Rehoboam was no Solomon! His wisdom was totally lacking and it’s clearly seen in this verse where he rejects the advice of the older men.  When the nation came to him for some relief from the exorbitant taxes Solomon had imposed upon them, Solomon’s older advices recommended that he listen to the people. But verse 13 tells us, “the king answered them harshly; and forsaking the counsel of the old men.” Instead he listens to his young friends who call him to be stronger than his father and exact even more taxes from them.  Ogilvie comments on this: One cannot put an old head on young shoulders, but one can expect that advice from experienced leaders will be courteously listened to and seriously considered. Rehoboam does not bother. A generation gap and peer pressure—and perhaps an inflated sense of his own importance—combine to do their worst.” Rehoboam  ends up splitting the nation!  Unlike his father, Rehoboam failed to inquire of God for direction.

In contrast, consider William. At 16, he left home to seek his fortune. His earthly possessions were tied in a bundle carried in his hand. One day he met an elderly canal-boat captain who befriended him. He listened to William and learned that his only skill was making candles and soap. The old captain knelt and prayed for the boy’s future and afterward gave him some advice. He said, “William, someone will be the leading soap-maker in New York. It could be you. Be a good man, give your heart to Christ, pay the Lord all that belongs to Him, make an honest soap, and I’m certain you’ll be a prosperous and rich man.?”

The 16-year-old who listened to godly counsel was William Colgate, who not only prospered beyond his wildest dreams but was able to give millions of dollars to the Lord’s cause.

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.” 1 Peter 3:8(NLT)