December 19 – Today’s Readings – 2Chronicles 22-24 and Proverbs 19
There is only one observation I want to leave with you today – be careful whom you trust to give you advice!
The kings mentioned in these chapters are excellent examples of good & bad mentoring and good & bad decision making. Chapter 22:3-5 reads, “He too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father’s death they became his advisers, to his undoing. He also followed their counsel…”
Imagine your own mother giving you encouragement to do evil! Then – be amazed at this King of Judah taking counsel from the ungodly Israelite advisors. This lethal combination of “guidance” led the man and the nation into great sin but also led the new King to his death within one year of taking power. Just because someone is very close to you does not mean they will give you sound advice. Just because someone is called “counselor” does not mean they will lead you closer to God’s thinking. I’ve known marriage “counselors” to encourage divorce for relatively small problems in a relationship. I’ve also known Pastors to encourage the member of one Church to leave and come to their Church just because they wanted another member and more income! These are the kinds of traps we must learn to avoid by the Spirit of God. You will always find someone willing to take sides with you in making a wrong decision. The “counsel” of an ill-meaning advisor can justify almost any bad decision.
2 Chronicles 24:2 shows us the flip side of the coin; “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest.” Here is a young king under the tutelage of a priest who had some knowledge and understanding in the ways of God. He received such strong and sound mentoring from this priest that he led the nation in the ways of Lord all the days of Jehoiada’s life. This was a young man who was not too proud to submit himself to Godly wisdom – a trait not often found today. We live in a day of decision making based solely on what is easiest or what is most profitable for us at the time. As we know from the teachings of Christ, that the “broad way” is not necessarily the best way. The ways of God must be followed by not turning to the right or to the left. Following Jesus means that we keep our eyes on Him and not on the circumstances we find ourselves in. Chapter 24:17-26 tells us the tragic turn of events at the end of this story. When the good counselor died, so did the righteous behavior of the King. This highlights the importance of having people you are accountable to for your moral behavior. If you have nobody close to you who can help steer your decisions for good, you can soon find yourself in deep spiritual trouble or deception. On the other hand, one godly friend who is not afraid to speak his mind can keep you from making huge mistakes in life.
1. Give another Bible example of how bad advice led to very bad decisions.
2. Give an example from your own life where cacayou received Godly advice and thus made excellent life choices.