Recently, at a local park I over heard a mother question her child and his friends if they were playing nice? Those words captured my thoughts back to a childhood memory of my own. Where my father had to sit my brother and I down after supper and had one of “Those” talks. My father had been concerned by what he had seen earlier that day when my older brother’s friends had been making fun of me in a derogative way with out any objection from my brother. My father with a tone of seriousness told us that there is never a time for family to side against one another. My father went on to say at all cost we should stick together and not side against each other. I know he was emphasizing the importance of a family bond. Many times we see this same scenario with the different age groups or even different generations. We forget we’re family and allow our differences to bring a collision of generations. It’s not a bad thing to think differently or have different strong or weak points. We must see the value of God’s gifts in each person. In 1 Kings 12, We see a tragic story where this type of limited thinking brought a great disastrous result. It was at the time of transition from the great king Solomon to his son Rehoboam now becoming King. It says in verse four that a representing group from the people came to the new young king asking, “Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” Israel had gone through an incredible generation of building and prosperity under the former king. The people didn’t want to rebel but wanted to enjoy life for a while. It was a reasonable request don’t you think? King Rehoboam consulted with the older advisors of the former regime. These men had been a crucial part of the success and would surely know what to do. Their advice and counsel in verse 7 saying, “If you will be a servant to these people today… and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever” was abruptly rejected! The king then went to his childhood friends and peers and asked them what they would advise. Now these where probably friends that the king had played army with and chased girls and even boasted on what they would do when they grew up? We read their shockingly different advice in 1 Kings 12:11, where they tell the king to say, “now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!'” It was an answer of arrogance and immaturity, yet the young king agreed with it. It was a collision of two generations that had long lasting results of epic proportions! The people were devastated and offended choosing to not follow the new king. This unwillingness to blend the thinking of two different generations caused a wall and great division. Verse 16 – 21 tells lets us know ten out of twelve tribes defected from king Rehoboam and chose their own likeminded king. In the next chapter we see this king leads this whole group astray from God. When the generations don’t “Play Nice” and value God’s gifting’s in each other it will lead people away from God!
Don’t Stomp off Mad just Play Nice!