It has been said that the stool of God’s wisdom is held up by three legs. One leg is the scriptures, God’s Holy Word. The other leg is godly counsel, often offered by those more mature and wiser in their walk. And the third leg is prayer, the active conversation between the Lord and His kids.
It is amazing that a story in the book of I Samuel highlights each of those legs!
Let’s jump to the end of that story. Israel wanted a king so they could be just like all the other nations around them. They clamored for that king. And God gave him to them. But it didn’t turn out as they hoped.
In fact, the moral of the story is the truth that sometimes we ought to be careful about what we ask for. Sometimes God gives us our desires. The problem is, our desires don’t match His. And we end up with a second (or sixth or tenth) best choice.
Israel ignored the protection of parents (godly counsel). They disregarded the provisions made by the prophets, their spiritual leaders (God’s Word), and they overlooked the power that prayer could have had in their lives. They clamored for that king. They got the king and all the heartache that went with him.
Which leads us back to that stool. I am told that you and I make about 35,000 decisions a day. Most of them are “automatic” (what to wear, which way to walk, how to breathe, and so on). But some of them are life-altering. And in those cases, we need to remember the stool.
Leg number one: Consult God’s Word regularly. Look for knowledge and apply wisdom. “The book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it…” (Joshua 1:8)
Leg number two: Seek godly counsel. Ask for help from those who are further down the spiritual path to maturity. Talk to someone who has gone through those kinds of experiences. Pursue their wisdom. Apply it liberally.
Leg number three: Engage in an active two-way conversation with the Lord. Listen (read and study His Word) and then speak (with or without words). Express your frustrations, share your concerns, ask your questions, seek His leading, talk it over! Take time for a real discussion.
Then, and then only, we can know that what we ask for, He wants to give us.
And bottom line, we will get a better King! (Stay tuned for the rest of the I Samuel messages.)