A Humble Response to Good Counsel

Bible Reading: 1 Kings 20; 21; 22:1-28, 51; 2 Chronicles 18:2-3

"When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 'Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day...'" (1K 21:27-29).

King Ahab was the most evil man who had ever lived (1 Kings 16:30-31; 21:25). Yet, when he repented of his sinful ways in his last days, God was quick to forgive him and spare him from punishment. What a wonderful demonstration of God's grace! No one is too wicked and no sin is too great for God to forgive!

Three years later, King Ahab sought "the counsel of the Lord" (1K 22:5) when he was faced with the prospect of war. He knew that Micaiah was the only prophet he could trust to reliably speak the word of God, but he only reluctantly sought his counsel because he knew he wouldn't like what he had to say. When Micaiah told him what he wanted to hear, repeating the words of all the other prophets, Ahab rebuked him because he knew it wasn't the truth. But when he did tell the truth (and, my, what a story!), Ahab put him in prison and did not heed his warning! Ahab paid for his folly with his life.

Lord, lead me to seek advice from those I know will tell me the truth, not just those who will agree with me and tell me what I want to hear. When I am offered counsel that is difficult to hear, help me to respond with humility and self-examination, not with anger and resistance. Teach me how to hear your voice within me, instructing me in your ways and warning me against danger and deceit. When others ask my opinion, give me your wisdom in regard to their situation and fill my heart and my words with grace, compassion and concern. Teach us how to speak the truth in a spirit of love so that, together, we will grow up in our relationship to you (Eph. 4:15).