Seeking Counsel

Today’s reading is 1 Samuel 23-24, 1 Chronicles 6, Psalm 54, and Acts 16. We will mostly focus on 1 Samuel 24 here.

When you are going through challenges and needing help, who do you go to for advice and counsel? Proverbs 12:15 tells us it is biblical to seek the help of others, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Again, in Proverbs 19:20-21 we are told, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” I ask the question again, who do you go to for advice, if anyone at all?

Here in 1 Samuel 24, we read Saul enters a cave to relieve himself where David and his men are hiding. Saul has been speaking terribly of David and trying to kill him for no good reason. Now is David’s chance, he can end this once and for all and kill Saul instead. In fact, David’s men tell him in 1 Samuel 24:4 it is God’s will for him to do so. They go so far as to say God would not have Saul coming into this cave if this were not the case. They say it’s meant to be so to speak. But, David refrains from killing Saul. He gets so close he cuts off a piece of his robe and even feels guilt for that saying that was not God’s will (1 Samuel 24:6).

Once Saul leaves the cave, David yells at him and lets him know he was there hiding. He tells Saul in 1 Samuel 24:12-13 and 1 Samuel 24:15 that the Lord will be the judge between them, not David himself. He says out of wicked only comes wicked.

I find this so fascinating for 2 reasons. First, David had the chance most all of us want which is to vindicate themselves from the person who is doing them wrong and in this case, through no fault of David’s own. Secondly, David had advice from other men, which I would assume to be Jewish and God following, who told him he was justified in killing Saul and should do so. But above all, David listened to the Lord.

Often in our lives we seek advice from others which is biblical, but we only seek advice from those who will tell us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear, whether it be consciously or sub-consciously. We can all be guilty of this and especially when we in a leadership role and have success. Our egos become bigger, and we may only surround ourselves with those who think like us and agree with what we say. We need to reflect on if we are just looking for affirmation of our thought and actions or if we are truly looking for Godly, biblical advice which is unbiased from others.

I’m aware of a circumstance right now where a Christ follower is saying those around him are telling him he needs to keep going down a path which will seemingly vindicate himself to make him look better and other Christ followers look bad. However, there are many others who are well-respected Christ followers who I know who do not feel like the path which this person is headed down is the right in the Lord’s eyes and biblical. Some of these Christ followers used to be close to that person and others are essentially unbiased third parties. It just makes me wonder, is this person only surrounding himself and seeking advice from those who agree with him? I don’t know if he is or not and while I have my thoughts (it’s human nature to have those in every situation), I cannot be certain what God’s will is. I do know Proverbs 19:21 tells us above all though, “it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” 1 Corinthians 1:10 also states, “I appeal to you brothers, by the name or our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement.”

We learn from David here that he listened to the Lord above all. He didn’t force the issue, and we see what happened here. Saul, David’s enemy, comes to the conclusion that because David did not repay Saul’s evil with more evil, David will ultimately prevail and become king which is in fact what happens. Saul’s spirit and passion for winning is crushed by David’s grace and kindness. I guess the saying, “kill them with kindness” can be true.

Let us use what we learned from David here to reflect on not only if we are seeking advice and counsel from others, but from whom. Are we seeking advice from those who are telling us what we really need to hear or only from those who are only telling us what we want to hear all the time? And above all, are we praying for and seeking counsel from the Lord and listening to His advice? Are we letting God decide the outcome of the situation like David did, or are we forcing the issue to try to get the outcome we believe is right because we think we have been wronged?

“The Lord will fight for you, and you only have to be silent”

Exodus 14:14

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46:10a

Published by

Chet Bandy

I live in Bloomington, Illinois with my wife Shannon and 4 children. I grew up in Central Illinois with Lutheran roots. We moved to the area in 2011 and began attending Eastview Christian Church where I now lead a Small Group. It's been awesome to see God's plan for our lives and our growing thirst for knowledge of His Word and a closer relationship with Jesus through our move to Bloomington. Professionally, I'm a wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual.