Good Advice or God Advice?

Proverbs 24:5-6 

A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors there is safety.
The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers. (NLT)

P1080021I was born twelve years after the cessation of hostilities in Europe when World War 2 finally came to an end. My parents lived through things I have never experienced. Evacuation, bombing raids, nights spent in bomb shelters clutching gas masks, watching dog fights in the skies above, and food rationing all became part of their daily lives as they grew up. In contrast I grew up with the evidence of war around me, living as I did in the one part of the British Isles to suffer German occupation during the war (the Channel Islands). The coastal bunkers and forts with their gun emplacements were part of our playground as children, but we had no real understanding of the horrors of the war, or the suffering of the islanders during the Occupation.

P1080017Modern communications and media leave no excuse for this generation not to understand the effects of war on a population. Despite such widespread knowledge there seems to be no end to conflict, with soldiers and civilians continuing to suffer injury, torture and death in various parts of the world. Solomon gave sound advice when he said, “don’t go to war without wise guidance” (Proverbs 24:6 NLT). Sadly, it seems that Solomon’s advice is often ignored by presidents and prime ministers, perhaps because ulterior motives are the driving force.

On a personal level it is also good to challenge motives, and consider the effects of actions we might be considering. But where can we find wise guidance? And is it good to have many advisors, or might we receive conflicting advice, making a decision even harder. The answer, as ever, is in scripture. When the Israelites entered the Promised Land they were successful in the battles they fought when they sought guidance from God. On the occasions that they dived in without asking God they suffered defeat (Joshua 7 & 8). King David who was one of the greatest military tacticians also sought guidance from God. He probably had numerous human military advisors, but he rarely took action without coming first on his knees to ask God (1 Samuel 30:8). It is not a sign of weakness to ask for advice. In fact it is foolish not to. It is even more foolish to rely on human advice alone.

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About David

David is the son of Ken and father of Nick, who first introduced him to blogging. Ken is a retired Baptist Minister who continues to preach regularly, despite being in his eighties. Nick is training for full time Baptist ministry after several years serving as a youth pastor. Somehow the being a preacher thing skipped a generation with David. Although half Scottish David grew up in England and in the Channel Island of Guernsey. He served in the British Merchant Navy after leaving school, and did not attend University until he was twenty-eight years old. By this time he was married to Marilyn and father to Nick, and Nick’s brother Michael. Another son (James) was born the day before the start of David’s final University examinations. Beth and John followed a few years later. The older boys are all married, and David and Marilyn have been presented with four grandsons to date. Beth is currently serving with British Youth for Christ as leader of the Nomad cage football team (Google it!) having spent the previous two years as a volunteer member of the Nomad team. John, who is 17, is now the only one of our children still living at home. David and Marilyn met in 1973 and have been married since 1979. Marilyn is a trained nurse, who gave up nursing to be a full time mother, grandmother, and maker of cakes for pastors, youth pastors, and any church function that needs cakes. There is a rumour that she secretly reads David’s blogs. Family and church leave little time for hobbies, but David enjoys walking and cycling, and listening to music. He also dabbles with languages and is currently learning to speak Welsh. (By way of explanation the Welsh border is 11 miles from David's home, and his water bills arrive in both English and Welsh from Dŵr Cymru.) View all posts by David

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