Bad Advice

2 Samuel 16:20-23 20 Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your advice. What should we do?” 21 Ahithophel answered, “Lie with your father’s concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench in your father’s nostrils, and the hands of everyone with you will be strengthened.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he lay with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. That was how both David and Absalom regarded all of Ahithophel’s advice.

Ever been given bad advice?  I’ve been given plenty of it.  In fact, it seems like there is always an ample supply of bad advice to go around and a shortage of God advice.  Oh, did I say God advice – I meant good advice.  Isn’t that what good advice is, anyways?  The best advice is the Godly kind.  It’s not enough to seek out good advice; that’s just common sense (which doesn’t seem to be all that common).  But Godly advice, that’s where it’s at!

Absalom received some pretty cruddy advice from a guy who was supposed to be trustworthy.  It says in verse 23 that Ahithophel was regarding as someone who inquires of God.  So you would expect his advice to be Godly; you would expect God’s heart to come out through his mouth.  Instead, he tells Absalom to have sex with his dad’s concubines.  Oh ya, that’s a GREAT idea… wow.

What was Absalom thinking? Was he just stupid or so controlled by his flesh that he liked the idea and could justify that the  Godly man told him to do it?  I think it was probably the latter.  He slept with his father’s concubines; he did it in plain sight of all Israel.  Are you kidding me?  He flaunted this gross, sinful act to the nation!

This should lead us to being careful about the kind of advice we follow.  How do we do that?  First, assess whether the advice given matches the character and heart of God.  Is this something that would honor God?  Second, seek confirmation.  Confirmation can come through the Bible, through others, or through seeking to hear God’s voice for yourself.  Third, think about the consequences.  Seek to determine what the outcome will be.  Will it be life-giving?

Stay away from bad advice today, even if it is practical wisdom.  For the Lord’s ways are not man’s ways.  His ways are higher!

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