Monday, June 23rd, 2014
Christian Pitfalls (Part 30)
The whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, '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'...
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?'
And they spoke to him, saying, 'If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.'
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. And he said to them, 'What advice do you give?...'
Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him... 'Thus you shall say to them: 'My little finger shall be thicker than my father's waist! And now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!' '
1 Kings 12:3-4,6-11 (NKJV)
Most people relate peer pressure to adolescence. True enough. At such a sensitive time, the choice of friends can have lasting effects--good or bad. However, peer pressure weighs upon every age, culture and generation. Without God's guidance, it can push us into a crowded pit.
'For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it' (Matthew 7:13). God's not a member of that pack. Instead, He says, 'My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent' (Proverbs 1:10).
Rehoboam was Solomon's eldest son. When his father died and Rehoboam became king, Israel was one nation--but many were grieved with the high taxes and forced labor Solomon had imposed upon them. They asked their new king for relief--in exchange for loyalty.
First King Rehoboam consulted Solomon's eldest advisors. They agreed this concession to the people would be a wise move. Next he asked his friends. Unfortunately, they took a different tone: one he would heed. Civil war erupted, and the nation split.
'He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed' (Proverbs 13:20).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: 'Do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good morals' (1 Corinthians 15:33). It did for Solomon--by way of his wives. It did for Rehoboam--by way of his friends. Learn from their mistakes. God has chosen you to be leaders of your pack--not followers. Because He is in you and you are in Him, you're walking in His direction.
'And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect' (Romans 12:2). The apostle Paul put it this way:
'If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ' (Galatians 1:10).
Your worldly peers will press you. Your godly peers will lift you. Know the difference.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Christian Pitfalls series.