Two or three months ago we looked at Proverbs 19:21 – “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” I approached the verse in a general sort of way; a way which is absolutely true. In other words a 20-year-old man may determine to save enough money for retirement by the time he is 40. He may work hard, save and invest, but he has no guarantee of a good economy – or of his own health. Or he may cheat, steal and defraud others, but again no matter how hard he tries, even with Satan’s assistance, if wealth is not the will of the Lord for that man, he will never have wealth. There can never be any real success – long term success – without the will of the Lord.
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.”’ That verse might be applied in a multitude of different ways – to win the love of a certain girl; to play the oboe at Carnegie Hall; to climb Mt. Everest. But a more specific application is suggested in Proverbs 21:30 – “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.” Again, no plan of man can stand if the Lord is against it. But this is never more true or certain than when man directly attacks the King of Heaven and Earth – when man tries to stand “AGAINST the Lord.”
Here is the fact:
“There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel (nor cavalry that can be victorious) against the LORD.” Notice that Solomon distinguishes between “wisdom,” “understanding” and “counsel.” I think I can see why he made that distinction. Where do people learn human wisdom? Generally speaking they find it in school. How do people begin to understand the universe, or mathematics, or their own cells? Science. And what happens when a group of like-minded people get together to run a country? Politics. We might paraphrase this verse to say, “There is no education, nor science, nor political alliance which can stand against the LORD.”
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Satan says, “Think about it, Eve, why would God forbid this fruit if He wasn’t hiding something from you. Let me give you a little advice – counsel – God wants to keep you from wisdom, understanding and deity.” Don’t listen to that liar, “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.”
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion” and you cannot defeat Him. “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.”
In my mind verse 31 is part and parcel with verse 30. “The horse is prepared against he day of battle; but safety is of the Lord.” The horse was the most formidable piece of military equipment in Solomon’s day. Israel was not supposed breed them or keep them; she was supposed to trust God for protection. The unprotected lost world looked at F-18s, side-winder missiles, and bunker buster bombs to bring down their enemies – even Jehovah. But “there is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel (nor military power) against the LORD.”
And there is plenty of proof for that statement.
Balak, the king of Moab, saw the people of God as a threat, so he took steps to destroy them. He turned to Balaam to bring a curse down on Israel; they counseled with one another. They reasoned things out between their faulty little minds. They stood against the LORD, but they had no success.
Ahithophel, in II Samuel, was renowned for his wisdom and counsel. “The counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.” The rebel Absalom chose to turn Ahithophel against David and against the will of the Lord. What happens when even the wisest of counsel of man is against the Lord? It cannot stand; it will be defeated; in this case it was brought down by the counsel of Hushai. “When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself.” When the wisest men on earth choose to counsel against the Lord, they will not stand. Athaliah, the wicked queen of Israel used all her strength, wisdom and counselors to bring the line of David and of Christ to an end, but she couldn’t stand against the Lord.
Isaiah 14:27 – “The LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Acts 5:39 – If something “be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” I find that a particularly interesting statement considering from whom it came. That is the counsel of Gamaliel to the Sanhedrim in regard to the growing problem of Christianity. And who was the most notable student of this Gamaliel? Saul of Tarsus. Saul chose to stand against Christ and God, and what happened to him? He fell to the earth defeated and blind. “If it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it.” Isaiah 7:5-7 – “Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.” Isaiah 8:9-10 – “Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: Gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.”
Satan has tried for centuries to destroy the churches of Christ, but he has failed miserably. The Roman emperor Diocletian in the midst of his brutal persecutions said, “Now is Christianity extinguished.” That was in the third century, but Bible Christianity is still here. Dozens of rationalistic atheists of the 17th and 18th century said that Christianity was finished. Popes and heathen kings did their best to destroy the word of God, but they couldn’t. “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel (nor military power) against the LORD.”
And what is the reason?
About Whom are we speaking? It isn’t Elijah, or Solomon or David. It isn’t Paul or Peter, or the Apostle John. We are talking about God. Solomon isn’t referring to some make-believe deity. And I find it interesting that he doesn’t refer to God in a generic way. He doesn’t say “Allah,” “El” or even “Elohim,” “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against JEHOVAH.”
Let’s be more specific. Jehovah, at the time, was worshiped by Israel alone, but He is the God of the universe. And the Creator of heaven and earth, cannot be successfully withstood. The God of the Red Sea; the God of Noah’s flood; the God who brought down Babel, will eventually bring down every anti-Christian political entity in the world “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished” – Proverbs 16:5. The God of Israel cannot be defeated by wisdom, understanding, counsel or army.
Moving into the New Testament the Lord took upon Him human flesh and was made in the likeness of man. “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against Christ Jesus the Lord.” No matter how much society – in its education, in its science falsely-so-called, in its human government – hates Christ and the gospel, He cannot be defeated. Scriptural churches may become more and more scarce, but the indefatigable, undefeatable God will never be brought down or silenced. Sure, there may be battles lost and even Christian casualties in the process, but the war will be won by the Lord. I know, because I have read the last book and the last chapter. It says “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; for he is Lord of lords, and King of Kings…”
The world needs to get it through its thick skull – “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against Jehovah.”