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Bible verses about Counsel, Seeking
(From Forerunner Commentary)

1 Kings 19:2-3

Jezebel, after hearing of his exploits, had threatened his life, and Elijah fled to Beersheba. Why? Some commentators feel that he ran, not in fear, but out of conviction that he needed to commune with God. He may have thought that, after the tremendous works on Mount Carmel, the whole nation would be converted—but now he was in danger of losing his life! His expectations and God's purpose did not coincide by a long shot. Like us, he did not always know where God was leading him and His people. His apparent lack of success and his doubts drove him to seek God's counsel in the wilderness.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Elijah's Dose of Reality


 

Proverbs 13:14

This verse succinctly expresses the teaching of the entire book of Proverbs. The figure of a fountain is especially apt when we consider the dryness of Judah's weather. A fountain or spring may be the difference between life and death, even as wisdom can be at times.

The Hebrew word torah underlies “law” in this verse. “Teaching” or “instruction” more literally expresses its meaning rather than “law.” The foolish ignore wisdom for the sake of their carnal desires and plunge toward painful problems—perhaps even death—that they could have avoided if they had only submitted to the truth contained in either God's or man's wisdom. The Living Bible renders this verse with pointed counsel: “The advice of a wise man refreshes like water from a mountain spring. Those accepting it become aware of the pitfalls on ahead.”

John W. Ritenbaugh
Leadership and Covenants (Part Eight)


 

Proverbs 26:16

Can a lazy person be proud? We have a saying: "Poor but humble." According to God's Word, all too frequently a reason that a person is poor is because he is proud. The truth is often just the opposite of the saying.

How do many wealthy people become so rich? It is because they are willing to take advice and apply it. They humbly listen to the counsel of those with experience, who are already successful, and in following that advice, they themselves become successful. Their humility leads them to seek counsel and follow the advice.

On the other hand, the poor are frequently poor because they either will not seek the advice, or if they do seek it, they find reasons not to apply it. God is referring to this inaction here. Laziness is a sign of pride.

We would not normally think a person who is out of a job and needs one desperately would do that. However, a lazy person thinks so much of himself that he believes that things should come to him without working. He thus justifies or excuses himself, saying:

  • "The conditions really are not quite right."

  • "If I am going to do that job, I first need a new car."

  • "That job is too far away."

  • "The pay is not enough for all that I would have to do."

  • "If I go there, I will have to move."

He is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who can render a sensible reason. At the root of his "wisdom" is pride.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part 6)


 

Luke 14:31-32

The parable of a king going to war continues the theme of the previous parable: Both must count the cost. The king has to estimate men's lives, as well as money and equipment. He knows he must have resolve and fortitude to enter the battle. The king represents Jesus, who has already counted and paid the cost in His flesh, setting us an example. As King, Jesus must choose just the right people for the battle—those who will listen and obey with determination. He must test the quality of His potential soldiers to determine whether they can be used for such an important task.

The king also represents the saints battling against spiritual enemies (Ephesians 6:12). In preparation to be kings in the Kingdom, the saints must also count the cost of their lives. Solomon says, "By wise counsel wage war" (Proverbs 20:18), so with good advice we must enter upon religious dedication. We must be willing to be driven to triumph over Satan, the world, and our own human nature. Perseverance, endurance, willpower, and willingness to sacrifice are all traits of a king in time of crisis.

Martin G. Collins
Parables of Counting the Cost


 

Ephesians 5:21

Submitting is an act of following. Any leader who does not submit to the wise counsel of those he leads is plunging the whole organization into disaster.

John W. Ritenbaugh
'I'll Never Follow Another Man!'


 

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Jude calls for returning to "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). We have a chance to do that now, and once we have submitted to the Bible's authority, we can teach it to others (Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 5:12-14). But in our zeal to contend for the truth, we cannot forget a few basic principles of Bible study.

1) Here a little, there a little (Isaiah 28:9-13): God did not organize the Bible so that all information on a given subject falls in one chapter or book. The whole Bible must concur before we can truly call a theological concept "truth."

2) A positive approach (Acts 17:11-12): God left us a wonderful example of a people who sought to prove the truths of God rather than disprove them. He can work with those who have submissive minds, receptive to His revelation.

3) A desire to please God (II Timothy 2:15): Our study should be intended to merit God's approval of our lives. He is not impressed with scholarship or intelligence, but He does respect godly living and spiritual growth (Psalm 111:10; II Peter 3:18; I John 3:22).

4) No private interpretation (II Peter 1:20-21): The Word of God and the understanding of it are revealed by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 2:6-16). Any personal understanding or interpretation must agree in all points with the Bible, or spring without violence from its principles (cf. II Peter 3:16) - otherwise an idea is nothing more than an opinion and maybe a dangerous one.

5) Humility (I Corinthians 8:1-3): It is a good idea to remember that many others, probably wiser, have faced the same questions before us. The history of the true church of God through the centuries should be considered and the decisions of its leaders taken seriously.

6) Seek counsel (Proverbs 24:6): Not only should one bring vexing questions to the ministry, but one should also seek wise advice from brethren, both inside and outside one's normal circle of friends. After mentioning it to others, give them time to study the subject thoroughly themselves and reply before drawing any conclusions.

7) Prayer and meditation (Psalm 119:33-40, 97-99): Seeking God's will and considering the ramifications of our ideas are absolutely vital to proper Bible study. Others, weaker in the faith, may not be able to survive our "spirituality" (I Corinthians 8:9, 11-13).

If we apply these principles to our Bible study, we will go a long way toward diminishing the confusion over doctrine both within and out of the Body of Christ. And, importantly, we will be heeding the advice of our Elder Brother, "Take heed that no one deceives you" (Matthew 24:4).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Religious Confusion and You


 

 




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