We don't need new revelations from God right now. We need fresh experiences in the existing revelations.
Well, Tozier just had this ability to apply logic that was otherwise missed by a large majority of people. And here we have these counselors that think they're qualified to offer advice to others without any qualification. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of First Kings.
Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the Book of First Kings Chapter 12 as he begins his message, The Migraine Committee. An intense, throbbing headache that will not be easily stopped. That is a migraine.
It can be incapacitating and prevent you from functioning in a normal way for sure. This is a painful chapter to read, but in a constructive way. I mean, there's other painful chapters and they just keep pulling you down.
These, you're reading it and you say, boy, I'm glad that's not me, but I know some people who this is, or something close to that. The youth need to pay particularly attention to what goes on in this chapter. Surprisingly, the guilty parties are not young. They're in their 40s. So don't think that the Bible is singling out, you know, the teens or the young adults and saying, you are the ones that need it, of course, but it's certainly not limited to you. And we live in a place in history where we can easily forget that throughout history, many people have had political power who did not deserve it, don't deserve it.
They managed to get it and they're real good at holding on to it. And this is the story of the kings. G.K. Chesterton said, it is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.
In 1921, he wrote that. There are no heroes in this chapter, unfortunately, but again, the lessons, they abound. So we look now at verse one as we approach the migraine committee. And Rehoboam sent to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. Verse two, so it happened when Jeroboam, the son of Nabat, heard it. He was still in Egypt, for he had fled from the presence of King Solomon and had been dwelling in Egypt. Verse three, that he sent and called him. Then Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Jeroboam. So Shechem is in Ephraim's territory.
They're going north to crown Rehoboam king. He's 41 years old. He will reign for 17 years. We are almost a thousand years from the birth of Christ, 930, give or take, years. And it is difficult to believe that King Solomon had no other sons. I mean, it's not, you know, we say it almost hyperbole, you know, a thousand wives. No, he had a thousand wives, concubines' wives together. And so you say, no way could he have had one child unless, you know, there was a condition that emerged afterward, after the first child. But it is a fact he's the only one mentioned. I think that there were so many of them that it was pointless to mention them because there was no significance. They had no significant role, so don't bother. A thousand wives, if each one had a son, and this is conservative, I mean, a thousand sons.
I would like to be a sneaker salesman in that town. But anyway, I think that he did have a lot of sons, and I also think that there's just no point in mentioning them. Rehoboam is the one. I don't, I also feel that Solomon had no confidence in Rehoboam. In his Ecclesiastes, and I would not want my dad to write this in his memoirs about me. Ecclesiastes 2, then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled, and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.
This is a bum deal. And so he knows, he's not saying it outright, my son Rehoboam will be king, but he knew he was the crown prince, that's who he has in mind, and history bears it out that whatever concern Solomon had about Rehoboam, they were valid. This son, Rehoboam, he begins with God's blessings, and he ends an apostate, who's a big surprise, 2 Chronicles chapter 11, so they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for 3 years, because he walked in the way of David and Solomon for 3 years. And then chapter 12, now it came to pass when Rehoboam had established a kingdom and had strengthened himself that he forsook the law of Yahweh and all Israel along with him. So that's how it begins and ends with this one, a lesson for us, we look at this and say, I may not overcome all my faults, I will not, faults before the Lord, but I will go to my grave despising them because of the Lord. I wish I had more self-control so I could take better control of my life, well that's fine, but someone who doesn't believe in Jesus Christ can say that too. It's more with us. We want control over our lives, we want to please our Lord, and that matters everything to him, means very much to Jesus Christ.
Well, this falling away that is coming, and well, he's like I said, in his 40s, incidentally, being in his 40s means that he cannot blame his youth for this profound stupidity that is coming, and had he adhered to the Lord early in his life, very unlikely he would be anything like this. Well, here's another question, or I don't know if I've asked any yet, but I'm asking one now, why Shechem and not Jerusalem? At least Shiloh. Well, Shechem, rich in Hebrew history, you can't list everything that we know about Shechem, but here are just four of them. At Shechem, Abraham built his first altar to the Lord in the Promised Land.
At Shechem, Simeon and Levi, brothers, sons of Jacob, led a vendetta of slaughter against the Shechemites for violating their daughter, their sister, Dinah. And then Joseph, Joseph was sold to the Ammonites there in Shechem. And then also in Shechem, Joshua gave that famous speech, he says, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. So Shechem, rich in history at this point in Israel's history, you could look back at Shechem and say, well, there's a lot that went on there that had to do with our people and Yahweh, but still, it's not Jerusalem. Well, best I can come up with is that Jeroboam, this is Re, the king, Jeroboam, who fled to Egypt, found exile there, sanctuary there in his exile. He is, after Solomon dies, he's coming back now.
He's not going to feel safe in Jerusalem. That's Solomon's clan. And he knew Solomon had a hit out on him because of the prophet Ahijah prophesying that he was going to take ten nations under his wing. And the leaders, of course, are in touch with Jeroboam. They're arranging the coronation and they say, well, how about Shechem?
