When the strong rule of King Solomon was ended by his death and his weak son, Rehoboam, followed him as king, all the people of Israel rose as one man against the heavy burdens which Solomon had laid upon the land. They would not allow Rehoboam to be crowned king in Jerusalem, but made him come to Shechem, in the tribal land of Ephraim, and in the center of the country. The people sent for Jeroboam, who was in Egypt, and he became their leader.
They said to Rehoboam, “Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee” (1 Kings 12:4). Rehoboam asked for three days to give them their answer. So Jeroboam and the people waited for three days while Rehoboam talked with the rulers and with his friends.
Rehoboam first called together the old men who had stood before the throne of Solomon and had helped him in his rule. He said to these men, “How do ye advise that I may answer this people?” (1 Kings 12:6).
These old men said to King Rehoboam, “If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever” (v.7).
But Rehoboam would not heed the advice of these wise old men. He also talked with the young princes who had grown up with him in the palace, and who cared nothing for the people or their problems, and he said to them, “What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?” (v.9).
And the young nobles told Rehoboam to say to the people, “Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins. And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions” (vv.10, 11).
On the third day, Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam for his answer. The foolish young king did not follow the good advice of the old men who knew the people and their needs. He did as the haughty young princes told him to do and spoke harshly to the people. While reading this story, it brought back to my mind many things. I have seen many who would not take the advice of the voice of experience, and finally drifted into gross error, and could not be saved by them who had the rule over them. I was preaching at a prayer meeting once a long time ago and a young man got back to the Lord who had been backslidden.
He started out making everything right, and it looked like he would be a wonderful minister. He preached a while and was doing good. Then he decided he wanted to be a state overseer. But somehow he never was appointed, and became dissatisfied with the Church and decided to start him a church, and to be the general overseer. It was not very long until he died and the church scattered. It was a grief to me, for I loved him.
When I received the Holy Ghost, I very much wanted the advice of experience. I loved the teachings of the Church, and the Advice to Members. It has kept me these many years. I can hardly write this little message for weeping over the things I have seen and heard. I think of the young men who worked with me while I was State Overseer. They are good men. They are real Church of God men. I will be 83 years old this coming April, and I cannot keep from doing something. My soul is aflame.By: B.O. Funderburk, White Wing Messenger, November 16, 1974 image credit: HERE