Man's Advice and God's Wisdom
by Mark Wood
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he writes: “the time will come when … to suit their own desires, [people] will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (NIV) Such behavior is not new; today’s passage tells of two kings who gathered around them those who would say the things they wanted to hear.
The first, Rehoboam, started out doing the right thing. Needing advice, he asked the experienced and wise counselors of his father Solomon. But he didn’t like what he heard, for he then sought out the advice of his friends, who told him what he wanted to hear. He disregarded obviously wise counsel for foolish pronouncements, and lost the majority of his kingdom as a consequence.
Jeroboam also wanted advice, and on the surface, the advice he received seemed wise. All the political think-tanks of that day would be in agreement: to preserve the independence of the newly created northern kingdom, cut ties that might draw it back to the old, and with it, cause Jeroboam to lose his kingdom. However such advice ran counter to God’s promise to Jeroboam: if he followed God’s ways, God would give him a lasting dynasty. How different history would be had Jeroboam only relied on God to bring about all that he had promised!
And how easy it is to be like these kings! God needs a little “help” from us in making sure we get our due. If we sit back and wait for God, who knows what will happen? And besides, all our friends agree: we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. But how different our personal history would be if we only relied on God each step of the way.
Am I really willing to put aside my own sinful desires, agenda and timetable to trust God to bring about His purposes, in His time?
A Fellow Traveler,
About Mark Wood
Mark Wood lives with his wife Karen and son Peter in Penfield, NY, where they have lived for the last sixteen years. He originally hails from the Green Mountain State, and still misses having a mountain in his backyard.
Prayer of the Week
Father, forgive me of my idolatrous ways, for any time I am less than fully committed to you I am guilty of idolatry. May I better understand your love for me, and may my heart respond to your grace with steadfast devotion. And may you always find me, mentally and physically, where you want me to be. You alone, Lord, are God.
Weekly Memory Verse
Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
But the people said nothing.
-1 Kings 18:21
Monthly Spiritual Practice
Hurry is a way of life. Slowing limits our speed, helping us recognize that the only place we can ever truly live with God is the present. This month, look for ways to slow down. Drive in the slow lane. Choose the longest checkout line. Move more slowly, or take longer with people and time to do normal tasks.