There is a story in I Kings 12 about Rehoboam, son of Solomon, who was about to become King of Israel. He sought the wise counsel of the elders that had served his father Solomon and they responded with good, sound, godly counsel. But according to verse 8, “he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him.” Rehoboam didn’t like what he heard from the older, wiser counselors so he looked to his younger friends, his contemporaries, for counsel. The results were disastrous for him and the people he led. The fallout from that error in judgement led to a divided kingdom and war. Much pain and agony came to him and the people he led.
What’s the moral of the story? Get good and godly counsel in all you do! Surround yourself with people who will give you biblically rooted, gospel anchored and Christ centered counsel. Don’t trust your own heart exclusively. That’s what Rehoboam did, and it cost him everything. There are hints in the text that indicate that Rehoboam really had already made his mind up. He wanted to treat the people he led harshly so he leaned into the counsel of his contemporaries who thought like he did. He rejected the counsel of the older, wiser men in his life. He sought counsel that agreed with and confirmed his own thinking. That was a catastrophic fail that led to a domino effect of disaster.
We need to learn more and more to lean into the Lord for wisdom and discernment. We often times lean into our flesh instead of the Spirit and we pursue advisors and counselors who will tell us what we want to hear. Listen to God’s instructions about getting wise counsel in the following passages:
Job 12:13 – With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.
Psalm 1:1 – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Psalm 33:11 – The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
Psalm 73:24 – You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Psalm 81:12 – So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.
Psalm 119:24 – Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.
Proverbs 8:14 – I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.
Proverbs 11:14 – Where there is no guidance, a people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
Proverbs 12:15 – The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs 15:22 – Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 19:20 – Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Proverbs 27:9 – Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
Jeremiah 7:24 – But they did not obey or incline their ear but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts and went backward and not forward.
2 Timothy 4:3 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
Dear friends, the Word of God will guide you and give you wisdom in all that you do if you will but seek Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Seek the Lord first and He will grant wisdom and discernment. Avoid foolish, unwise counsel. Don’t listen to the counsel of those who would counsel you contrary to the Word of God. You will surely pay the consequences if you do. Jesus, the Word, is called the Wonderful Counselor for a reason. In Christ rests all wisdom, knowledge, power and authority! Go to Him first and foremost before seeking other counsel. May God grant you wisdom and blessings as you wisely seek and follow Him.