June 18

1 Kings 12:7-8 (NIV) 7They replied, "If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants." 8But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.

Solomon reigned for forty years, the same number of years as his father David. Because his heart turned to other gods, the LORD promised ten tribes to one of his overseers, Jeroboam. When Solomon's son, Rehoboam, was to be crowned king, the people asked him to please lighten the burden Solomon had placed on them. Solomon had heavily taxed the people and given them assignments in service to the kingdom. Rehoboam asked the people to give him three days to consider their request.

First he went to the elders that had advised his father. They had been a part of the success of his father and had a track record of giving good advice. They had years of experience and were probably very wise individuals. They advised Rehoboam to be a servant leader. They told him that if he would indeed lighten their load, they would keep their word and serve him faithfully all their life.

Rehoboam didn't like that advise. He wanted what his father had. Why should he tighten his belt and do with less? He sought out the advice of the young men he grew up with. They told him what he wanted to hear. He answered the people that he would be harsher than his father. The ten northern tribes drew away with Jeroboam as their leader, fulfilling the word of God.

Man always wants more. It is hard for the carnal nature to give up niceties of life but oh so easy to desire more. In Rehoboam's greed, he lost nearly all. Instead of a minor cutback he had to make a major one.

Consider: When seeking advise we have a tendency to look to those who will tell us what we want to hear, and we reject the advice of those who tell us what we would rather not hear. Though age does not always bring wisdom, ask advice of those who have the life that shows they know their stuff. Ask people who demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit. Even if you don't like their answers, realize they are best for you. Refusing sound advice may cause you to end up with even less than you fear losing.

June 18

John 9:31-33 (NIV) 31We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. 32Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."

John chapter 8 ended with Jesus declaring His eternal existence and the Jews trying to stone Him. In chapter 9 we find that He has not fled but remained hidden in the crowds. He healed the eyes of a man who had been born blind. The people brought the healed man to the religious leaders to show them the amazing thing that had been done. Because Jesus made mud to put on the man's eyes on the Sabbath day, the leaders were convinced He was not a godly man. Then they questioned whether or not the man was actually born blind.

Their tradition taught that the miraculous authenticated the words and mission of the prophet, but their interpretation of the law was that a godly person would not do a healing work on the Sabbath. Instead of examining their convictions, they set out to prove it didn't really happen or that Jesus was evil. Sometimes we are so stuck in our misconceptions, that even when reality slaps us in the face, we can't stop and reconsider our convictions.

Instead of rejoicing with the man who could now miraculously see, the leaders continued to cross-examine him. Finally he gave them the answer that is the verse for this evening. "Why can't you decide if this man is of God or not? God doesn't answer the requests of sinners but of people who do His will. This miracle had never been seen before! If He wasn't of God how could He have done such a thing?" Instead of following the man's simple logic, the leaders insulted him and threw him out (may mean they would no longer allow Him access to the Temple). His words must have struck a very raw nerve.

This was one of the unique signs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. When the Holy Spirit brings conviction to our lives, we must take caution that we do not follow the Pharisees' pattern of justification, denial, and attack. The man who had been blind found Jesus and believed Him to be the Messiah. He received both physical and spiritual sight, while the leaders stayed in spiritual darkness.

Prayer: Lord, help us to humble ourselves and admit when we are wrong.