Make sure the advice you follow really is from God.

Scripture:
Ahithophel gave such good advice in those days that both Absalom and David thought it came straight from God. – 2 Samuel 16:23 (CEV)

Observation:
Ahithophel was Bathsheba’s father, and he had counseled both David and Absalom when they were leaders of Israel. In fact, they thought his counsel was so good that it was as if he’d consulted God on the matter. The trouble is that later on Ahithophel would counsel Absalom to sleep with his dad’s concubines to sour their relationship and then to take 12,000 men and seek out his father to kill him and only him so that the people of Israel would rally to Absalom. His plans, however, were foiled by David’s spies, who found out the plan and relayed the news back to David and his entourage and forces, who were able to flee in advance and escape capture, torture or death. When Ahithophel found out his plans were not followed, he went home and committed suicide.

Application:
When we think of Godly counsel, many of us think back to Jethro giving Moses advice on selecting men to serve as judges over small matters so as not to wear out the people or Moses. Moses was so burdened with judging matters that he had no time for anything else. Well, David must have considered the advice of his father-in-law, Ahithophel, in the same league as Jethro toward Moses. Our Bible says his advice as it were was like one had consulted with God. That is a loaded statement. Notice that it doesn’t say Ahithophel had consulted God, but his advice was as if he had. It was good counsel but not necessarily Godly counsel. However, both David and Absalom considered as though he had consulted God on matters. That is shaky ground to walk on.

Just because someone gives you “sound advice,” does that mean you should take it as gospel? IF the preacher stands behind the podium on Sunday and teaches a lesson that sounds Godly and as if God has spoken directly to him, should you take it with a grain of salt and just blindly trust it? No! Paul teaches us that we had best go search the Scriptures for ourselves and actually consult God in prayer and learn from the Holy Spirit what is Truth and what it not. Just because something “sounds” Godly doesn’t make it Godly! Learn this lesson well!

The devil can quote Scripture with the best of them. He knows it inside and out. He is the master manipulator and will paint you a pretty picture if you will let him. He did for Jesus, so why wouldn’t he do it for you? Jesus knew the Word also and was able to refute the devil by knowing the Word inside and out also. IF you don’t know the Word, then you don’t have a leg to stand on. You will be more than likely to succumb to false teachers and false prophets when they teach the doctrines of demons that “sound Godly” but are really lies from hell designed to enslave you to sin and death. Let he who has ears to hear.

Mightier than you have fallen prey to the subtle and cunning and deceptive words of Satan’s siren song that lures unsuspecting and weak Christians into the rocks of sin and death because they didn’t know the Truth of God’s Word. Ahithophel may have given sage advice, and some of it may have come from God. However, all of his advice was not good. It was deadly. He advised a son of David to kill his father, the anointed of the LORD, which David, I’m sure, had taught to his sons not to do. Absalom entertained this advice because he’d allowed himself to be consumed by greed, lust, rebellion, and sin, just as Lucifer had toward God.

The saddest part of it all is that the very man that King David and Absalom both admired for his sage advice went home, put his affairs in order, and then committed suicide all because his plans had not been followed. Rather than actually seek out God’s advice in the matter, he took things into his own hands, listened to the devil’s advice, and then killed himself. His advice led to his death and the death of Absalom and potentially sought out the death of David. There was no mercy or grace or compassion in his advice. David had been content to let Absalom live because he was his son. He loved his son and didn’t want him dead despite his rebellious spirit. Tragedy says it all.

Whose advice are you heeding? The Bible tells us, “For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Pr. 24:6) Did you notice that it says a “multitude of counselors” there is safety and not just in the counsel of one? No matter how good Ahithophel’s advice was, David AND Absalom should have consulted others in their dealings. When we limit ourselves to the word of just one person, we set ourselves up for failure. Why? Because that person can manipulate us or even worse come off as if he/she is the only one with the right answer. Seek God first in all matters, trust in His Son, and be led by His Spirit. That is the equation that works; it is the only equation that works!

Prayer:
Father, help me not to be one who offers all the advice and never takes any sound advice from others. Help me to surround myself with many Godly advisers, so that I may know the Truth and not err in the faith or turn to the right or left from Your Word. There is safety in the counsel of many advisers because they can confirm or deny the word of one that claims to have heard from You. They can help dispel a false prophecy or teaching. I ask You for Your direct guidance and instruction. Lead me, teach me, help me, and advise me. I have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to me directly and from the words of many wise, Godly counsel. Thank You for looking out for me and my best interests. I love You, Dad. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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