Rehoboam: The Leader Who Rejected Wise Counsel.

Rehoboam was the son of King Solomon and the grandson of David; he was anointed king after the death of his father Solomon and while he had the resources required to become a great king, he was a man who did not recognise wise counsel when he heard it and so he lost half the kingdom to another.
On the day of Rehoboam’s coronation, the people of Israel assembled together, led by Jeroboam, who would eventually rule over the other half of the kingdom. They made a plea to Rehoboam to lighten the burden his father put on them in return for their loyalty. Rehoboam asked them to return after three days to give him time to ponder on the matter. He consulted with the old men who had been part of his father’s inner circle and they gave him sound counsel which contained the true picture of what a leader should be. They said to him, “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.”
Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men because he thought it was foolish and because he had no clue how to lead and assumed that because he was king he could do whatever he liked with the people. He failed to realise that as a leader he was a servant of the people and his actions showed that he did not truly possess the heart of a leader. He approached the young men who grew up with him and they gave him counsel that eventually led to his downfall. They said to him, “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.”
Rehoboam took the advice of his friends and the result was that the people decided they had had enough and would not put up with his tyranny; they rebelled against his leadership. At first, he did not think they were serious, so he sent out Adoram who was in charge of collecting the tribute money and the Bible records that all Israel stoned him with stones and he died. At this point Rehoboam realised the matter was a lot more serious than he had thought and he fled.
Rehoboam was a leader who did not know the truth about leadership; that a leader is a servant of the people. He listened to the counsel of those who also knew nothing about leadership. He was not wise enough to know who to take counsel from. The men who were part of Solomon’s inner circle were in a better position to counsel him than his friends because they had a better understanding of the people and their needs, having worked closely with Solomon during his reign. These men had observed Solomon and knew from experience what would work and what wouldn’t work with the people. They also knew what it took to be the leader the people would willingly follow. However, Rehoboam did not listen to them but chose to listen to his friends who were really not in a position to advise him; as they had never occupied leadership positions themselves, or worked closely with anyone who had.
The lesson here is this; every leader needs people around him that he can trust to give him counsel; but in seeking counsel, a leader must carefully evaluate the competence of the counsellor. It will amount to foolishness to seek counsel from a lawyer when you have health related concerns. This is exactly what Rehoboam did when he turned to his friends for counsel.
Eturuvie Erebor
Taking-the-Lead Seminars.

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