Israel’s early history goes something like this: King David firmly established Israel’s boundaries, King Solomon built on David’s success, then King Rehoboam split the country in half.
As Rehoboam became king the people asked him to reconsider the working conditions that existed under his father Solomon. Rehoboam consulted with his father’s counselors, who advised him to listen to the people. Then he consulted with his friends, who told him to make the working conditions even harsher. Unfortunately, Rehoboam listened to his friends’ advice.
Here’s what happened:
When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: “What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, Israel! Look after your own house, David!” So all the Israelites went home.
The people didn’t rebel because they didn’t get the answer they wanted; they rebelled because their leader didn’t listen to them. This word for listen means:
- pay attention
- carefully consider
The people felt rejected because Rehoboam didn’t listen. In essence, they said,
“We don’t have your ear, so you won’t get our heart!”
A leader doesn’t have to give in, nor does he have to give the people everything they ask for. But he does have to listen—truly listen. He has to put himself in their place and feel what they feel.
People will never give a leader their buy-in or support if they don’t feel they have his ear.
No ear of the leader = No heart of the people
Hey, leaders, are you listening?