A Letter to a Young Ruler

And (the old men) spoke to him, saying:

“If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”

I Kings 12:7

RehoboamDear Rehoboam,

Congratulations on obtaining the kingdom. May your reign be in the grace of David and in the wisdom of your father.

You have requested that we advise you on how to approach your new duties. And we are glad, for there are some that would have you believe that your new role entitles you to instant respect and admiration. Not so, young man. There are others that will encourage you to rule with an iron fist. This is sheer folly. Although we are well advanced in years we offer you timeless truth.

Great lovers make great leaders. If you will only serve them and speak good words to them, you will secure yourself a long and prosperous reign. Give them a reason and they will march to their death. Show them that the king will live for them and not for himself. And once that is firmly established, an army of men will encamp around you and the daughters of Israel will sing your praise.

But, oh Rehoboam… we fear. For if you choose to be served and place greater value upon your pursuits than upon your people, you will embitter a nation against you. You may try to lead, but if you fail to love all your efforts will be for naught. Remember… great leadership requires great love.

May you choose wisely,

The old men of Solomon’s Court

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