The Youthful King

Scene: Jeremiah and Ezekiel sitting in their favorite park, enjoying a sunny afternoon. Nearby, a group of teenagers play frisbee and occasionally glance over at the two older men, curious about their animated conversation.

The park was alive with the sounds of laughter and chatter, the perfect setting for one of Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s deep discussions. Sitting on a weathered bench, the two old friends watched as a group of teenagers played frisbee nearby.

Ezekiel pointed with his cane. “Look at those young folks, full of energy and independence. Reminds me of our topic for today, Jeremiah.”

Jeremiah chuckled. “Ah, yes. The joys and pitfalls of teenage independence. Did you ever read about Rehoboam, Solomon’s son? His story is a classic example.”

Ezekiel leaned forward, interested. “Oh, I remember him. The young king who made a mess of things. Tell me more.”

Jeremiah cleared his throat, adopting a storytelling tone. “Well, when Rehoboam became king, the people approached him, asking for relief from the heavy taxes imposed by his father, Solomon. Sensible request, wouldn’t you say?”

Ezekiel nodded. “Indeed. Solomon was wise, but he wasn’t light on the tax burden.”

Jeremiah continued, “Rehoboam sought advice from the elders who had served his father. They suggested he ease the people’s burden, to win their loyalty. But then, Rehoboam turned to his peers, the young men he’d grown up with.”

Ezekiel raised an eyebrow. “Ah, I see where this is going.”

Jeremiah smiled. “Exactly. The young men advised Rehoboam to assert his authority, to show the people who was boss. Rehoboam liked this advice better. He told the people, ‘If you think my father’s taxes were heavy, you haven’t seen anything yet!'”

Ezekiel laughed. “And that, my friend, was the beginning of the end for his united kingdom.”

Jeremiah nodded solemnly. “Indeed. Ten of the twelve tribes rebelled and formed their own kingdom. All because Rehoboam chose to be different from his father’s generation, rather than considering what was right or wise.”

Ezekiel shook his head. “It’s a tale as old as time, Jeremiah. Teenagers wanting to assert their independence, often by doing the exact opposite of what their parents would do.”

Jeremiah glanced over at the teenagers playing frisbee. “Do you think they realize how many decisions they make just to be different from their parents? Not because it’s right or wrong, but just because it’s different.”

Ezekiel laughed. “Probably not. They’re too busy trying to be independent. But that’s part of growing up, isn’t it? Making mistakes and learning from them.”

Jeremiah smiled. “True. But it’s also why it’s important to teach them the value of wisdom from older generations. Proverbs 22:6 says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.'”

Ezekiel nodded. “Yes, and Ephesians 6:4 reminds fathers not to provoke their children to wrath, but to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

Jeremiah leaned back, looking thoughtful. “It’s a balance, isn’t it? Teaching them to make their own decisions, but also helping them understand the consequences of those decisions.”

Ezekiel grinned. “And maybe a bit of humility too. Admitting that sometimes, the old folks do know best.”

Jeremiah chuckled. “If only Rehoboam had understood that. Instead, he split a kingdom.”

Ezekiel sighed. “It’s a lesson for all ages, really. Sometimes the wisdom of the past is the best guide for the future.”

Jeremiah watched the teenagers for a moment. “Do you think they’d listen if we told them this story?”

Ezekiel laughed. “Probably not. But one day, when they’re older, they might remember two old men in the park talking about a young king who made a dumb choice. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll make a wiser decision because of it.”

Jeremiah smiled. “I hope so, my friend. I hope so.”