Who do you listen to? Who are your chief advisers?
Wisdom says that “counsel is mine”. This week we continue our studies into the seven pillars of wisdom and will explore the wisdom pillar of “counsel” and what the Scripture has to to say about this aspect of wisdom.
Proverbs 8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of wittyinventions. 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. 8:14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
As we saw in our previous studies, Solomon uses beautiful poetic imagery in describing the concept of wisdom and the many characteristics of what wisdom is and what it does. He uses the metaphor of a woman who depicts the qualities of wisdom whom he personifies as Wisdom, who is a very wise person indeed.
Solomon describes the eternal existence and presence of wisdom; as being with God from eternity. In Proverbs 8:1- 9:6 Solomon exalts the excellent qualities of wisdom and personifies it as a woman who was at God’s side when He created the world. He declares that Wisdom was God’s constant delight, full of rejoicing alongside the Lord.
This is of course all poetic analogy, but Solomon uses this analogy to impress on our minds the splendor and grandeur of this thing we call WISDOM and all of its enduring qualities. It is an attribute that is always with God for it is His character trait: He is the epitome of righteous wisdom for everything that He does is in perfect wisdom.
Proverbs 8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him [as a master craftsman]: and I was daily his delight, [shaashuim Strong’s #8191 delight, pleasure, enjoyment] rejoicing always before him;
In Solomon’s metaphor Wisdom was right beside the Lord, helping Him to plan and create the heavens and the earth which caused such joy! Wisdom was pleased with the world that God had created and she was pleased with God’s creation of men.
If we go back to the Creation Chapter we read of God’s great delight in creating the world and then in creating man: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day“. (Genesis 1:31) (See Genesis 1)
God placed the man and woman that He had created in a Garden that He called Eden. Did you know that the Hebrew word “eden” means “delight” (Strong’s 5730 # delicate, delight, pleasure)? God named the Garden of Eden in celebration of the delight that He felt over His new creation and the fact that He saw it as very good.
Not only is this Woman called Wisdom wise but she has built a house and has carved out seven pillars that uphold her house.
Proverbs 9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars.
One of those pillars is COUNSEL.
Proverbs 8:31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men. 8:32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. 8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
Here Solomon, as though speaking through Wisdom, turns his attention to address mankind; first he says that her delights “were with the sons of men” and then begins to adjure all men [and women] to hearken unto her (Wisdom) to hear her instruction and be wise.
“Hearken unto me” means listen to me, to heed what I am saying; to hear my instruction. The Hebrew word for “hear” is shama` (Strong’s # 8085) and means: listen attentively; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively, to tell, etc.) (Strong’s Concordance)
The Hebrew word for” instruction” is musar (Strong’s 4148) and means discipline, chastening, correction.
And the Hebrew word for “counsel” is etsah (Strong’s #6098) means: advice, advisement, counselor, purpose. From ya’ats (Strong’s # 3289); advice; by implication, plan; also prudence — advice, advisement, counsel(l-(or)), purpose. see HEBREW ya’ats (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
To counsel someone is to to advise, correct, warn, instruct that person. The English dictionaries define “counsel” as follows:
1. Advice; opinion or instruction given in directing the judgment or conduct of another.
2. Interchange of opinions as to future procedure; consultation; deliberation.
3. Law (used with a singular or plural verb) the advocate or advocates engaged in the direction of a cause in court; a legal adviser or counselor: Is counsel for the defense present?
4. Deliberate purpose; plan; design.
The passage in Proverbs 8 continues with a blessing for those who seek after and heed instruction [counsel] and a curse against those who refuse to hear [heed] Wisdom’s sound counsel.
Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
God through Moses says something similar when He admonishes the children of Israel to choose wisdom which is the keeping of all of God’s commandments, ordinances, and statutes that they might live and not die. God says to “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding”.
Deuteronomy 4:5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. 4:6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
30:16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
30:17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
30:18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
30:20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
The two paths in life are clear: For those who listen to God, who hear His wisdom and delight to apply it in doing what He says is good and right will find LIFE; those who refuse to listen and who neglect to pursue wisdom will come to destruction “sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul”; those who hate God’s wisdom show that they love DEATH rather than life.
