Biblical Decision-Making: The Right Advisers

I recently read the account of King David’s desire to build a temple for God. Here I paused to camp out on the Bible passage, 2 Samuel 7:1-17, in light of biblical decision-making. (As per my reflections in a previous post, it seems to me that this account represents a decision-making process.)

The first thing that I felt God impressing on me as I read this passage was that David began with a desire to see God’s Name and Person honored. I shared about this two weeks ago (here).

In this post, I want to share a second truth that I felt God teaching me: In the face of important decisions, we should seek the counsel of godly people.

0101-biblical-decision-making-the-right-advisers

The passage in question, 2 Samuel 7:1-7, beings with a conversation. David, king of Israel, says to Nathan, the prophet of God:

“Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”

-2 Samuel 7:2b

This is where we get a glimpse of king David’s desire to see God honored.

Today, however, I want to focus on the person with whom the king shared these thoughts.

I’m going to admit right away that I don’t know much about the prophet Nathan. However, I do know two things:

  • In this very account, God was pleased to use Nathan to communicate His words to king David, and Nathan was faithful to report to the king all the words of the entire revelation (see 2 Samuel 7:4, 17).
  • At another time, God sent Nathan to king David to rebuke him for his sin. I personally find it a daunting thought to rebuking anyone (how much more a king?). But Nathan was obedient to God (see 2 Samuel 12:1-14).

Not all prophets in Israel were godly men, but it would seem that Nathan was. He was the man that the Bible records David going to for counsel regarding His decision; whether or not to take on the gargantuan task of building a temple to honor God’s Name.

Elsewhere, the Bible expresses the value of seeking counsel from many advisors:

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

-Proverbs 15:22

This passage only records David going to one man for counsel. We can speculate, so long as we remember that it’s just that – speculation. Perhaps he sought out the advice of other godly figures in his life, too. Perhaps he had a number of friends whom he trusted and whose advice was godly instruction.

Regardless, the Bible is God’s inspired Word and is every bit sufficient in what it does and doesn’t communicate. The above Proverb teaches us to seek advisers in quantity and the account of David in 2 Samuel seems to me to communicate that we should seek counsel from the right people.

Talk about it

  • Do you have people in your life who can give you godly counsel?
  • Why is it wise to seek advice from the right people? Why is it wise to seek advice from many people?
  • Have you ever sought input from people who don’t honor God?
  • What do you know about the prophet Nathan?
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4 thoughts on “Biblical Decision-Making: The Right Advisers

  1. Hi! I’ve been sick so I haven’t been around a lot … but I’m here now, commenting! 🙂

    •Do you have people in your life who can give you godly counsel?:
    I think so. I trust my grandparents and parents, and I think my friends are pretty good at pointing to the Bible and prayer when I need to make a big decision. We can be silly, but we also talk about deep things, and … perhaps they’re not wise, but they point me towards God every time. 🙂 Mostly, though, I trust my parents and grandparents for that advice, and there’s a pastor and his wife whom I trust, too (although we’re not currently going to that church. It’s kinda complicated. I’d like to go back when I’m grownup maybe … I don’t know. It’s such a troubling thing for me! I’m so confused.)

    •Why is it wise to seek advice from the right people? Why is it wise to seek advice from many people?:
    Well, I’d say that us human beings are pretty inclined to do stuff for selfish reasons or to not look far past the end of our noses (which can get very long, by the way … not necessarily with lies like Pinnocio … Pinnochio … however you spell that, but with … sins, perhaps. Or simply our own selfishness … probably sin nature, actually), and we need a second opinion. Even with praying and reading the Bible, we sometimes misinterpret God’s word (I had someone tell me the Psalms were just poetry and couldn’t be taken literally … in fact, I’ve had many people tell me obviously face-value verses need to be interpreted in some high-handed way, when really it was God saying, “Do this!”) and because of that, we need a second opinion or someone wiser than ourselves to give us their opinions and advice. I think a second viewpoint could be good from anyone who is a true Christian, though I think it’s waaay better to get a very mature Christian who you really trust and who really loves God.

    •Have you ever sought input from people who don’t honor God?:
    No … I don’t think so? I honestly don’t know a ton of people who don’t honor God, and if they don’t, I never get close enough to them to talk to them. (I’m a little slow to warm up to people – it’s my personality, not homeschooling if anybody asks! – and I just don’t talk to a lot to people if I’m not close to them. At least, I don’t share with them. And yeah, something in me just won’t get super close to non-Christians or even Christians who don’t seem to love God/have the same beliefs I do/have crazy beliefs about God. On the other hand, I have talked to a lot of people on the internet and stuff who don’t really honor God or twist His words in a weird way … but I don’t think I’ve ever taken advice (at least none that wasn’t related to writing) from any of them. Honestly, I don’t ask for a lot of advice from people. I double-check God’s word and pray … but I don’t really go to people for advice, but … I should probably get better about asking for advice. I’m really independent, so I’d much rather figure things out for myself – and sometimes asking for advice embarrasses me – but I should really. It’s important. 🙂

    •What do you know about the prophet Nathan?:
    I confess most of what I know about him is in relation to David. I’ve read through the Bible once with my family (and books of it and chapters of it many, many times, of course), and I’ve heard stories about Nathan and David many times … but not much else about Nathan. I’m reading through the Bible again this year, so maybe I can make sure I see what I can find out about Nathan! All I remember was that he was brave in confronting David, like you said.

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    1. Hi Kellyn! It’s lovely to see your smiling profile again.

      Of coarse, I don’t know your whole situation regarding the church you attend, but given the bit that you’ve shared, I think I can relate. Maybe you didn’t want to changes churches, but it wasn’t up to you? I’ve been in that boat. In my case, it’s turned out that I can look back today and be glad that we changed. I don’t know if it will end the same for you, but I sure hope that you’ll one day, in hindsight, you’ll see God’s gracious hand through the process or learn something from it that you can take with you. Or maybe you already have?

      From experience, I can say that there have been times where I’ve asked for advice, then not wanted to follow the advice that I get. Perhaps that was me not willing to look past my own nose.

      Well, I hope that this new “round” of reading through the Bible will be enriching – regardless of whether you learn more about Nathan. And if you *do* learn something exciting or enlightening about him and want to share, I’ll be an eager listener!

      I hope you continue to feel better than last week! 🙂

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      1. I don’t really want to change churches, no. I don’t have friends there or anything, but I’ve always been comfortable there. I just fit in with the crowd and felt like I belonged even though we never really talked to them. And I just liked the message, too, and the big feeling it put off. But now we’re in search of a congregation that’s perhaps a little smaller … you could go to Calvary for weeks and no one would know you weren’t there, honestly … and I guess that’s a good thing, but the other options in our town I just don’t prefer to Calvary. But yep, I hope we’re making the right decision.

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      2. For what it’s worth, I prefer the more personal feel that seems characteristic of smaller congregations. It seems to me that they’re generally less superficial, and that where quantity is less emphasized, quality takes its place. All the best with the search. I hope you’ll find a church to love and be loved by.

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