Truth isn’t always comfortable or pleasing to our sinful, selfish nature, but it’s the truth that will deliver us from the consequences of foolishness and sin. Bad advice, on the other hand, tickles our ears and gives us the “go ahead” to do what we really want to do.
2 Chronicles 9 & 10
Consequences of Bad Advice
Counsel—Wise or What We Want to Hear?
Verse 18, “Plans are established by counsel; by wise counsel wage war.”
In 2 Chronicles 10, today’s Old Testament reading, we see the importance of wise counsel. Rehoboam sought counsel, but he rejected the wise counsel of those who had walked with God for many years and, instead, took the advice that pleased Him.
There is much of that going on in the world today. Instead of seeking counsel from God’s Word or from wise people, many seek counsel that confirms what they want to do, especially if what they want to do is sin or foolishness! Even as professing believers, we can fall into that trap.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Tim. 4.3).
On the other hand, godly wisdom may not always be what we want to hear, but it’s the wisdom that will keep us from a train wreck down the road. Ultimately, it’s the truth of God that will set us free (Jn. 8.32). It’s the person who truly loves us who will speak the sometimes uncomfortable truth to us.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful (Prov. 27.6).
Today’s Other Readings:
2 Chronicles 9 & 10:
2 Chronicles 9 tells us:
13 The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, 14 besides what the traveling merchants and traders brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.
The actual weight of a talent may have varied from area to area, but it was probably 75-100 pounds. At 75 pounds that would be 49,950 pounds of gold coming into the treasury each year. Trying to figure out what that would be worth today was definitely beyond my pay grade. Gold is not priced by the pound, but by the troy ounce which is worth more than $1200. So you do the math.
17 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. 18 The throne had six steps, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne; there were armrests on either side of the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the armrests. 19 Twelve lions stood there, one on each side of the six steps; nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom.
20 All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Not one was silver, for this was accounted as nothing in the days of Solomon.
22 So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 24 Each man brought his present: articles of silver and gold, garments, armor, spices, horses, and mules, at a set rate year by year.
25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem.
27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones …
Can you imagine the wealth, the gold, the precious stones? Silver was too common to be called valuable—such riches and abundance! Solomon saw it all and had it all! And yet, in the book of Ecclesiastes, he said if that’s where you’re looking to find your peace, joy and satisfaction, it’s all fleeting!
We see evidence of that all over the news these days. If wealth and beauty and fame and success could bring peace and joy, Hollywood should be the happiest place on earth. And yet, its elite often go from one partner to another, from one “high” to another, with few finding true peace and satisfaction.
But it’s not just Hollywood’s royalty who find success empty when it’s sought as an end in itself. We try to fill that emptiness with more stuff, other relationships, or in something bigger than ourselves (everything from hobbies to sports to charity).
But as believers, we were created to love, serve, worship, and enjoy God. We’re to seek His purpose for our lives and invest in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 6.19-21). Then we’ll find true peace and contentment.
The Importance of Trusting God
Just as with individuals, nations as a whole can fail to trust God, to give Him the glory, to fulfill His purposes, and use His blessings well. When we do, there may come a time when He will remove those blessings. Over and over again we have seen that played out, especially in our Old Testament readings.
An Amazing Time to be Alive
What an amazing time to have lived—during the book of Acts. We might say the same about Solomon’s time. But what about today? This is the time God has uniquely ordained for each of us. Make no mistake, it is just as amazing a time. There is the availability of great teachers and teachings, in person and over the airwaves. There is an abundance of books, DVDs and CDs. The internet with all of its temptations also offers a multitude of biblical resources.
Is there sin? Yes, in abundance!
“But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom. 5.20).
Let’s take advantage of His grace to share the gospel to a lost and dying world … let’s get on with our Father’s business! Amen?
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