Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise. Proverbs 1:23 (NLT) Wow! What a blessing for just responding appropriately to wise counsel! What might keep us from responding rightly to wise counsel?
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV) Wow! This verse promises directional clarity if we will only listen and respond with obedience. What might drown out the Voice of wisdom in our lives?
We read clear directional wisdom from God in Deuteronomy 17:16 (NIV) …for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” God was warning the Israelites not to go back to the land of their slavery that He had miraculously freed them from. Why would any of us want to go back to what had us enslaved in the past?! And yet, how often are rehab facilities filled with repetitive visitors and how often are poor, even harmful dating relationships returned to…?! As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly. Proverbs 26:11 (NIV) We foolishly remember our past more glorious than it was. Yet we have the promise in Proverbs 1:23 that if we will only draw near to God and listen to His wise counsel, we do not have to stay a fool but He will make us wise!!
Let’s illustrate our point of wisely remembering well, as opposed to foolishly defaulting to our fleshly remembrance of harmful things past. Looking at the Israelites journey through the wilderness toward the Promised Land, Numbers 11:5 (NIV) finds the first generation of the freed people of God after having miraculously been rescued from brutal enslavement in Egypt, complaining! These people were treated inhuman and their babies were being murdered and yet they declare, We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost – also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. So they want to go back!! WHAT?! This generation ends up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years due to their lack of faith to move forward, but not before they send spies into the Promised land, bringing back word of the land that truly is flowing with milk and honey just as God had said!
Numbers 13:23 reports that the spies had found grapes, figs and pomegranates!! So in verse 26 they are found at Kadesh reporting to the rest of the Israelite people all the blessings they saw. However they allowed distrust and fear to keep them from moving forward with God so they wandered in the wilderness until the next generation rose up to trust God for the blessing. What future hope has you keeping your focus up and forward with God? Do not be distracted!
Fast forward now to this next generation who has grown up in the wilderness. According to Numbers 20:1 they are back at Kadesh, the same place their parents failed to respond in faith. However in comparison to what their parents were remembering, longing for the false sustenance of their past land of slavery in Numbers 11:5, look at what this generation remembers according to Numbers 20:26 (NIV). Nevermind that they are again expressing their feelings through complaining as their parents did, but this time they are craving figs, grapes and pomegranates!! Where did this generation ever experience these?! These were the foods brought back by the previous generation from the Promised Land that they lost out on! These are NOT foods of their past enslavement! This next generation was remembering well and it was stirring up a correct response of faith in their God to bring them forward; the only direction faith faces!
Today, what direction are you facing? What are you remembering? How are you remembering? Draw near to God today and listen. Drown out the distraction of all other voices but His, and respond in faith dear one, your future depends on it.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2 (NIV)