Principles from Proverbs #13 –
Proverbs 15:22 – “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Proverbs 11:14 – “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”
One could say “Well, that just makes sense.” But, it not only makes sense; it is a principle to be applied to any and all important decisions in life.
I Googled the question “How many decisions do we make in each day?” The result was anywhere from 226.7 to 35,000! That is quite an expanse of decision making. I would be curious to see if there’s been any serious research done on this subject…and, it would be great if the results were broken down by type of decision, from simple to serious. Obviously deciding what to wear, or what to eat, or what channel to watch on the T.V. are not what I would call “life changing” decisions. However, they very well could be. For instance, wearing all black at night while walking could prove to be disastrous. Watching an evangelical preacher on T.V. could lead to a changed life. However, I don’t think Solomon had these things in mind. He was more concerned with the plans and decisions that will not only be life changing, but even history making.
Solomon is basically saying; “Don’t be so independent that you think of yourself as above counsel or the advice of others. We need the wisdom of those who have gone before us; who are experienced and wise people. We can learn from their mistakes as well as their successes.
There is however, a second part of this principle; it is found in Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” Let’s go back to principle #3 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” – “In all your ways acknowledge Him” – (Result? – “he will make your paths straight”.) That is, always seek the Lord’s guidance and strength in your planning and decisions; trust His wisdom and not your own understanding; and you will have success. (A good rule of thumb is “listen to your heart.”)
The Book of Proverbs makes it clear that “two heads are better than one.” The wise seek out the insights of others. Proverbs often speaks of the “fool” who is characterized by their unwillingness to listen to wise advice; whether it be from God, parents or friends.
Saul was the first King of Israel. David was the second King. Then came Solomon. They each reigned for forty years. Now we come to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, He was 41 years old when he began to reign. He came to reign in a time when there was trouble in the Kingdom, and there are rumblings of revolution. Let’s pick up the story at 1 Kings 12:3 – “So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:
“Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.
They replied, “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.”
But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
The young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now 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.’”
Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”
So the king did not listen to the people.” Rather than being a shepherd of his people as Kings were intended to be, Rehoboam became a slave driver over the people. By the way, there is no evidence that he spent time in prayer; no evidence that he sought the priests to give him godly advice; or even the prophets; but, he did seek counsel. He sought the advice of the old and experienced, and he sought the advice of his friends and peers.
If you look again at verse 6, the question he asks of the older men is “How would you advise me to answer these people?” Then if you look at the question of his peers he says, “How should (we) answer these people?” That’s the palace gang he was brought up with and hung around with. Their daddies were the Secretary of State, and the Chief of Staff, and the Treasury Secretary, they were the “establishment” of the time…but, now these young lions are going to run the government together! (Don’t get me started!)
It seems to me that Rehoboam had already made up his mind what he was going to do. When you have made up your mind what you want to do, chances are you are going to fish around and look around until you find somebody who will agree with you and your decision.
I want to close this by speaking from my own experience, to the godly, to the disciples, to those who serve the church, and to the pastors of those churches; If you want to have good godly leadership, it must be a combination of the older and the younger together, and they must be god seeking prayer warriors! If all the church has is older leadership, they will BIND you up. If all you have is younger leadership, they will BURN you up or burn you out. But, if you have younger and older working together for the glory of Almighty God, they will BUILD you up! Can I get a witness?