June 23. I Kings 12 – 14.
We all do it and we all need it – give and take advice. Today’s devotional reading shows the power of advice, whether it is power to establish or power to destroy. Advice is powerful and if not sought correctly or from the correct source it can lead to damaging consequences and costly decisions or even death.
There are some obvious enemies to good advice – flawed logic, limited information, and pride. Any one of those or all three can produce advice that will lead to a tragedy.
In 1 Kings 12-14, there are many examples of advice being thrown out and advice being sought, and it never turns out well in these chapters. How do you avoid tragic results in your life from the advice you receive?
The first thing to notice in this story is that seeking good advice does not come from simply listening to someone who says what you want to hear.
12:6 Rehoboam talked it over with the old men who had counseled his father Solomon.
“What do you think I should do?” he asked them.
12:8 But Rehoboam refused the old men’s counsel and called in the young men with whom he had grown up.
12:9 “What do you think I should do?” he asked them.
The Scriptures are clear that there is safety in a multitude of counselors, and to seek counsel is wise, but how do you know you are getting good counsel. Even the prophet of God in this story received direction from an old man that claimed to have gotten a word from God, but that turned out to be a lie and the prophet of God was killed. His sudden death was because he listened to wrong counsel, even though it sounded good, it was wrong instruction.
13:18 But the old man said, “I am a prophet too, just as you are; and an angel gave me a message from the Lord. I am to take you home with me and give you food and water.” But the old man was lying to him.
So how do you avoid bad advice and counsel? Always return to the source of truth. Always take the advice and counsel that you are given and hold it up to an absolute standard of truth, something that does not change with time, culture, new regimes, fads, politics or traditions. There are only two things in this universe that are immutable – the character of God and the truths of His Word.
God’s counsel, His Word, His advice is never based on flawed logic, limited information or pride. Therefore, it will always be good. It will always be right. Because He is always good and He is always right.
It is wise to get counsel and receive a word, but take the next wise step and compare it to God’s counsel and His Word.
Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (KJV)
Psalm 119:42 Your testimonies (God’s Word) are my delight; they are my counselors (trusted advisors) (ESV)