Pampered in Youth, Ruined in Prime
2 Chronicles 10:1-19
And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king.…

Many a bright scriptural character is set before us for our example; this man is set before us for our warning. There were two things that contributed to make his life a failure.

I. HE WAS BROUGHT UP IN THE LAP OF LUXURY. His father lived in a style of magnificence that has never been equalled. In the midst of this was Rehoboam's youth and boyhood spent. Nothing could have been morally worse for him than that. I ask the head of some large academy, "What is the chief cause of the ruin of many lads belonging to respectable families?" and he whispers, "Too much money," The president of one of the largest educational institutions in America stated that he believed the surest protection to young men against the perils of opening life was poverty. The being free from the necessity of working for a living has been the worst thing in the lot of many a young man. I have personally known youths who were unfortunate enough to start life with a patrimony of £200 a year, and they never came to anything. In the life of Mr. Nasmyth he says: "I often observe in shop windows every detail of model ships and model steam-engines, supplied ready-made for those who are said to be of a mechanical turn. Thus the vital uses of resourcefulness are done away with and the sham exhibition of mechanical genius is paraded before you by the young impostors, the result, for the most part, of too free a supply of pocket-money. I have known too many instances of parents being led, by such false evidence of constructive skill, to apprentice their sons to some engineering firm and after paying vast sums, finding out that the pretender comes out of the engineering shop with no other practical accomplishment than that of glove-wearing and cigar-smoking." The connection between Rehoboam and kid gloves may not at first be apparent, and yet there is a good deal in it, for had he been brought up less luxuriously, had he known something in his early days of real hard work, he might have turned out a more sensible and successful man.

II. HIS REFUSAL OF THE ADVICE OF MEN WHO WERE OLDER AND WISER THAN HIMSELF. Evil companionship proved his destruction. Well might he have said, "Save me from my friends." Their advice may have been meant for the best, yet like the bear which from friendly motives, tried his paw to remove a fly from his master's face, they did more harm than good. Nothing tells upon our life more distinctly than our early choice of companions. We take the colour of the society we keep, as the frogs of Ceylon do that of the leaf on which they sit. Be slow to form your friendships. Have nothing to do with any one — no matter how smart and plausible he be — who jests at sacred things. Be certain you will get no good from one who wants to shake you out of what he calls your old-fashioned principles. Never make a friend of one who avows himself an unbeliever. The fear of God is the root of all true nobleness of character, said a French monarch, when once asked to give his consent to a dishonourable treaty. "The blood of Charlemagne is in my veins; and who dares to propose this thing to me?" Some of you young men have a pedigree still more worthy to glory in. We want no Rehoboams amongst us. We want the sons to be better than their fathers.

(J. T. Davidson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king.

WEB: Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.

Moderation in Princes
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