When we talk about Wisdom it is in reality God for He is the very essence of all wisdom, knowledge, understanding, prudence, discretion, power, strength, etc. He is the very personification of all of these things. Consider the vastness of God’s wisdom; God the Father and Jesus Christ are omniscient, which means they have infinite knowledge and wisdom about everything past, present, and future.
Many Scriptures throughout the pages of the Bible tell us that Christ is the embodiment of all the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Job 12:13 With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.
Ephesians 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
God through Isaiah prophecies about the coming Messiah and says that He will have the spirit of wisdom and then lists the same attributes of wisdom that Solomon lists in Proverbs. Included with all the other wonderful aspects of wisdom that Christ would have; this passage says that He would have the “Spirit of Counsel”.
Isaiah 11:11 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
11:2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
Indeed “Counselor” is one of Christ’s titles: He is our Wonderful Counselor:
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Counsel belongs to Christ and He is the expressed image of God the Father so this passage shows that God is our Mighty Counselor for it is He on whom rests the spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and might, along with the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. Jesus Christ and God the Father are full of all wisdom, knowledge, understanding therefore they are worthy to be the best counselors that we could ever hope for.
God gives us His counsel and advice, it is written throughout the pages of the Bible; it is every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God the father and Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came to earth as a man in the flesh to instruct, to counsel, to advise all those whom God the Father would call to be His disciples. He inspired the writers of Scripture to record His words of wisdom for all generations; that those, so willing, could partake of His Words of Life.
Those called to be God’s children are the blessed recipients of all of God’s advise and counseling if we too are willing to hear what He has to say and then put to practice the things that He shows us. In John 10 Jesus says that His true sheep hear His voice and will not listen to the voice of a stranger.
John 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3:10 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Wisdom is to look to God and His Word which gives us our instruction for living righteously and becoming perfect [complete] men and women of God. God’s Word counsels us as to what is righteous and what is evil and then if we are wise we will let the Word correct us where we are wrong.
We must then commit to choose to do what is right in God’s sight. It is a life-long learning process and if we are wise we will look to God’s Word to show us the way to live all of our days.
2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Jesus tells us that His Words are life giving; if we seek out and listen to God’s advice and counsel and apply it to our lives, we will be given the gift of eternal life.
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
It was God who created us and He created each of us to be a unique individual; only He knows what is best for each one of us. We are also created to be conformed to His image and in order to do so we must come to understand who He is and what He is about.
All of us come into this world knowing nothing and then very quickly we absorb the false knowledge that is in the world; from our parents and other family members, and then from our peers, our schooling, the media, and from all the others who are in the world.
It takes a divine intervention from God who calls certain people to come and partake of His wisdom; to turn from their foolishness and seek out the truth of His purpose and plan that He has for them.
In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul says that God calls the foolish and base people of the world:
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
Of which I am very much all of these things, I too have made many foolish mistakes, been naive and gullible, have foolishly trusted people who were clearly evil and I have made many foolish decisions. But God is giving us a chance to turn all our mistakes and foolishness into wisdom for we learn most by doing it the wrong way first and then if we learn the lessons we are all the wiser for it.
I believe that is what this life is mostly about. God is turning fools into Wisdom for those who will heed His voice, turn from their foolishness and then live all of His ways rather than the ways of this world.
Since we start out so lacking in the knowledge of God and His wisdom we must constantly be seeking His counsel as we go through life. Life presents many challenges and trials and as we encounter them, it is imperative that we seek out wise counselors to help guide us in the right way.
The best Counselor is God Himself and we find His advice and instruction in His Word. We must be willing to become as young children who humbly accept and trust that God’s Word is true and be willing to do as we are instructed and also to give up our own human ideas of how to fix our problems.
Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
Throughout the Bible, the Lord has given us His laws and His principles that will make us wise if we will live by them. Wisdom is the ability to view things from God’s perspective and on the basis of His Word.
True biblical wisdom involves God’s wisdom for right living and relationships; it requires the same understanding that God has concerning how we are to live and conduct ourselves; it refers to the knowledge of God or of the things that belong to God as related in His whole Word. We are to obey and live by every word that comes from the mouth of God; that is wisdom.
