Not everyone in a leadership position is built to be a leader. Some are born ready while others take time to learn. Some leaders are out in front while others are silent leaders. Our response to being given a position of power, may tell how ready we are to lead. One may be likely to take this power for granted when they are not fully prepared for it. Taking things for granted can have damaging effects on the kingdom.
“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
1 Corinthians 3:3
Rehoboam was one of the sons of King Solomon and inherited his father's part of the kingdom. Solomon's leadership style was once admirable but tailed off a great deal toward the end of his reign. Things went south quick...literally. Surely the son must have learned from his father.
What was Rehoboam's leadership style?
1. Doing things his own way
In his first go at his inheritance, Rehoboam chose to reject sound wisdom. His father went to God for leadership advice while Rehoboam went with his peers.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”
Receiving a kingdom is a great deal of pressure. Many may not have known the best way to handle such a burden at that time.
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”
Our way is often a new way of doing things. This new way may not always be what's best for business. I might liken the "old" way to the scriptures in its entirety and the new way to our modern church practices. We are all sons and daughters of the God of all wisdom. When we reject the wisdom of God, we reject God. Our rejection of God may result in God's rejection of us.
“For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.”
Food for thought: What are some of the new ways we do things or new doctrines introduced into the body of Christ? Take some time to discern whether these are based on sound wisdom.
2. Emotions over truth
Rehoboam demonstrated more emotion than reason when it came to serving his people. As a matter of fact, he didn't believe in serving the people at all. Instead he chose to deal harshly with them. His lack of mercy left his kingdom citizens discouraged and rebellious.
“And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant”
Forsaking wisdom aside, where else may Rehoboam have gone wrong? One might say patience. Before bringing this major judgement to his people, he took three days to seek counsel and ponder. Are three days enough to make a life changing decision? Maybe for some but not in this case.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”
Rehoboam's impulsive nature was on display once more as he thought to wage war on Jeroboam's part of the kingdom. His desire this time would be stopped by God. The kingdom may have been divided but it would not be utterly destroyed.
There was a fire in Rehoboam that either needed to be put out or redirected. By God's grace, it turned out to be the latter. Rehoboam's decision to stop the attack and obey the command of God taught him mercy and faith.
“... the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith...”
- Matthew 23:23
Judgement, mercy and faith are some of the things that matter most to God. Three different words that appear to share no similarities. That is until you look at them from a higher perspective. All judgement belongs to God as he always renders just judgement. Having mercy entails rendering the sort of judgement that goes above common human compassion. In other words just judgement. Having faith involves trusting in God to do what's just. Once again just judgement.
“Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.”
“A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.”
Rehoboam was once a terrible leader. He could have easily been taken out by the rebellion of his kingdom or by the warfare of a north vs south showdown. By the grace of God, he survived. His turbulent reign only took a turn for the better when he chose to follow God. Sometimes, God may have to lead us out from the crowd to prevent us from following it. Be a leader. Follow God. Live in grace, walk in peace and be blessed.