Summary: The Bible tells us to seek advice. But not all advice is good advice. It pays to pay attention to whom you pay attention to. But how do I know the difference between good advice and bad?
OPEN: In my files I have the following pieces of advice that you may want to consider:
· Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
· Never buy a car you can't push.
· When everything's coming your way, you're probably in the wrong lane.
· Find out what you don't do well, then don't do it.
· Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.
· An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of bandages and adhesive tape.
· It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
The world is filled with people who would like to give us advice.
And the Bible SAYS it is a good thing to listen to advice.
Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”
Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Prov 19:20-21 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
Interestingly enough those proverbs were written by Solomon for the benefit of his sons. Repeatedly – throughout Proverbs – Solomon would say things like this:
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Proverbs 1:8
Solomon’s oldest son was Rehoboam, and this morning we’re reading about the day Rehoboam sought that very kind of advice.
When Solomon died, his throne was passed down to his son Rehoboam and Rehoboam was approached by his people saying that they needed relief from the high taxes his father had imposed during his reign to build the Temple and to run the kingdom.
Wisely, Rehoboam asked for 3 days so that he could consult with his advisors.
1st he goes to his father’s advisors… older men whom Solomon trusted for good advice. These men tell Rehoboam to listen to the people. They say "If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants." 12:7
But Rehoboam rejected the advice of these Elders.
Instead he goes to his friends… and asks their advice.
But HIS friends are not wise men.
They are proud, arrogant and selfish men.
They like to “talk big”. They probably spend a great deal of their time sitting around and making fun of people who aren’t like them.
These are men who probably enjoyed the “trash talk” of their day.
And you can tell – that’s the kind of men they are - from the kind of answer they give Rehoboam
"Tell these people who have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter’— tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’"
Now, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that was probably NOT the smartest advice they could have given.
Those were not words destined to make people happy with Rehoboam.
Those weren’t the words a good king would say.
Those were the words of tyrants and bullies.
People who like to push others around.
(pause…) But those were the words Rehoboam listened to.
And so, when the people of Israel reassembled 3 days later, Rehoboam shows off for his friends and as a result --- he loses nearly everything he’d inherited from his father. He lost more than half his kingdom and neither he nor any of his descendents could ever get it back again.
From that day forward, the 10 tribes of Israel (to the North) and the two tribes of Judah (to the South and ruled by the descendents of Rehoboam) were never to be reunited again.
The focus of this message this morning is this:
It pays to pay attention to who you pay attention to.
NOT ALL advice is good advice.
Psalm 1 tells us “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”