I know I keep repeating this definition of wisdom but it is so important, Brethren, that we understand what true wisdom is. The apostle James teaches that there are two kinds of wisdom: one kind is a false wisdom; it is worldly, sensual, demonic: and as human beings we have all partaken of this kind of wisdom and we must eradicate it from our way of doing and thinking.
The wisdom that is from God is pure, peaceable [courteous, considerate], gentle, and easy to be entreated [willing to listen], full of mercy [compassion], and is evidenced by the good fruits it produces.
There are people who appear very wise but their wisdom is worldly; they may be very successful in this world and even rise to the very top to become the “important” leaders of the country by using their worldly wisdom, but in reality they are fools when it comes to the wisdom of God.
Satan as ruler of this world seems to be winning in his age old opposition to God, he has deceived the whole world into following him but he is the biggest fool of all and his end is near. Two thirds of the angels were wise enough not to listen to his counsel. But sadly one third of the angels refused to listen to God’s counsel and listened to the Adversary of God instead and turned their backs on God. They have a horrible fate ahead of them.
Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
We all know the story of Adam and Eve, they did not heed God’s counsel and listened to Satan’s counsel to take of the forbidden fruit. And all of mankind has taken of the forbidden fruit ever since which is to determine for themselves what is right and what is evil apart from what God says is right and evil.
Satan’s fate is sealed but we still have a chance to go the way of God’s wisdom and listen to His counsel; or we can listen to the counsel of evil men. It is up to us. Again, Jesus says that “My sheep hear my voice”.
In the following passages Solomon uses Wisdom to address this very thing about the choices we have and the consequences of either listening to Satan or to listen to and heed God.
Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 1:21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 1:25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
1:27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 1:28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: 1:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 1:32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Most of the Ekklesia has fallen into apostasy; it is because they are asleep and they will not listen to sound counsel. I am talking about the counsel of God’s Word and not the counsel of leaders and ministers who teach contrary to God’s Word.
God lays out His sound doctrines, His commandments, very clearly; and yet we want to follow our own ideas of what constitutes godliness, going after the traditions that we have been taught for many years and yet these traditions have nothing to do with what God says.
Just an example: there is nowhere in the Bible that authorizes any man to change God’s laws and ordinances, and yet most of the Ekklesia embrace a man-made calendar that does just that. There is NOTHING in God’s Word that authorizes men to “postpone” a Festival Date a day or two for the purpose of complying with the rules of their calendar, rules that were made up by men and not by God.
For decades all these COG groups and we as the members of those groups have been keeping the Holy Days on the wrong dates. And there are many other errors that are being taught in these groups. You may say but it does not really matter, that God sees what is in the heart and He will overlook the errors; but God says through His prophet Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 17:10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Earlier in his Book, Jeremiah speaking for God wrote:
Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
6:11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.
6:12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord.
6:13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.
6:16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
6:17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
6:18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
6:19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.
And Jesus taught in His sermon on the mount: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18)
This is what God is saying to His beloved Ekklesia even now: “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.“
How do we know this? Because this is similar to what Christ is saying to the church at Laodicea; and most of the end time church is Laodicean, showing all the signs that Christ describes as to what their problems are:
Revelation 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
God through Moses told the people of Israel to choose life and live (the modern day Ekklesia are the people of Spiritual Israel) and He admonished them and He admonishes us today to wake up and hear His voice ….and LIVE.
Deuteronomy 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. 10:15 Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
If we listen to God’s voice now then He will listen to our voice when we are in trouble or tribulation:
Psalm 18:6 In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.
But most people reject what God says and will not listen to His counsel because they do not want anyone dictating to them how they should live. But to those who desire to live according to His purpose for them and are willing to seek Him, who diligently ask for His wisdom to live righteously, He freely gives the gift of wisdom.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 7:10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Since the Lord is generous to His children and promises to give wisdom to those who ask Him, we should diligently request it each day. We need His wisdom to know how to navigate through our day and we also need to be filled with wisdom to know how to handle any crisis (or temptation) that may come up which requires divine wisdom.
