You shall guide me with your counsel and afterward receive me to glory. Psalm 73:24.
The counsel of the Lord is one of the “great themes” of the bible and highlights the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. The counsel of the Lord provides a covering for those who walk in obedience to His living Word of instruction. We may look to the Bible for guideposts to living (basic instructions before leaving earth), but by the Holy Spirit we receive personal counsel.
When the Spirit of Truth is come He will guide you into all truth, for He shall not speak of himself but whatsoever He shall hear shall He speak and He will show you things to come. John 16:13.
The Holy Spirit fulfills the word of Isaiah 9:14 regarding the Christ when he refers to Him as Wonderful Counselor. The Holy Spirit testifies to the Truth of Jesus Christ and is therefore the Spirit of Prophecy. (Revelation 19:10.) It comes as no surprise in reading the words of the Old Testament that the people of God are condemned in not seeking and heeding the counsel of the Lord. This counsel revealed the work of the Holy Spirit among the children of Israel.
Woe to the rebellious children says the Lord, that take counsel but not of me; and that cover with a covering but not of my Spirit that they may add errors to their error. Isaiah 30:1.
The idea of counsel first appears in the Bible in Exodus 18 when Jethro the father-in-law of Moses, advises him on sharing the responsibility of providing judgment for the people. While the modern world has evolved into an elaborate system of courts for both criminal and civil matters, the idea of judgment in the Bible is concerned with settling disputes between individuals, and ultimately between man and God.
And it came to pass on the morrow that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, what is this thing that you do to the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand by you from morning unto even? And Moses said unto his father in law, because the people come unto me to inquire of God: when they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. And Moses’ father in law said unto him, the thing that you do is not good. You will surely wear away, both you and this people that are with you: for this thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to perform it yourself alone. Hearken now unto my voice, I will give you counsel, and God shall be with you: Be for the people toward God, that you may bring the causes unto God: and thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto you, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for yourself, and they shall bear the burden with you. If you do this thing, and God command you so, then you shall be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves. Exodus 18:13-26.
This system of able, experienced men to provide wise counsel later evolved into the royal advisers beginning with David and commented on extensively by his son Solomon in the book of Proverbs. The ability to resolve matters of disagreement is vital to the health of the body of Christ. We see this immediately become an issue in the early church.
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge. I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 1 Corinthians 6:1-8.
This is a difficult passage to read and consider, but we are all aware of the problems that develop between individuals that must be resolved wisely to avoid conflicts that destroy fellowship. This is why every single member must seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit and contribute their gift to the congregation. (1 Co 12).
For where envy and strife exist, there is confusion and every evil work. James 3:16
These are problems that can only be resolved by the Spirit of Truth. We ease one another’s burdens by providing words of knowledge, wisdom and comfort from the throne of God. This is the manifestation of our first love and the gifts of the Spirit.
And I will restore your judges as at the first and your counselors as at the beginning; afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city. Isaiah 1:26.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my brethren walk in Truth, 3 John 4.