The INFLUENCE of COUNSELORS in our lives: "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night." (Psalms 1:1-2)
In the readings of 2 Chron 22-24, we come across two kings of Judah whose lives were influenced by counselors – both ungodly and godly.
King Ahaziah: "Ahaziah was forty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri. He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother advised him to do wickedly. Therefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab; for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction." (2 Chron 22:2-4)
We see that Ahaziah had ungodly and wicked counselors like his own mother and the Ahab family who influenced him to do evil in God’s sight. So, God brought about his downfall and eventual death (vv. 7-9). The counsel of the ungodly ruins many young people when they are setting out in the world. Ahaziah gave himself up to be led by evil men and his own evil mother. Those who advise us to do wickedly, counsel us to our destruction; while they pretend to be friends, they are our worst enemies. We need to stay away from these people at all cost.
King Joash: "Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest." (2 Chron 24:1-2) "Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them. Therefore they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass. Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the Lord; and they testified against them, but they would not listen." (2 Chron 24:17-19)
In the case of Joash, he ascended the throne of Judah at a tender age of seven. He was greatly influenced by the godly priest Jehoiada and his wife Jehoshabeath, so he started his reign taking the right decision of making a covenant to serve God alone (vv. 3, 16). He destroyed idol worship (v. 17), and repaired, restored and reinforced the house of God to its original condition (vv. 4-14). However, after the death of Jehoiada (vv. 15-16), Joash listened to wicked leaders of Judah and reinstated the idol worship that was long forsaken (vv. 17-18). When Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada spoke prophetical words of destruction, Joash had him stoned to death. He did not remember the kindness that the Jehoiada family had done to him nor the fact that it was because of them only that he became the king of Judah (vv. 20-22). Eventually, Joash was killed by the Syrian army who executed God’s judgment against Joash, and he was not even buried in the tombs of the kings (vv. 23-25). What a tragedy!
Let us be very careful taking counsel from others – this may decide our decisions, actions and eventual destiny. "The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful." (Prov 12:5). Let us trust in the Lord who alone can give us good counsel. "I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons." (Psalms 16:7)