (Solomon’s counsel).
- And had an immediate leadership challenge that demanded advice and a response.
The problem came when the people came and asked for the taxes to be lower. They said, “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.” King Rehoam replied, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
King Rehoam had a choice. To either lower the taxes and win the favor of the people or to keep the taxes high and create even more problems. King Rehoam was given advice from two different groups of people:
The first group included the older and wiser advisers who had counseled King Solomon. They advised him to “give the people a favorable answer” because they then would “always be your servant.” The second group included the young men who had grown up with King Rehoam. They told him to tell the people, “my father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier.”
Three days later King Rehoam “answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” So the king did not listen to the people.”
The results of his decision lead to the Kingdom being divided and “Israel being in rebellion against the house of David to this day.”
This story has some essential leadership principles:
Three Advice pitfalls
If you want to receive advice which leads to a greater potential the outcome turns out positive then remember to avoid these advice pitfalls:
No Advice- When it comes to important or big decisions a leader should get advice. However some leaders, because of pride or ego, can believe their own knowledge and talents are enough to make the right decision. Leader’s who fail to get advice from team members, other leaders, or outside sources can negatively impact the organization with their decision.
Popular advice- It might be tempting to get and follow popular advice. It can be popular to reject the advice from older people and to follow the advice of those in your own social group or age group. King Rehoam allowed the younger people who he had grown up with to influence his decision. The outcome of the decisions only benefited them and not the people they should have been serving.
Weak advice- The final pitfall can be getting advice from people who are not new in their faith or who have no experience in the decision area. Those who are new Christians are still learning about God and the Bible. Those who have no experience might not have the knowledge to give wise advice. This does not mean a leader cannot listen to or get advice from those people, it just should not determine their decision.
In part 2 we will discuss:
- The importance of leader’s getting wise and Godly advice.
- What a strong inner circle of people looks like.
- The characteristics and qualities of a wise and Godly person.
- Some practical steps before you make a leadership decision.
Questions: Have you ever fallen into one of the three advice pitfalls? Why do you think King Rehoam made the decision he did?