God wants us to become wise, but we have a responsibility in the process; He will not give His wisdom by fiat, it just does not work that way. To acquire wisdom we must seek it as we would seek hidden treasure or the finest gold or silver. We must ask Him to counsel us and to lead us to the hidden treasure of His wisdom.
Proverbs 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
2:4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 2:6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 2:7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
Since God is the source of all wisdom, we must diligently seek Him because that is where we will find wisdom. In order to hear what He is saying, we must listen attentively and then do what He shows us.
If we are called of God and have received the gift of His Holy Spirit, that Spirit will lead and guide us into His truth. It enables us to hear God’s voice, to perceive His mind and to understand His principles. The more we obey Him, the more we come to understand what He has purposed for us and what His plan is for all of mankind.
Proverbs 4:4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
4:6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 4:8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
4:9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. 4:10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. 4:11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
We acquire wisdom by studying God’s Word, meditating on it all day long and implementing what we learn into all aspects of our lives. God’s Word will guide us in the way we should go and although life may seem rocky and treacherous at times, He promises that He will be with us and get us through.
Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
The best way to begin each day is to direct our thoughts to God’s Word upon wakening and then meditate on His law and His doctrines. When we start out our day with our minds fixed upon our Lord we will be more prepared to make wise decisions as things come up throughout the day.
Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. 143:9 Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
We need to have a sound understanding of the Scriptures in order to know how to handle the problems that come up each day and to keep us from straying or from listening to those who do not live according to God’s truth.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [Holy One] is understanding.
Our Creator God planned that we would do certain works and He has specific things in mind for each of us and we need His help and guidance to show us how to perform them; whether they be God’s laws or something specific that He wants us to perform.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
That is why it is important to pray every morning and ask Him, “How do you want me to live my life today? You know all things so much better than I, what would you have me to do?”
Isaiah 25:1 O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
Psalm 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Choose Your Counselors Wisely
The Bible says that there is safety in the multitude of counselors. Sometimes we need the advice of others to help us in our problems and to be shown things that we need to correct.
Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. (Without consultation and wise advice, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they are established and succeed. APV)
Yes, it is wise to go to others for counseling, but we must be sure that the person we go to has a proven track record of living wisely by their own personal example. We are to seek counsel only from those who teach God’s Word faithfully. We need to be very careful as to whom we choose to allow to advise us and give us counsel.
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psalm 40:4 Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
There are many people who claim to be Christian ministers and/or counselors but we need to look at that person’s fruit and how they conduct their own lives before we go to them to help us with our problems. Those who are not grounded in God’s truth and who do not observe sound doctrine will only lead us astray. Good counselors will be those who are living their lives as fine examples for those they instruct and counsel and they will be teaching sound doctrine from God’s Word.
Colossians 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
Watch out for the elders and pastors who act as control freaks (overlords) and demand that you follow their advice even when it is contrary to what God says in His Word.
The best way a leader can counsel others is to first be a godly example for those who have been placed in their care; leaders and elders who are living their lives in obedience to God just as they teach others to do.
1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.
Romans 2:19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, 2:20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. 2:21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 2:22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 2:23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
Godly counselors will be good examples of what they teach and also will be well educated in the Word of God so that they may turn people to God and not to themselves. They must be courageous in speaking against heresy and must be willing to correct those who are straying from God’s Word.
Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 1:12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2:2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
We acquire wisdom by associating with those who are wise and prudent in their own lives; not just our friends but also by the leaders and religious groups we associate with.
Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Our choice of leaders and friends is critical because they have the power to influence what we believe and how we live. Godly friends and teachers will help us become wise, but those who have no interest in living according to God’s laws and His sound doctrines will lead us to live and believe as they do.
It is never wise to go to the unrighteous to seek advice in the important things of life; they may have ten university degrees and they may have many best-seller books on self-improvement but if they are not steering their clients to God and His ways, they too are foolish and will only lead down the wrong paths.
Proverbs 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
God does not want us to be taken completely out of the world, therefore we cannot avoid everyone in this world who has no interest in obeying God.
John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
We still have to work, go to school, conduct business in the world, and we must be willing to help those who may be still naive but who are interested into coming to know the truth. But we do have the power to choose who will be our close companions and who we choose to be our spiritual guides and teachers.
