Archive for May, 2014
Today’s reading begins with Rehoboam’s foolish dealings with the people of Israel and concludes with Jeroboam’s insistence on continuing on the path away from God.
Chapter 12 of 1 Kings is always a great reminder of the treacherous nature of pride in a leader. Rehoboam was the son of King Solomon and was installed as King after Solomon’s death. In this chapter we are presented with the story of how the people Israel come to Rehoboam and insist that he lighten their burden and not place them under the same weight of labor like that imposed by his father, Solomon.
At first glance, it seems like Rehoboam is taking the right path. He seeks counsel from the elders of Israel about what he should do. The elders of Israel counsel Rehoboam to lighten the load of people and they will be loyal and true and follow his leading. Rehoboam then decides that he should seek some additional counsel from his lifelong friends. Rehoboam’s friends tell him that he should be even more exacting and demanding of the people of Israel and prove to them that he is a stronger leader that his father.
As can be the case with young and inexperienced leaders, Rehoboam decides that he will play the role of the tough guy and prove his strength as a leader by burdening those he leads instead of serving those he leads. Obviously, when the people tell you that they are tired of working it’s not necessarily because they are lazy or disrespectful. Rehoboam thinks otherwise and blows off the request of the people with a statement that always reads to me as a bit, well, suggestive:
” ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs.’ ” 1 Kings 12:11
As a result of his ignorance of the will of the people, the text is clear as to what happened:
“So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfill his word, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, ‘What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.’ So Israel went to their tents….So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.” 1 Kings 12:15-16, 19
Foolish and presumptuous leadership never works out well.
Having just looked, I notice that it’s been nearly two months since I posted my ‘Anybody Still Out There?’ post. How is it that life can consume so much of your time and energy?
I really intended on getting going again on my Bible in a Year series when I wrote that last post and now I realize that it’s been a really long time. I am intent on writing a new fresh post in the series tonight. It will get done.
I’m not sure how faithful I’m going to be in keeping up, but there will be a post today. Maybe that’s how faith is. Getting up when you have the strength and taking another step.
Sometimes I feel like God’s not really out there and it seems like when I am losing all hope, He then renews me and gives me the strength for just one step, one word.
Sometimes it feels like all my strength is gone. Then He gives just enough for me to take another step. I’m sure that this is all really cryptic, and really, that’s what I intend it to be. You don’t know my struggles, nor I yours.
I hope you know that He sees and He cares. I know that I doubt that at times, maybe often. It’s always a struggle to believe in the invisible. It’s difficult to comprehend why Someone who claims to be all powerful would allow pain and suffering to be a part of the lives of anyone, especially those who agree with Who He says He is.
I don’t know how it all works, but I’m still here God. I’m still here.