You know, we did, you know, too much in Jerusalem, let's do it here, something like that. And if I were Jeroboam, I know that there would be people from Judah that would want me dead rather than fulfill that prophecy. So I wouldn't want to head to Jeroboam either, and this would be some of what was going on in the, well, how are we going to crown the king? All the tribes had a say so. I think Rehoboam would rather not have gone to Shechem, but he really didn't have much choice. When you've got that much momentum on the side of the tribes, you've got to give a little, take a little, and listening to his counselors likely at that point.
But I also think it annoyed him. And this is going to play into the dialogue between the ten tribes of the north and Rehoboam. He's going to want to kind of stick it to these guys, because he seems to be very quick to not accept any peaceful terms with them concerning their requests. Well, Egypt, well, back to Jeroboam just briefly, he made a lot of friends when he worked in Jerusalem on the leader of the negotiation and also the center of arrangement for its venue there in Shechem. Now, back to Egypt, Egypt being a cosmopolitan city, people from all over the world, we read often in this time in history of the Jews how many people were finding refuge in Egypt. And now he's going to head back home, just like the Edomite in the last chapter when he found out that Solomon was dead.
He left Egypt also to engage in unfinished business. So the term here, the term all Israel refers of course to the tribal leaders, the VIPs and the wannabes. And all the support staff, these are the ones heading to Shechem.
It's not, you know, the farmers are still doing their thing, the pottery, the makers are doing their thing. So it's not like every single person's heading up to Shechem. Well, verse four, your father made our yoke heavy, now therefore lighten the burdensome service of your father and his heavy yoke, which he put on us and we will serve you. So he said to them, verse five, depart for three days and come back to me and the people departed. So they're in Shechem, Jeroboam is here speaking, it is a fair request, Solomon heavily taxed the people to fund all of his building projects. It wasn't only the temple, but there were other things he was building all over the place, that palace, the harem, I mean, just all of that and forced labor too. That didn't go over well with the Jews, that they weren't enslaved but they were forced to work. Anyway, this is the last wise decision we read coming from Rehoboam, give me three days.
That's the best he can do and it is just not going to be enough. Verse six, then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived and he said, how do you advise me to answer these people? So he's playing the role of a king, he watched his dad do it enough and so he says to the counselors that advised Solomon, what do you think? Proverbs 11, 14. Incidentally, as we go through this and we read some proverbs, we realize that the book of proverbs is written in the Martian language and no one had yet translated it so they didn't know these proverbs. This is what happens if you do not avail yourself of the resources. Proverbs 11, 14, where there is no counsel, the people fail but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Yeah, if you think you don't need any other opinions, you got it. I mean, every now and then that is the case but overall, we benefit greatly from those around us.
It's a brain trust. You have these, there's so many people, so many people are unassuming. You think that, you know, they're not really, have nothing to offer and then you engage them and you find out there's a wealth of wisdom or knowledge and other things so be careful. Some have entertained angels unaware. Anyway, verse 7, and they spoke to him saying, if you will be a servant to these people today and serve them, these are the counselors telling Solomon how he should answer them, Solomon's counselors telling now, now they're Rehoboam's counselors, verse 7, I'm still in there, and answer them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.
You have a golden opportunity here, Rehoboam. A soft answer, verse 15, 1, turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. Yeah, it doesn't take much to throw out a nasty little word that messes up everything, you can't take it back and some folks will never forgive you for it. Others, some of the others, they'll forgive you but they'll always remember and then some, they just know how to handle it and they, you know, let's get past this, we all make mistakes and let's move on. The nobler ones in that area, and it's hard sometimes when your feelings have been really, you know, you've been punched in the gut and chopped in the throat by some harsh words, it's hard to get past it until you begin to go to the Lord with it, that's what I have found. Anyway, verse 8, but he rejected the advice which the elders had given him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him who stood before him.
Why? Why did he reject that sound advice? Even an unbeliever would have done better than what he's going to do, even an unbeliever would have said, you know, that's a good idea, it's not going to, what's it going to cost us to yield a little bit? We're not going to lose anything, let's do with that. You get more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. It is a good proverb, it's good, but I'm also, and I hope I would imagine others are too, what qualified these young high school buddies of Solomon to even be in the room, let alone give advice on kingdom affairs?
Nothing. So now, now the lessons are beginning to open up for us as the youth. When you ask one of your friends something about advice, ask yourself what qualifies them? Well, they might be good on your side and have good advice, but not enough. Is that advice sound? How would you know? Who do you appeal to?
Get a second opinion. Being in close proximity to the king does not somehow qualify you, you could be in close proximity to somebody and catch a disease. Qualifications though, qualifications are an obstacle to the arrogant. Arrogant people think they're above qualifications, they just know it.
It's them after all. I can't, who can explain an arrogant, I don't think I've ever been arrogant, I'm sure I've been charged with it, but I don't recall ever thinking that I was just qualified. I mean what, your appendix is bothering you? I'll take care of that. I mean how hard can it be?
