PASTOR GLEN'S BLOG
June 28, 2018
An article in Reader’s Digest several years ago had the following story: “A flight attendant spent a week’s vacation in the Rockies. She was captivated by the mountain peaks, the clear blue skies, and the beautiful forest. She also was charmed by an eligible bachelor who owned and operated a cattle ranch and lived in a log cabin. At the end of this week, after a wonderful time with this bachelor, she had to return home to her job. While on board the plane, she was pondering, “Should I go back to the city or return to the woods and stay with this man in the cabin for the rest of my life?” She was struggling but believed that God would give her an answer. To refresh herself, she went into the rest room and splashed some water on her face. Just then, there was some turbulence, a ‘ding’ sound went off and then a sign in the rest room lit up: PLEASE RETURN TO THE CABIN. She did – to the cabin back in the mountains.”
I hope this is not the way you make decisions in life. Making the right choice is a dilemma for many people, including Christians. Where do we go for counsel? When we have an important decision to make, who do we seek out? How do we know where to go for help? How do we sort through all the advice to arrive at an understanding of what God wants us to do? How do we discern God’s whisper in the midst of all the voices clamoring for our attention?
In 1 Kings 12, Rehoboam has just been made king. And he is facing the first major challenge of his leadership. Under the leadership of Jeroboam, the people approach Rehoboam asking him to lower the taxes that Solomon had been requiring of them. Rehoboam then goes to the older men who had counseled his father Solomon (experienced people) – and he asked them what he should do. They give him wise counsel. But it wasn’t the counsel Rehoboam wanted to hear. So, he went to inexperienced people – the young men with whom he had grown up – and he asked them what to do. They told him exactly what he wanted to hear. And when he followed their counsel, it was a fiasco.
Rehoboam sought council in the wrong places. Instead of listening to either group of these worldly politicians, he should have used the three days to seek the Lord in prayer. Rehoboam needed Isaiah’s warning in 30:1, “’Ah, stubborn children,’ declares the Lord, ‘who carry out a plan, but not mine,’” James’s advice centuries later is also timely, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously . . .” (James 1:5).
No matter what problem or decision we face in life (including what our next steps are as a congregation) the first thing we should do is go to God with it in prayer. There is no mention of Rehoboam going to God in prayer and asking Him what to do. That was probably his first mistake! But as we discover in the story he did not really want to know God’s counsel. May we learn from Rehoboam’s discernment process and individually and corporately always seek God’s counsel, based upon God’s inerrant Word!