Morning Prayer Exhortation: 2 Sam. 14:1-20, Acts 21:1-14
In both lessons we’ve just read, bad advice is given in the mouths of seemingly good people. In Samuel, Absalom had been away from three years following the murder of his brother Amnon. Joab knows that David wants to bring Absalom home, but David hasn’t yet. Perhaps this is because David knows deep down that it could go badly. David of course heeds the advice of Joab through the wise woman, and in the next chapter Absalom is going to rebel and steal the hearts of Israel from his father. The wise woman gave bad advice. In Acts, it’s even more striking since it is disciples testifying by the Spirit that Paul ought not go to Jerusalem. Later, the daughters of Philip prophesy apparently against Paul going, and finally Agabus shows up and visually explains how Paul will be arrested and imprisoned if he goes to Jerusalem. Again, wise men and wise women apparently give Paul bad advice.
So this is the exhortation this morning: be careful about the advice you listen to. Sometimes even the mouths of wise men and women, people filled with the Spirit of God, can given poor or untimely advice. God does not ultimately contradict Himself. But sometimes He tests us to see if we are really seeking wisdom or just looking for somebody to ratify what we already wanted to do. Wisdom is found in the multitude of counselors, but ultimately you must trust Jesus, obey Jesus, you must listen to His Spirit. In Paul’s case in particular, he knew that being arrested in Jerusalem would be a glorious thing because that is exactly what had happened to His Lord Jesus. So that is the key, pursue Jesus, imitate Jesus, follow Jesus, no matter what.