Elul 21

Yaatsnu Ra – We have given bad advice


Aaron took the advice of the restless and complaining Israelites waiting for Moses at the foot of Mount Sinai, and he built a golden calf for them to worship, (Exodus 32:1). As a result, this sin led to the death of three thousand men that day (Exodus 32:28). We see many such instances in the Scriptures. The people’s actions and reactions many times were based upon bad advice they received from others; and the consequences led them to their own destruction.


This vicious cycle of giving and taking evil counsel, and facing the evil consequences, began in the garden with Eve and the serpent, (Genesis 3). The serpent advised Eve to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree. Eve then advised Adam to eat the same fruit. And their sin led them to death.


More than heeding bad counsel, it is more sinful to give bad counsel because it puts the hearer in danger and makes him or her the bearer of the consequences. The outcomes they face are like the bad fruit produced from the bad seed planted by the person who gave the counsel. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of what we speak and repent for what we may have counseled others in the past; knowingly or unknowingly. In Ephesians 4:29, Shaul says, “Let no harmful word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for building others up according to the need, so that it gives grace to those who hear it” (TLV).


Adonai, my Counselor and my Guide, I realize there are times when I have given evil advice, whether out of ignorance or for an evil intent. Show me if I have created a tendency to speak before I consult You. Show me if I, in my insecurity, speak quickly to gain approval by trying to appear to know more than I actually do. Open my eyes to the lies of the enemy that pass through my lips. Make me quick, and brave, to own up to my mistakes and to correct them quickly before the consequences bring destruction and pain.