Lifeline of Counsel Goes Unheeded

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Gathering

When did taking bad advice really burn you?

  1. That road trip where I ended up “lost”
  2. That meeting when the boss would not hear me out
  3. The how-to book which did not deliver as promised
  4. The peer group or “bad boys” I fell in with
  5. Other _______.

 

Backstory

The kingdom, united under David/Solomon, divided into 10 northern tribes (Israel) and one southern tribe (Judah). God raised up adversaries to punish King Solomon for the apostasy of worshipping the gods of his many foreign wives (1 Kings 11:1-25). At Solomon’s death, son Rehoboam took over, tentatively. Exiled rebel subordinate Jeroboam, together with the prophet Ahijah, served as kingmakers to make peace between clueless Rehoboam and the northern tribes, who had wilted under the heavy taxes (“yoke”) imposed under his father Solomon (11:26-40). To secure his kingdom, Rehoboam should have taken his elders’ advice but instead took his young friends’ advice—that is, to muscle his way to the top. But he suffered sins of the father, as God said would happen. God’s people, then and now, are to heed wisdom and avoid bad counsel, lest we be led astray, as were the kings in this story. 

 

God’s Story

Have one person read 1 Kings 12: 1-24.

 

Finding My Story in God’s Story

What was your “Rehoboam moment”— when you blew off your “elders” and that decision blew up in your face?

  1. I represented myself in court, against advice of counsel.
  2. When the coach said “zig,” and I went “zag.”
  3. I knew deep down the car was a “lemon,” but …
  4. I tried to be “BMOC” (Big Man on Campus) and lost friends instead.
  5. Other _______.

 

If you were Judah and saw every other tribe going with Jeroboam, you would:

  1. Stay with Rehoboam in Jerusalem, because he’s family.
  2. Defect to the new king in Shechem and keep the kingdom united.
  3. Leave the fold and go my own way, independent.
  4. Punt, as God will make the decision for me.
  5. Other _______.

 

This story could be subtitled “Sins of the Father.” Why doesn’t God let Rehoboam know what’s at stake, as he becomes king?

  1. Every man must face his own test of faith.
  2. God knows Rehoboam is not up to the task of ruling all Israel.
  3. God knows Rehoboam would not have listened, even to a prophet.
  4. God knows the tribes must split up, according to plan.
  5. Other _______.

 

What’s really behind Rehoboam taking the young mens’ advice?

  1. Dad is long gone and he’s gotta show he’s in charge.
  2. Showing mercy makes for a weak leader.
  3. He knew what he wanted to hear, and his buddies obliged.
  4. He figured the Israelites would just fall in line anyway.
  5. Other ______.

 

How do you think Jeroboam comes across as a leader?

 

What kind of decision-maker do you tend to be?

  1. I go with my gut and don’t give it a second thought.
  2. I process all data, then analyze again, then reconsider …
  3. As a consensus guy, I welcome input from all comers.
  4. I’d rather pass the buck and avoid the big decisions.
  5. Other _______.

 

When facing a major rift or separation in life, how do you see yourself?

  1. I do all I can to keep the status quo.
  2. I just get it over with and cut my losses.
  3. I let others lead and solve the problem.
  4. I keep the faith and hope for the best.
  5. Other ______. 

 

Our Story

Taking the life lesson from this story, what can you do to be the best “king” you can be?

  1. Listen intently to advice, without fear, and let your mind be changed.
  2. Offer your own advice freely and lovingly to whoever asks for it, even if it hurts.
  3. Hear your own “still, small voice” when discerning what to do and how to help.
  4. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (Serenity Prayer)
  5. Other _______.

 

How can the group support you in prayer? And who else might need your prayer in the week ahead?

 

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