How many people do you inquire for advice before making decisions? How often do you listen to sound wisdom, ignore it and make a decision that could become very costly days, weeks or months down the road?
Isaiah 30:1-3 shares with us what happens when we don’t listen to God’s counsel. “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord , that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.” Here we read Holy Spirit talking about the children of Israel, (we can also apply this to our lives); and recorded in other Books of the Bible, the children of Irsael had a history of being a stubborn, stiff-neck people, so now we can add poor listening skills to their resume.
From Isaiah 30 we learn three valuable life lessons of what happens when a child of God refuses to listen to Him and follows the wrong voice for counsel.
First, they are called rebellious. God brought the children of Israel out of the bondage of slavery. He protected and provided for them in the wilderness for 40 years. God then took them into the promised land and was their covering of protection and provision! God made them the wealthiest nation in the world! But, in Jeremiah 42:13-14 we read they refused God’s counsel, protection and provision. This was so sad! They had become rebellious and harden their hearts against God’s counsel because they wanted to be like the nations around them.
They no longer wanted what God offered them, nor His wisdom. Instead, they sought counsel and protection from Egypt – a place they had be in bondage of slavery. Refusing God’s counsel, they chose to listen to the false prophets in Israel. Their response to God’s prophets was, “No, but we will go into the land of Egypt….”
As a little girl, God used my father to instruct me with the rules of our home along with wisdom as to whom I should or should not associate with, my curfew, etc. Thinking his rules were too strict I didn’t want to listen to him, believing me and my friends knew better than my father! Unfortunately listening to the voices of my peers, who didn’t have the wisdom of my father, always became a disadvantage in my life. The decision to listen to my peers and disobey my father produced unwanted discipline and consequences in my life I am still reaping.
Secondly, following the wrong voice vetoes our protection. In verse 1 of Isaiah 30 we read they lost the protective covering of God. The children of Israel were married to God. As their husband He was their covering of protection. Their rebellion caused them to not only lose provision, but also their covering. Through their rebellion, they were actually saying, “we don’t need God, we want a divorce!”
Living at home, God through my father was my provider and protection. When I strayed from his home through rebellion, refusing to listen to his advice I lost his loving protection. I am still reaping some of the consequences of a rebellious heart. This life lesson has taught me to listen and heed to Father God’s advice, which is so full of wisdom that brings life to those who seek Him.
I also learned later in life, listening to the counsel of God brings blessings and a properous journey. God is Sovereign and knows what lies ahead, His counsel is always for our good.
Finally, following the wrong voice leads to Egypt, i.e. “bondage,” which becomes our “snare!” The Greek definition for snare is “entangled.” When we choose to remain rebellious toward God this is called “sin” – our snare. Sin leads us right back into bondage. Galatians 5:1 tells us to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” As children of God, Jesus has set us free from the bondage and entanglement of sin through His precious Blood. Satan will use our family, friends, coworkers, etc., to snare us into listening to the wrong voice. He doesn’t want us to be free from the bondage of sin! What is Father God instructing you to do? Listen to Him and tune out voices that are counseling you to return to Egypt, the bondage of your past.
So I ask you, what is happening in your life right now? Who are you seeking advice from? Are you listening to the “wrong” voice? Don’t return to what Father God has set you free from. Remember listening to the wrong voice is costly! The Jewish people lost everything by choosing to listen to the wrong voice. God’s protection and provision are more valuable than anything we could possibly want – listen to His voice!