Though king Rehoboam had a ‘right to rule’, he missed a critical opportunity to build trust and loyalty with the nation by serving them before demanding to be served. Leaders in the Kingdom of God must seek first to serve, not to be served.

1 Kings 12:6-7
“Then king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “how do you advise me to answer this people?” And they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.”
A king has rights. A king has authority and people to serve him. Whoever heard of a king that was a servant!?
Rehoboam was attempting to establish his throne after the death of his father, king Solomon. The people came and presented their complaints and issues, and made a request to Rehoboam that he not rule harshly. This could have been a prime opportunity for Rehoboam to build trust and win loyalty, but instead he decided that his kingly ‘right to rule’ was more important than the trust of those he led.
This short passage is a master class on marriage, parenting, ministry, and business leadership.
“Servant leadership” has become a common phrase and buzzword–yet every day we hear about marriages failing, leaders losing their way, and ministries blowing up because someone never learned the incredible power of servanthood. It runs counter to everything that my flesh, ego, and logic tell me…yet over and over throughout history, the greatest have been the most servant-hearted. It shouldn’t be a surprise–after all, this is exactly what Jesus told his followers in Mark 9:35.
This week, I need to work on my ‘serve’ so that God can accomplish his plans in and through me.
God, thank you for coming to earth as the ‘servant of all’. Teach me to serve the way that you do, instead of living life based on my ego, rights, and demands. Teach me to lead well…as a servant!
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