If we allow evil people to become our close companions, not only does our choice of friends reflect on our character, but we also run the risk of going to them for their advice as we are fellowshipping and hanging out with them. It is so easy to begin to adopt the ways of those we walk with, this includes those who say that they are followers of Christ but who in fact do not live according to all of His commandments.
Proverbs 4:13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. 4:14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 4:15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 4:16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. 4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
James 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation [conduct] his works with meekness of wisdom.
There are many false teachers and religious leaders who want to be considered as “counselors and advisers” but they are not teaching the wisdom of God but rather their own human solutions to problems.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Nevertheless, there will be times when we do need to seek out the advice of someone who is wiser than we are, someone whom we can trust who has been in the faith for a long time and who has had similar experiences that we are dealing with. Many older people have learned much from their experiences in life and are well equipped to pass on the lessons that they have learned to the younger generations or to those who are new in the faith.
Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
This is good training for both the one that receives counseling and also for the one who gives counsels: both are benefited. For it is humbling for the one who knows he needs advice and counsel and then considers what those who are wiser have to say. But to counsel others is also good training and helps to prepare us for our future roles in God’s Kingdom. And it can be of two-way benefit, for good friends are those who give and receive from each other the things that they need including advice and godly insight into things.
We all need counseling at times for others may know more than we do in any given area or we may need to be told things that we cannot see about ourselves yet.
Sometimes we may know the right thing to do but we need encouragement do what is right or to hear the advice verbalized coming from someone else’s mouth, someone we trust and look to. And it is always good to get another person’s opinion or perspective on important matters when we are faced with challenges and decisions as long as what they counsel corresponds to God’s ways.
2 Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Because we are all so easily influenced by the world around us, we may need someone to point some things out to us from time to time and it is because of love not because that person is trying to be critical.
Seeking and heeding counseling can be very humbling and helps us to develop even more humility if we are willing to listen to sound counseling and allow ourselves to be corrected when we need to be corrected.
Most of the people in the world and even in the Ekklesia do not like to be told that they are wrong. Solomon has much to say about this, that it is a wise person that will become wiser still if he is willing to listen to sound advice. This too is to be like a little child who wants to learn and is eager to be shown what is right when he is doing something wrong so he can change.
Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
Proverbs 14:16 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. [A wise man suspects danger and cautiously avoids evil, But the fool is arrogant and careless. AMP]
A called-out child of God delights to do God’s commandments and welcomes the opportunity to be counseled so that he can more fully walk in all of God’s ways.
Psalm 119:24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.
In Psalm 1 the psalmist shows the blessedness of not walking in the counsel of the wicked.
Psalm 1:1 Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers). 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night. 1:3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season; Its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity]. (AMP)
We can acquire much wisdom by heeding godly counsel.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. [The way of the [arrogant] fool [who rejects God’s wisdom] is right in his own eyes, But a wise and prudent man is he who listens to counsel. AMP]
None of us is born with all the answers to the dilemmas of life; only God has all the answers but sometimes He may use someone else to give us a bit of His wisdom.
If we are open to counsel, we are wise even though the decision to follow another’s advice is ultimately our own decision (and it must be for we are ultimately responsible for everything we believe and do no matter what kind of advice we receive).
We must weigh what a person advises carefully and then go to God to help us to weigh all the facts and then make sound decisions based on any new revelation that we may have received from being counseled.
If we habitually reject messages we do not want to hear just because of our own arrogance, thinking that we always know best and refuse to hear others out, we could very well be turning a deaf ear to what God wants to show us. Whenever someone offers us counsel, we should immediately ask God for discernment, do some research into His Word to see if the advice we have received really does coincide what He has to say on any given matter. If we are also seeking God and asking Him for wisdom He will lead us into truth so we can recognize what is right and wrong. Think about what He says in Proverbs 3.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
If we lean wholeheartedly on what is right according to God, even though it may seem to be the hard thing to do in any given situation, it will put us on the right path. Later we will look back and see that we made the right decision and that eventually it all worked out because we did not compromise and take an easier route.
