My Kingdom For . . .

2 Chronicles 10: 7

And they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to the, then they will be your servants forever.”

King Solomon has died and his son Rehoboam has succeeded him to the throne. He consulted with the elders regarding how to deal with the people. Today’s verse is the advice they gave. Unfortunately, he did not have his father’s wisdom and did not receive the elders counsel. Instead he turned to the young men, his friends and contemporaries, and asked their advice. The young men gave opposite advice to which Rehoboam acceded. Thus begins the fall of the lineage of David. In one generation the throne will be torn from David’s family although God’s intent was that an heir of David would sit on the throne of Israel forever. This great fall begins right here, with a young man not listening to the wisdom and advice of the elders.

Today’s passage is one of the best instructions on interpersonal relationships ever. Look at it closely. If we will be kind to people, endeavor to be pleasing to them and speak good words then they will turn to us favorably and be dedicated to us forever. You don’t need a weekend course on interpersonal relationships (though that is good). If we will dissect this one statement we will hold the keys to good relationships. And consider this, these elders, the ones that Rehoboam ignored, are the men that served with King Solomon, the wisest man ever. They learned under an administration that knew incredible success and wealth. They learned what worked and what didn’t. They had walked in the reign of wisdom and yet the new guy eschewed their advice. We, though, have our own choice of whose advice we will follow. Will we listen to these astute elders?

And gentlemen, I am going to help you out today. I have heard men say that they will never understand women. First of all, if that is you, change your confession. Secondly, it is easy, with the accent on easy. Ask the women in your life about today’s passage or better still run an experiment. Treat them with kindness, speak nice words to them and please them. Believe me; they will do everything for you. Women are natural servants in the model of Christ. They want to do for folks. But they have to withdraw within their shells when they feel threatened. Harsh words and criticism are the quickest ways to make them retreat. But show women kindness and compassion and they will treat you like a king.  

In today’s story Rehoboam chose to use force and power to make the people treat him like a king. The people reacted by withdrawing from him. They all went home to their own tents, to their own tribes and his kingdom immediately shrunk. That is the way people always react to harsh treatment. Had he listened to the elders he could have easily maintained the vast kingdom that his father and grandfather had carved out. Instead, he began the destruction of the kingdom. It was all so easy. All he had to do was to choose his words more carefully and be kind to folks. He would have reigned in glory.

We can learn a valuable lesson from Rehoboam’s foolishness. Apply kindness and win the world.