Right Advice

1 Samuel 6:1-6

1When the ark of the Lord had been in Philistine territory seven months, 2the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.” 3They answered, “If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it back to him without a gift; by all means send a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand has not been lifted from you.”

4The Philistines asked, “What guilt offering should we send to him?”

They replied, “Five gold tumors and five gold rats, according to the number of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague has struck both you and your rulers. 5Make models of the tumors and of the rats that are destroying the country, and give glory to Israel’s god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land. 6Why do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When Israel’s god dealt harshly with them, did they not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way?

Introduction

Whenever you’ve got personal problem, where do you run to for solution? Where do you seek advice? Who do you prefer to ask for opinion? Most often, people with financial problems ask advice from financial advisors, for problem about health, ask doctors, for problems about the law, ask lawyers.

In short, we ask experts in their field for advice but there are many experts out there. So, how do we choose the right person for advice appropriate to our problems? Seeking second opinion is necessary if you doubt what you heard.

Have you heard of a woman who had a life changing surgery because of a wrong diagnosis? Have you heard of a doctor who performed surgeries not because it was necessary but because he had to be paid? Have you heard of a financial lawyer who was charged for mismanaging a basketball player’s money? In short, how can we identify the right advisor?

It says in Psalm 19:7, 7The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

It also says in Psalm 119:130, 130The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

You’ve heard people say, “Jesus is the answer.” Truly, Jesus declared the He has been given all authorities in heaven and on earth. He knows the past, present and the future because He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Truth, and knows true answer to every problem, right?

1 Corinthians 1:24 says, 24To those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

So, how does our faith in Jesus relate with the law of the Lord that gives understanding or making wise the simple? Christ is the Lord who gave Moses the law. The Spirit of Christ in us would use the written laws of God to help us decide according to the righteousness of God. The Spirit of Christ gives us discernment to select which advice is righteous or which advisor is helpful to our problems.

The Philistines rulers displayed their wisdom when they sought advice and inquired from their priests and spiritual leaders.

1. Inquire

1When the ark of the Lord had been in Philistine territory seven months, 2the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.” 3They answered, “If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it back to him without a gift; by all means send a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand has not been lifted from you.”

The spirituality of Philistine priests and diviners may not be the kind of lifestyle that God would approve but would you accept that God may have given them discernment to return the Ark of the Covenant to Israel? Well, when they advised the Philistine rulers to return the Ark of God, it favored the Israelites.

This is not the first time that the Lord utilized unbelievers for His purposes.

God used Cyrus king of Persia, and he let the Israelite exiles returned to Israel and rebuilt the temple. God used King Artaxerxes, and he let Nehemiah built the walls of Jerusalem. God used Pilate for Christ to be crucified. In short, God can utilize anybody He deems necessary to accomplish His purpose.

King Rehoboam

Asking for advice has been a practice of many wise kings and rulers but to select which advice is appropriate to problem, we need wisdom from the Lord.

After King Solomon died, his son Rehoboam succeeded him as king. The people complained about harsh labor, and Rehoboam had to decide about it.

It says in 1 King 12:6-8, 6Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked. 7They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.” 8But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 

King Rehoboam listened to the advice of the young men, and he rejected the advice of the elders, and the result? The kingdom of Israel was divided. Such unwise choice of advice happens in church setting. Chaos, church splits occur because some church leaders get advice from the wrong people.

It says in 2 Timothy 3:16, 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Pray for church leaders to seek God’s empowerment and spend sufficient time with God’s word so that they may discern God’s revelation to them. Pray that they may be filled with godly wisdom to obey godly instructions.

2. Instruct

4The Philistines asked, “What guilt offering should we send to him?” They replied, “Five gold tumors and five gold rats, according to the number of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague has struck both you and your rulers. 5Make models of the tumors and of the rats that are destroying the country, and give glory to Israel’s god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land. 6Why do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When Israel’s god dealt harshly with them, did they not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way?

The rulers of the Philistines did not assume to know-it-all. They sought and listened to the instructions of their spiritual leaders. They humbled themselves as compared to Pharaoh. They remembered what happened in Egypt. Pharaoh and the Egyptians were punished when they resisted the Lord.

The Philistines rulers may have been expert warriors but for spiritual matters, they inquired and listened to the suggestions of their spiritual leaders. Pray that church leaders may not hesitate to inquire for advice about ministries assigned to them so that their ministry knowledge may increase more greatly.

Esther

Among many candidates, why was Esther chosen as queen of Persia?

Was it because Esther was that most beautiful? During Miss Universe competition, winners are not necessarily the most beautiful of them all. Similarly, King Xerxes was attracted to Esther not just because of her natural beauty or lovely figure but she also won the favor of everyone who saw her.

Well, while many would readily say that it was God’s will, others observed that in addition to her physical lovely figure, Esther’s character was exceptional.

It says in Esther 2:15,15When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.

Esther did not assume that she knew how to act before King Xerxes. She was very attentive to the advice of king’s eunuch and followed them diligently. Esther learned at early age how to be obedient and regardful to authorities.

It says in Esther 2:20, 20Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.

Even after she was selected queen of King Xerxes, Esther continued to seek advice from her guardian cousin Mordecai. Her decisions were not only favorable to her, her people the Jews, but also to her relationship with the king.

As election in Manitoba, federal election in Canada, and election of leaders in our church approach, let’s pray that God would let individuals with godly wisdom to inquire, listen and discern godly instructions win the election.

Pray that God would discourage candidates who have selfish agenda.

Pray for our current leaders to keep trusting Christ and abide by His word when making decision—personal, family or church matters.

Pray for yourself to be filled with the spirit wisdom and spirit of revelation so that you may discern and know the purpose God has designed for you.

><((‘> .. ><(((‘> … tmec\2019 … <‘)))>< .. <‘))><

 

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