Where Have All the Elder’s Gone?

“But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him (2 Chron 10:8).

Map showing the Kingdoms of Israel (blue) and ...
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Rehoboam was the son of Solomon. It appears that Solomon had become heavy-handed in his employment practices by placing an overbearing burden on the workers. This was causing a problem with the northern tribes. Solomon’s heavy-handed dealings had caused the people to seek the government for regress to their grievous. Rehoboam was selected by the people to rule after Solomon died.  The people were seeking relief from the burdensome “taxation on their labor” placed on them by Rehoboam’s father. They were threatening a revolt if their demands were not heard. This was the equal to a threat of a labor strike.

When Rehoboam was selected as the new king, he too was facing opposition to his practices. He had inherited not only Solomon’s throne but also all that Solomon had set in place. Solomon’s rules and edicts were still being enforced, the heavy taxation on Israeli labor was still being exacted. This is why the people came to Rehoboam hoping that he would reverse some, if not all, of his father’s policies to east the burden on the working class.

You could say the people assembled a “TEA party” to come before the new administration to ask for relief. Their request was straight forward and reasonable.

“Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.” Rehoboam answered, “Come back to me in three days.” So the people went away (2 Chron 10:4-5).

So, Rehoboam asked for advice from the older men who had been a part of Solomon’s reign and then he asked for advice from his younger contemporaries. The elders advised Rehoboam to not be too concerned. They told him to listen to the people, be kind and gentle towards them and they would be loyal workers the rest of their days. He chose not to take this advice. Instead to turned to his contemporaries, those who shared his same ideology and sought their advice. The younger advisors told him to tighten the reigns more, increase their burdens, and make their jobs even harder.  This turned out to be bad advice. As a result, the northern tribes rebelled, and the kingdom was permanently divided.

Does this sound familiar? It should. God spoke to Moses about this when He said:

“The Lord, the Lord, a compassionate and merciful God, patient, always faithful and ready to forgive. He continues to show his love to thousands of generations, forgiving wrongdoing, disobedience, and sin. He never lets the guilty go unpunished, punishing children and grandchildren for their parents’ sins to the third and fourth generation.”Exodus 34:6-7 (GW)

Rehoboam had inherited the failings of Solomon and was given an opportunity to do right and make amends but instead he chose to continue down the path set forth by his father. He continued in the sins of his father.

We, as a nation, have inherited the sins from our father’s, who inherited them from their fathers down to this generation.  The seeds of rebellion planted by our great-grandparents have produced a crop of rebellion against God and a harvest of unrest throughout the land. As a nation we voted in 2010 and in a loud voice declared we wanted an end to the burdensome taxes placed upon us by the government. Our voices, like those who petitioned Rehoboam, have been dismissed and those who brought their petition are treated with disdain and even threatened with worse treatment if they continue to voice their opposition. The TEA Party members are ridiculed and belittled by many in government and instead of heeding the advice of many of these elders in our society, the government seems to think they know best and doubled down on the burdens they are placing on the people.

The strong armed policies of Rehoboam led the Northern tribes separating from the South. We could say Rehoboam caused a CIVIL war to divide the country.

The king refused to listen to the people because the Lord was directing these events to carry out the promise he had made to Jeroboam (Nebat‘s son) through Ahijah from Shiloh. 16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king, “What share do we have in David’s kingdom? We won’t receive an inheritance from Jesse’s son. Everyone to his own tent, Israel! Now look after your own house, David!” So all Israel went home to their own tents.

Basically they went Galt. They took their labor, their wealth, their means and their possessions and went to their own homes. They took care of their own business while Rehoboam was left to rule with an iron fist those who lived in the city. There were more who opposed Rehoboam then he had left to rule. Ten of the twelve tribes of Israel chose to rebel against Rehoboam’s leadership leaving him only two tribes to rule.

17 But Rehoboam ruled the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah. 2 Chronicles 10:15-17

A great many parallels can be drawn from this clash with the tyrannical rule of Rehoboam and the Obama administration. Obama has surrounded himself with those who grew up under the same teachings and share the same ideology. Although they have been approached by those who oppose the direction they are leading this country, they refuse to listen. Obama even refuses to heed the advice of history. He refuses to learn the lessons of other failed societies like Greece and Italy, instead he continues to enforce his policies with a heavy hand. Any who oppose his rule are demonized and marginalized. They are threatened with even harsher treatment.

There is an election coming up in 2012 where once again the people will be able to speak their minds and voice their opinions. They will once again have an opportunity to choose which direction they want to see the country go. Will they choose to change leadership or continue down the path of destruction set in motion by our great-grandfathers? Will we continue to live under the burdensome policies of past administrations or will we seek to throw out these failed policies of the past? Will we once again return to the wisdom of God and seek righteous regulations and just laws? Will we repent of the sins of our great grandfathers and turn back toward biblical wisdom and guidance? Will we demand the heavy yokes of burdensome taxation be removed from our backs or are we going to be beaten into submission by a heavy-handed government?

The future is ours to choose. Chose you today whom you would rather serve? The slave masters currently ruling  and building monuments to themselves, or rather serve THE LORD who deals justly and rightly?

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord and seek others who are willing to do the same.

This is just a view from the nest. What say you?

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