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Because of Bad Advice

But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.

1 Kings 12:8 (NIV)

I just heard the story of a poor man who joined a religious sect and almost lost his life. The man ended up naked in a hospital with horrendous hallucinations. When his family finally found him in that hospital, they could not recognize him. He was thin, his feet were a mess from walking barefooted in the desert and nothing he said made sense. He ended up in that predicament because he did not heed the advice of his relatives and followed the advice of those he believed were his friends.

That story reminded me of the story of Rehoboam King Solomon's son. This young man had inherited the throne from the best King Israel ever had. Surely, his father's shoes were difficult to fill. Therefore, it is not surprising that when some leaders asked him to ease a bit the demands that his father Solomon had imposed on them, Rehoboam sought advice.

Chapter twelve of 1 Kings tells us that Rehoboam first turned to the elders of the people for direction. Sadly, the King also sought the advice of his friends who had grown up with him. The Bible tells us that Rehoboam instead of following the advice of the people who had the experience and wisdom to rule, he followed the advice of the young men who served him. He followed the advice of the people who told him what he wanted to hear.

That decision divided Israel. Rehoboam destroyed in days what his father and grandfather took years to accomplish. We must be careful. We live in a time where people are easily offended by the truth and do not want to hear good advice. There are many who go from person to person, from church to church, and from prophet to prophet looking like Rehoboam for someone to tell them what they want to hear.

Child of God do not be foolish. Do not get carried away by the voices of those who sweeten your ears. Submit yourself to wise people. Surround yourself with people who love you enough to tell you the truth. Do not follow the popular or the famous, follow the Holy Spirit. Remember that because of bad advice, you can cause pain to many and/or end up in a hospital naked and without shoes.

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