Friday 12 February 2010

Bible Book:
1 Kings

"The king answered the people harshly. He disregarded the advice that the older men had given him and spoke to them according to the advice of the young men." (v.13-14)

1 Kings 12:12-19 Friday 12 February 2010


Following King Solomon's death Rehoboam, his son, takes power.Faced with the nation's complaints about his father he seeks adviceon how he should reign. But failing to take the advice of the oldermen he opts, at the prompting of his friends, to threaten Israelwith an even harsher regime. The result is the rebellion we read ofin today's passage.

This is a narrative which functions on two levels. In the firstplace it reminds us of God's involvement in the detail of our livesas we are told "it was a turn of affairs brought about by theLord". But at the same time it is a powerful illustration of thedangers we face in choosing the advice which appeals to us most.Rehoboam had the chance to listen to those who had worked with hisfather and knew the nation well, yet he chose instead to be swayedby his younger and less experienced friends whose advice causeduntold damage both to Rehoboam and his kingdom.

As we seek to move forward in our churches, and to offer differentforms of worship and outreach, it's important to remember the valueof the elders' advice. Those who have lived longest in ourcommunities may not be in touch with the latest fads and trends buttheir life experience and their additional years of travelling withGod has given them insights and understanding that we would do wellto value and draw on. Functioning as the Body of Christ meanswelcoming the young and old and sharing our experiencestogether.

To Ponder

What is the general attitude to older people inour society?

What should the Church's attitude be?

To what extent do you sense God at work in thedetail of your day to day life?

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