BE IN THE COUNSEL OF GOD
Monday, 8 October 2018
Jeremiah 23 : 1-24
“But if they had stood in My council, Then they would have announced My words to My people, And would have turned them back from their evil way …”- Jeremiah 23:22
Today’s reading gives us a picture of what God is expecting of His appointed leaders and also from the people that they lead. Verses 5 & 6 lead us to the Shepherd of our souls. This is why Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.”
Old Testament References to a Divine Council
We can see a council in heaven in Psalm 89:5-7 where the heavenly hosts are gathered to praise Him. Prophets like Isaiah and Job had visions of the throne room and the assembly. We read in 1Kings 22:19-23 how Prophet Micaiah saw the LORD seated on his throne and “all the host of heaven standing by Him” conferring how to draw the evil king Ahab to fall in battle. Job 1:6 & Job 2:1 describes the spirit beings assembling before God. We understand from these references that decision by the heavenly council is sometimes made known to appointed prophets to bring it to the attention of His people for them to humble themselves, repent and pray which can bring a change in the decree. In our reading today, the prophets of that time were unable to receive from His Council because of their unrighteousness (Jer. 23:1-2).
New Testament References to a Divine Council
In Jer 23:5-6 we see the one who will head up God’s Divine Council in all righteousness: the Lord Jesus Christ. After the resurrection, Jesus said, “all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). God elevated Jesus and “seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above every ruler, and authority, and power, and lordship, and every name that is named, ……and he put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body…..” (Ephesians 1:20-23). We who believe in Him are also seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6) by His Holy Spirit who has been given to us as a pledge until redemption. With such privilege now, there is no excuse for not hearing from God or for not walking in the counsel of the Holy Spirit.
So now that we have a Wonderful Counselor, we as the body of Christ have a collective general calling. Jesus Christ appoints the equipping ministries in the Church, Ephesians 4:7-12 “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ……And He gave some to be apostles, and some prophets,..….for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Each one of us has a calling, but some are chosen for specific tasks as seen above. As servants of God called to leadership, the climb to the higher place is often slow, hard and arduous. The top position is often precarious and really very lonely even though it looks glorious. Just a small stumble is sufficient to fall. Here is where the body of Christ comes into its role of supporting them in prayer. We are all called to pray for the ones in authority so that they will not stumble and fall and we also will not be scattered but live in peace. (Zechariah 13:7; 1 Timothy 2:2).
The LORD says: “I will instruct you and teach you
in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”
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