The Value of Age and Wisdom
“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).
Age and wisdom do not always equate to one another, but they often do. 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. It was the equivalent to a threat of a labor strike. Jeroboam was like the head of the labor union. In fact, he had fled from Solomon because of the abuse he perceived was happening. When Rehoboam was selected as the new king, he too was facing opposition to his practices.
“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 lighten the people’s load and that if he did, they would be loyal workers the rest of their days. He chose not to take this advice. The younger advisors told him to tighten the reigns more. This turned out to be bad advice. As a result, the northern tribes rebelled, and the kingdom was permanently divided.
Today there is a tendency to discount input from older people. However, God has placed wisdom in older people that the young can learn a great deal from. Do not despise input from those who may be older than you. God has placed a level of wisdom in them that can help you avoid major mistakes. Make plans by wise council!