Counsel Good for a KingBro. David Chancellor
5/8/2005 11:00 AM
1 Kings 12:1-8
And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed. And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? And they spake unto him, saying, 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. But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:
This is the story of Rehoboam when he began to be a king. He ran into trouble at the start. The people wanted the burden of his father to be made lighter on them. The old men advised him to be a servant to the people, and yield to their request. He forsook their counsel and went to his peers.
Graduates, seek out the "old guys" and learn from them – on the job, or wherever. Look for the ones whose experience can be a benefit to you, and learn from them. Your peers don’t have any more experience than you do. The older, more experienced ones will give counsel you may not want to hear; listen and heed it anyway. The "hard way" is often easier than the "easy way" your peers offer.
Rehoboam was faced with the reality that as "king" he had to do something. The older men advised him to serve; that the people would follow gladly one who cared about them and wanted to help them; one who had their best interest at heart. Rehoboam rejected this counsel, but there was a king who came later who took this counsel. Jesus came and became a servant. He came and cared for others.
This is Mother’s day, and the reason that mothers are loved and respected is because of the service they provide. They give of themselves for their children and their husbands.
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Jesus realized his time had come to go back to the Father. He wanted to give his disciples a lesson on what he came to do. Jesus needed to wash their feet. If Jesus has not ministered to you, you are not ready to do for others. We need what Jesus came to provide before we can go out and do his work. Jesus lived his life as a servant, and he has given us the command to go and serve. We are called to serve.
And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
These had the idea that they would have a high place in court – they were looking for the best title. Being in the position of authority has it’s hard responsibilities as well as its good times. Jesus came to serve. He was trying to help these to get their focus on helping others and off of titles. Jesus lived out the counsel that the old men had given to Rehoboam. We, too, need to follow this counsel.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
"…by love serve one another…" This is our calling. This service should be the result of the love of God in our hearts. Service is the fruit of love in the heart. The love of God in us should cause us to desire to meet the needs of others. Service is not about title or position, it is seeing a need and doing something about it. To serve is to do what you can to meet the need of someone else.
There is a benefit to being in church beyond what is preached; we can help and encourage others by what we put into the service.
To succeed in the business world, prepare for a life of service. Businesses aren’t looking just to fill positions, but for people to fill a need. To be useful in God’s kingdom, be able to see the need and then do something to fix it. Just seeing the need isn’t enough; work to meet the need. Pray about the need you see and God can help you see how to meet the need.
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
Jesus didn’t speak to Peter and say, "Peter, if you love me, go rule my people as pope," but he told him, "go and serve." He sent Peter to take care of the little ones. He sent him to the insignificant and forgotten ones. If we love Christ, we need to serve, to look for the opportunity to do Christ’s work. Jesus is still serving – he who works through your hands and mine. The love for our fellowman should move us and stir us. Someone needs to serve and meet the needs of others. Jesus made us kings and priests so that we could serve. Ask God to help you see the needs and give you the heart to fill them.