Saturday, October 11, 2014

When the Nation Crumbled

In the book of 1 Kings, during the course of chapters 11 and 12, we find a very didactic - yet not-so-often-told - account of a pinnacle point in the history of the nation of Israel.

The story takes place just after the death of one of the most famous kings: Solomon, who was not only the wisest king, but the wealthiest as well.  However, even this did not secure his dedication to the Lord.  Sadly, Solomon turned his back on the very One who had lifted him up to greatness (1 Kings 11:1-10).  But I digress.

When Solomon died, his son, Rehoboam, began to reign (1 Kings 11:43).  Soon thereafter, Jeroboam (who was a servant of Solomon) and many others came to Rehoboam, asking him to lighten their workload (1 Kings 12:1-4).  And as any newbie to the throne might do, Rehoboam decided to consult some people for advice.

This is where things begin to escalate.  King Rehoboam consulted two different groups: the older men, who had been with his father Solomon, and the younger men, Rehoboam's peers.  The older men advised Rehoboam to lighten the workload (an advantageous political move), but his friends told him to show his might by increasing the workload (1 Kings 12:6-11).

We, nearly 3,000 years later, can find ourselves in a surprisingly parallel predicament.  With each passing generation in our culture, the separation and tension between the older and younger Christians of the Church increases formidably.  Each side pushes at the other, further widening the dichotomy.

While there are many aspects of this cultural divide and many ways in which the Church can and does fight against it, the story of Rehoboam gives us an amazingly beneficial lesson.  You see, Rehoboam chose to listen to his peers.  As a result, God's chosen ones underwent a painful split that separated the people into Israel and Judah, severing the nation.

As young adults in the Family and Body of our Lord and Savior, was must realize what is at stake.  We have to bridge the generational gap by earnestly seeking to learn from those who have been blessed with experiences and wisdom that we do not have (Titus 2:1-8, Proverbs 19:20).  Don't shy away from tuning your ear to the counsel of the wise.