Biblical Examples of Counselors
One example of someone who was in need of sound sensible advice was Moses. When his father-in-law came to visit him, Jethro instantly saw a problem. He told Moses that he was going to wear himself out if he continued to do all the counseling and judgment of the people all day long. Jethro made a suggestion and Moses hearkened to what he had to offer and did as he said.
Not only did this reduce the pressure off of Moses to do all the ruling and judging but it gave others a chance to learn leadership skills under Moses’ guidance.
Exodus 18:13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.
18:14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?
18:15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:
18:16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.
18:17 And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
18:18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.
18:19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:
18:20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
18:22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.
18:23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.
18:24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.
In the incident of Abigail and David, besides using prudence and discretion in dealing with her predicament, Abigail offered wise counsel to David; she appealed to the promise that God had anointed him to be the future king of Israel and that he must behave as a king and not give in to rash emotions. And if he were to wipe out her household he would have regrets later, for it would be a blot on his record of being a king of justice and mercy.
Samuel 25:25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.
25:26 Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
25:27 And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.
25:28 I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.
25:29 Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
25:30 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel;
25:31 That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
25:32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:
25:33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.
25:34 For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
25:35 So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
David knew instantly that what Abigail was saying was true and that she had spoken wisely to him and that he had let his emotions cloud his better judgment. He was humble enough to acknowledge that what she was saying was really coming from God and he said to her “I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.”
That is what made David a great leader for he was willing to accept correction and counsel from others when he was wrong and then instantly repented and did what was right. We think of the counsel that Nathan gave to David about his sin with Bathsheba and there again David immediately repented.
2 Samuel 12:9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
12:11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
12:12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
In the New Testament is another example of someone who counseled wisely; this was Gamaliel. This was recorded for us as well for we can apply this same principle when faced with wondering if someone or some work is of God or not. The counsel he gave the ruling religious authorities was very good advice and it saved the apostles from being destroyed that day.
Acts 5:34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
5:35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
5:36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
5:37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
5:38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
5:40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
God wants us to wisely counsel each other, to encourage, to console, to comfort; all of these things are what it means to be made in God’s image for these are the things that God does for His people.
We are being fashioned and molded to conform to the image of our Creator and we accomplish this by first being called, and then through the teaching, guiding, studying, meditating, and allowing ourselves to be corrected when we are wrong. Like a sharp two-edged sword, the Word divides the inner man asunder to reveal the true condition and needs of our hearts and sometimes God does need to send us godly counselors to help us and to get us back on track.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Bible says that if we want to be wise we must walk with wise men and the wisest Person in the Universe is God, and if we are His children we are ever in His presence if we are abiding in Him. As the other pillars of wisdom all work together so too does the spirit of counsel begin with the “fear of the Lord”, and then it is integrated with prudence and discretion as well for it is prudent to seek out and accept wise counsel. All of the seven pillars work together to make what constitutes WISDOM.
Psalm 73:24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Those who are chosen to be resurrected to be Kings and Priests will need the Wisdom of God to know how to not only teach and rule, but we will need to know how to counsel those who are placed in our care. Those who have lived in this evil world and those who have come through the tribulation will have many issues that they will have to deal with and will need compassionate, skilled counselors to direct them in the right way to go…God’s way!
1 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 1:6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 1:7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
It is God’s desire that we learn how to give wise counsel; to encourage, to console, to comfort, all of these things are what it means to be made in God’s image for these are the things that God does. As we mentioned earlier one of His titles is Wonderful Counselor.
The focus of counseling should always be to help others in directing them to God and to seeking out what God would have them to do based on His Word. The goal of biblical counseling should be spiritual maturity based upon all of His laws, statutes and judgments helping others to see, not only how to apply the letter of the law, but how to apply the deep spiritual intent of God’s commandments from the very heart in every situation. The teachings of God’s whole Word must be the foundation for the work of counseling others.
Someday we will witness the whole world seeking out the counsel of God and delighting to know His ways. We are being trained now to be a teacher, a counselor of God’s ways in the future Kingdom of God if we are seeking the wisdom of God with all of our hearts during our time here now.
Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
God gives each person a choice as to whether we will listen to Him or if we will refuse; we ourselves determine whether we will live or die; for those who are being called to be Kings and Priests in His kingdom our time is now. Choose wisely!
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
30:20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.