Jeroboam thought to himself, "The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David." 1 Kings 12:26
Self-counsel. It will get you into trouble every time. Left to ourselves, we can rationalize just about anything ... even sin. Here are some examples of self-counsel that did not end well.
Running from Saul and exhausted, David thought to himself, "One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines" (1 Samuel 27:1). Don't do it, David! Joining forces with the enemy is not a good idea. To make a long story short, this whole episode ended with David's men almost stoning him to death.
Haman, whose plan was to eliminate the Jews, thought he was going to receive high honor from the king. He thought to himself, "Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?" But in the end he was "honored" with his own hanging. (See Esther 6.)
Jesus told a parable about a rich fool who had more crops than barns. The man thought to himself, "What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops." He solved the problem by building bigger barns, but God had other plans for the man. "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?" (See Luke 12.)
In today's passage, Jeroboam, who was vying to be king in the turmoil following Solomon's death, convinced himself that another person would receive the crown. To keep this from happening, he built golden calves for the people to worship instead of the living God. Not a good idea.
Self-counsel. It will get you in trouble every time.
Father, may we be wise enough to learn from the mistakes of others without making the mistakes of others our own. And may we be wise enough to learn from our past mistakes and not repeat them. In Jesus' name. Amen.