You don't really need it. Of course, that's an exaggeration, but I learned to stay alive by not pretending to do, be able to do what I couldn't do. In my background, if you pretended to do what you couldn't, you were dead. Verse 9, and he said to them, what advice do you give, how should we answer this people who have spoken to me saying, lighten the yoke which your father put on us? Well, what they should have advised them and said, look, Rehoboam, we go way back, we've been buddies for what, 35, 40 years, why don't you listen to the elders? Look at the kingdom.
They had a big say so and Jerusalem is the center of the world right now. Why don't we listen to them? No, that's not what they say. They're obligated to resist the elders. Again, Proverbs 1, 5. Now I've translated this from the Martian into English. A wise man will hear and increase learning and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.
Yeah, unless your name is Rehoboam and there have been many Rehoboams ever since. A. W. Tozier talks about, he went to hear a sermon and he was talking about, well, in fact, you just get one nugget from a sermon, you know, that's a lot, I'll take that. And he says, I don't remember the preacher's name, I wish I remembered, I'd give him credit for this saying, but Tozier writes, this is what he said to God, he says, listen to no man who fails to listen to God.
Well, that registered with Tozier. We know this, I mean, even the Proverbs, go from the presence of a foolish man when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. But still to hear it from another is, it just strikes a chord and it did with Tozier, so much so he, it ends up in his book, The Root of the Righteous. And then he goes on to say, now this is really good, I couldn't say it this good, but I could say it, but then I'd be charged with being, well, that's just you because you'll be all like anything.
And I really don't like that. I like the old Puritan Richard Baxter, he said, everything is wrong till God sets it right. And I believe that, I mean, when you tell me, hey, there's a new thing out in the church, well, we're going to take that to the Bible and see if God says it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I'm not jumping on that just because it's on Christian radio.
Well, here's the word from Tozier. In any group of ten persons, at least nine are sure to believe that they are qualified to offer advice to others. And in no other field of human interest are people as ready to offer advice as in the field of religion and morals. Yet, it is precisely in this field that the average person is least qualified to speak wisely and is capable of the most harm when he does speak.
Leave it to Tozier to insult guilty people. For this reason, we should select our counselors carefully. And selection inevitably carries with it the idea of rejection. So if you say, you know, I'm going to listen to you, that means you're going to also have to say you're not going to listen to somebody else who has a different opinion. So be ready for that. And then he finishes, he buttons this.
Actually, the section I have in my notes on my computer, it's almost a whole section that I've had to shrink it down because it's just so rich. Anyway, he says, true moral wisdom must always be an echo of God's voice. You just, you know, this is why, you know, my pastor, I don't know that he was the only one. He wasn't actually. Tozier was known as a modern day prophet. Not that he was opening up new information. We don't need new revelations from God right now.
We need fresh experiences in the existing revelations. Well, Tozier just had this ability to apply logic that was otherwise missed by a large majority of people. And here we have these counselors that think they're qualified to offer advice to others without any qualification. Rehoboam listened to men who had not listened to God. And of course, subsequent events prove that.
The whole future of Israel was adversely affected because of these headache-giving people. Again, Proverbs 14.7, go from the presence of a foolish man when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. You come across somebody and say, this guy, what is he talking about? That's prosperity teaching. Or that's Jehovah Witness jumbo, mumbo. You know what?
I'm not even going to say around this. I'm going to go from the presence. Come out, come out, come out from them, Paul said.
Because Paul was so concerned about Christians who just, I fear that Satan is going to seduce you as he did with Eve. Well, it is especially important that young people learn whose counsel to trust. And if you have decent parents, most people that attend here, if not all, I think, among the youth, do. But anyway, as youth, you've not been in the world long enough to get experience. There's no shame in that. Experience comes from time.
You know, flying hours. It's just no shortcut to experience. Although some can pick up things faster than others, granted, but experience means you've been around a bit to take a couple of hits and come up with a response, a mental response. So it's okay to look to others for advice, especially in the formative years. Independence from decent parents and decent elders, now this is important, I think, is not a virtue. It's not a virtue to be independent of decent people. It is a liability to be independent from them. Interdependence, that's the virtue. That's the whole meaning of the church, the body of Christ. Paul says, listen, the eye and the hand have different functions, but we need them. You know, the more private parts, you know, they're valuable.
All they need to do is go wrong to remind you how valuable they are. Let's be careful about the difference between dependence and interdependence. And not saying you need to be dependent. Interdependence. Okay, well, it is a virtue.
Interdependence is a virtue in this neck of the woods, in this life. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross-Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.
We trust that what you've heard today in the book of 1 Kings has had a lasting imprint on your life. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series or share it with someone you know, please visit Cross-Reference Radio dot com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit Cross-Reference Radio dot com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's Cross-Reference Radio dot com. Our time with you today is about up, but we hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the Word of God. Join us again as Pastor Rick covers more in the book of 1 Kings on Cross-Reference Radio.
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