When Rehoboam became king his destiny was set. God had said that because of Solomon the Kingdom of Israel would be divided. However, it was the son of the wisest man the world has ever seen who made the fateful wrong decision that divided the nation. He wanted personal power, he wanted to prove himself, he wanted to outperform his father. He sounds like many young men and women today who are trying to establish themselves and prove themselves. To whom should they turn? Rehoboam must have had an absent father. His father was trying to run a country and keep 700 wives happy. Rehoboam was not raised in the kind of family unit that God wanted. Solomon’s words may have steered his son well, but it seems that Rehoboam was more interested in impressing his peers than listening to those who had gone before him. In recent history young people have been told not to trust anyone over thirty. In so doing they eliminate drawing from the wisdom of experience. Of course Grandma and Granddad may not know how to operate an iPad, but maybe they have managed to stay in a successful marriage or managed to stay out of debt. Obtaining a mentor is a wise move. Those who are older tend to have a more reasoned faith and belief in God is more prevalent among older generations. It is not necessarily a sign that we have become smarter, in many cases we have just succumbed to the loudest voices in our culture that are given more air time.
There are some younger people who listen to me because of my status as a professor, but in general what I say will wash away. What lasts is the conversations that we have with those who are close to us. If we surround ourselves with people who are walking away from God, we will wake up one day without our faith. If we speak with those who have grey hair but sharp minds, honed by their years.
It is easy to drift with our peers into the folly of youth. It is hard to choose to spend time learning from the older people in our churches. However, if we take the time we may find they have something to offer.