DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

                 Index

 
Seeking And Following Advice
 

How our decisions affect one another (and not just ourselves).

1 Kings 12:1-17
1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had gone there to make him king.
2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt.
3 So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:
4 "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."
5 Rehoboam answered, "Go away for three days and then come back to me." So the people went away.
6 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.
7 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."
8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
9 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'?"
10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, "Tell these people who have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter'--tell them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's waist.
11 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.'"
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, "Come back to me in three days."
13 The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders,
14 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."
15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the LORD, to fulfill the word the LORD had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.
16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: "What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse's son? To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!" So the Israelites went home.
17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.


A. GUARD YOUR HEART FROM THESE ...

1. Guard from people-pleasing (or even a false appearance of humility)
a. Verse 6: consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. "How would you advise me to answer these people?" he asked. Verse 14 "he followed the advice of the young men"
b. Point: Sometimes we come to seek advice because we are just "following protocol"…just going through the motions.
c. Example: pursuing a relationship

2. Guard from your own wisdom/own heart (even impatience/sentimentality)
a. Verse 8: But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him…
b. Point: Are you coming to seek advice for validation of a decision that has already been brewing in your heart and just waiting for affirmation and approval? Are you a victim of adhering to "what the last man said"?
c. Example: 1 Samuel 15

3. Guard from an appeal to your pride (even rationalizing to point of rebellion)
a. Verse 14 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."
b. Point: Sometimes we want to take an action that we think will improve the circumstance where you will take the credit.
c. Example: Lessons, ministry ideas, event planning

4. Guard from not trusting (or not carefully listening to the full advice)
a. Verse 7 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."
b. Did Rehoboam not catch the last part of this advice which contained a promise? Perhaps he was so locked in the first part, that his ears totally shut off from the second part which contained the promise.
c. Point: Sometimes when we begin to hear something that goes against our pre-conceived ideas, we start to close our ears.
d. Example: Ministry event idea, fundraising idea, discipling approach, financial pursuits, relationships, etc.

B. INSTEAD, COME TO ADVICE WITH THIS KIND OF HEART

1. Come with an open, and (truly) humble heart. (Exodus 18:13-24 - Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.)

2. Come to listen carefully and seek to understand.

Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

3. Consider evaluating whether following the advice will….

a. Require a greater faith?

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord and do not lean unto your own understanding.

b. Honor God, honor His Word?

Luke 1:38
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfilled".

c. Build the character of the person(s)?

Hebrews 12:11
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

d. Build up the body of Christ?

Ephesians 4:16
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

4. Consider the advice-giver's spiritual maturity, expertise. (Acts 5:38-39 - Gamaliel). It would be wise to place more weight on maturity over inexperience.

Acts 5:38-39
38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.
39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."


Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:22
How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?

Proverbs 1:32
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;

Proverbs 1:30-31
30 Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.


Proverbs 11:14
For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.

Proverbs 12:5
The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.

Proverbs 12:15
The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.

Proverbs 13:10
Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

Proverbs 15:21-23
21 Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.
22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply- and how good is a timely word!


Proverbs 19:20-21
20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
21 Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.


Proverbs 20:18
Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.

Proverbs 24:6
Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.

Proverbs 27:9
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.