Taking counsel of men who know not God is sure to mean serious blunders, and a rough answer never fails to bring division. Good words cost nothing and purchase great things.
II Chronicles 10
1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king.
2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heard it, that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.
3 And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying,
4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee.
5 And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed.
6 ¶ And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye me to return answer to this people?
7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants for ever.
8 But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him.
9 And he said unto them, What advice give ye that we may return answer to this people, which have spoken to me, saying, Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us?
10 And the young men that were brought up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou answer the people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it somewhat lighter for us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.
11 For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come again to me on the third day.
13 And the king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men,
14 And answered them after the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
15 So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the LORD might perform his word, which he spake by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16 ¶ And when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? and we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel: and now, David, see to thine own house. So all Israel went to their tents.
17 But as for the children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
18 Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram that was over the tribute; and the children of Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. But king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.
19 And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
II Chronicles 10:1-5 – J. Vernon McGee
II Chronicles 10:6-19 – J. Vernon McGee
II Chronicles 10:15—For the cause was of God.
This revolt must have seemed to be the result of an unfortunate mistake on the part of the ill-advised young king. He and the young men that gathered around him thought that the best way of ruling people was by showing a strong hand, and adopting a policy of non-compliance; with their very natural requests. But as the result, the Ten Tribes, never very closely bound to David’s line, sprang away from it, leaving, as Ahijah had foretold, only two out of the twelve pieces of the rent garment. Here, however, a deeper explanation is given: “The cause was of God.” It seemed to be altogether a piece of human folly and passion; but now we are suddenly brought into the presence of God, and told that beneath the plottings and plannings of man He was carrying out His eternal purpose.
To detect this Divine purpose lying beneath the cross-currents of human affairs is the prerogative of the saints. In a recent book, the Duke of Argyll has argued from the purpose-iveness of nature. With as much certainty we may apply that word to history, politics, the course of current events. All is under law. God doeth according to His will among the armies of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Without contravening the action of man’s free choice He carries out His great designs and works His sovereign will. Let us trust in this Almighty Providence, which underlies all events and catastrophes, and pursues its beneficent objects undeterred by our sins. He makes the wrath of man to praise Him, and weaves the malignant work of Satan into His plans. —Our Daily Homily