When treading new ground, we need to be very selective about who we invite into our territories as advisors and counselors.
This is especially important when we come into new positions of authority and leadership, as we need counsel and advice regarding decision-making and direction in areas beyond our own experience. It is vital to be surrounded with people that are wise in counsel, compassionate towards people and driven by a father’s heart, not a son’s. Fathers see beyond the moment, they see the cause and effect of decisions played out over time. Sons see the moment as an opportunity to gain prominence and, with great ambition and energy, seize it without thinking too far into the future.
A great example of this, is found in 1 Kings 12, when Solomon’s son became the next king. When the Israelites approached him, with a request to lift the heavy yoke which Solomon had put upon them, he took three days to seek counsel before responding to them.
In this time, he approached the old men who stood before Solomon during his reign, their counsel being, that if he serves his people and speak good words to them, they will indeed be his servants for ever. But he forsook the counsel of the wise men, and consulted with the young men, following their advice to greatly increase the weight of their yoke.
He lost the territory of all Israel, except for one, the tribe of Judah. The rest of Israel crowned Jeroboam as their king instead.
Let’s be a people who seek God’s counsel through His Word and prayer, and be open to hear His guidance through the voices of the fathers who surround us. For our position and territory will increase in the midst of wise counsel, but can be ripped away if foolish, immature voices lead our way.
1 Kings 12:3-15
3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spoke unto Rehoboam, saying,
4 Your father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make you the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve you.
5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.
6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do you advise that I may answer this people?
7 And they spoke unto him, saying, If you will be a servant unto this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.
8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and who stood before him:
9 And he said unto them, What counsel give you that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which your father did put upon us lighter?
10 And the young men that were grown up with him spoke unto him, saying, Thus shall you speak unto this people that spoke unto you, saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter unto us; thus shall you say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.
11 And now whereas my father did lay upon you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father has chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.
13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;
14 And spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
15 Therefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the turn of affairs was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
1 Kings 12: 19, 20
19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.