COUNSEL

by Barri Cae Mallin

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"Decisions are being made that appear that tiny Israel
has lost. . . . Does any of this surprise the LORD? No."

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8. Abram said to Lot, "Please, let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. 9. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left." 10. Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere.

~ Genesis 13:8-10 ~

From time to time, each of us has to make crucial decisions. It could be about the timing to purchase a home, who to marry, what job to take, what school to enroll the children, and so on. Decisions are never easy. We wish it were as easy as checking the urim and thummim, the stones that the High Priest (Cohen Gadol) kept in the breastplate of his ephod. Sometimes we have to make a decision based on little information.

Abram found himself in a place of great decision. Yet, the difference between Lot and Abram was vast. Lot lifted up his eyes and saw. Lot was the man of the flesh. He desired to follow his eyesight. His cares were for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and he saw the beautiful Jordan valley. He chose to select by sight.

Abram, on the other hand, allowed the control to go to Lot and not please himself. Abram walked by faith, not by sight. He believed before he could see.

The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered.

~ Genesis 13:14-16 ~

Although Abram had a promise given to him by the LORD (Genesis 12), he allowed Lot to decide where he wanted to dwell. Abram yielded the decision to Lot. What a mighty man Abram was. Had the decision been left up to me, I dare say that I would have been as gracious as Abram. Yet, things looked bad to Abram, the land was barren, but things turned out well. God spoke to Abram and confirmed His promise, I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth . . . all the land which you see, and I will give it to you.

These are tenuous days at best. Decisions are being made that appear that tiny Israel has lost. Email boxes are full of petitions, encouragement to fast and pray. Leaders are beseeching followers to pray as never before.

Does any of this surprise the LORD? No. God is sovereign. God has a plan. Isaiah 46:10-11 says,

Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, "My purpose (etzah-tee) will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure."

Why should we doubt our LORD? God has a purpose (etzah), He has a plan, it is His plan.

Psalm 33:10 states The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The LORD nullifies etzaht goyeem, the counsel of the nations, He makes void the counsel. That word etzaht comes from the word etzah, for counsel. One of the most beautiful names of our Messiah is Pheleh Yo-etz, Wonderful counselor. The same word, etzah is the same word for Counselor. In Ephesians 1:11 we see the Greek equivalent of this word etzah as well: In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose (etzah-tho), who works all things after the counsel (etzah) of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Messiah would be to the praise of His glory.

For what do you still trust the LORD? As Abram did, so you should now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I [the LORD] will give it to you and to your descendants forever.

In these days of confusion, we can still stand on the etzah, the counsel of our Pheleh Yo-etz, Wonderful Counselor. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. To the praise of His glory and grace.

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Copyright Barri Cae Mallin, 2011.

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Barri Cae Mallin holds a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from
Trinity Theological Seminary.
Other devotionals by
Barri Cae may be found at
www.barricae.com.
To receive them by email, inquire at
Barricae@comcast.net or
Contact Barri Cae.

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