"There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the Lord"
This verse proclaims rather loudly that God is sovereign. We can plan and prepare what we want to accomplish but unless that area has been opened by the omnipotent hand, we will not make any progress in that direction. One person put it like this: “Go find where God is moving and join Him.” I would add that God is always moving and directing in our lives; we are just not always willing to go with it.
The tone of this verse is that God is doing something in your life or in the nation, and you don’t want that to happen so you try and find a way around it. This impulse to fight against the judgment, decisions, or plan of God is natural but it is futile. We so often think that we have a better way. We fail to realize that God has all the info. We often have a natural desire or joy in our lives taking a particular turn, and yet God knows that we will be better served by a particular direction which does not include our joy. He knows that He must block us from doing that thing we would enjoy if we are going to have the best life and if we are going to escape the snares of the Devil.
God decides and we should get on board. We find an interesting version of this in Genesis 41 when Joseph is called in to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Pharaoh had two different dreams that were of the same future. Joseph tells Pharaoh that it will surely come true because God has repeated it twice. This future was unalterable and Pharaoh and Egypt should just prepare for it instead of fighting against it. Interestingly enough, there are other future plans of God that are alterable: such as wiping out the Israelites in the desert and starting over with Moses; wiping out Ahab while he lived; the level of victory by Jehosphat. If we take this together and try and make sense of it, it seems to work like this: There are flows to history that can, at times, be altered by righteous actions or evil actions (this individual or people were going to this particular place and now they are going to a different place). There are also flows to history that are unalterable and will happen no matter what – like the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ.
I think of Jeremiah, about 400 years after Solomon penned these words, trying to warn people that the unalterable judgment of God was coming. They needed to repent individually and perhaps God would spare them as individuals. But they were too caught up in the culture of the city to see the warning of God.
I think of those who tried to fight for the independence of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. They were 40 years too late to support the Messiah. They missed their window to make peace with God and get their nation back, and Jesus let them know that the judgment was unalterable. Jesus did tell people who would listen what to do when they saw it happening. It was unalterable and they needed to stop fighting it.
Solomon is saying that when you find yourself in one of these unalterable flows of history, do not try and stop it – just go with it. We see these most often in the judgment of God when a group or nation reaches the place where they have filled up the measure of their sins, and God has decreed that they must suffer the consequences of their actions. Gamaliel told the Sanhedrin to not try and block the revival that was being initiated under the apostles because they may find themselves trying to block a movement of God. They didn’t listen and instead they tried to block what God was doing just as they earlier tried to block what God was doing and crucified the Lord Jesus. Eventually many priests and Pharisees did come to believe before the destruction of Jerusalem, but many of the rulers were too wrapped up in protecting their position and way of life to go with the decision and movement of God. God has moved powerfully in revival down through the centuries, and some of God’s people have tried to resist these revivals because it did not come the way they expected. When God begins to move in revival where people confess their sins and realize their utter peril before the holy God, find a way to help it along. Don’t get caught up in the periphery issues; it is honesty before God.
Let me hasten to add that there have also been false revivals that did not bring about repentance and changed lives – just hype and immorality. These types of revival need to be resisted by the Armor of God (truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God, prayer, and alertness).
Solomon is trying to advise us on an individual level about these unalterable times. Do not spend your time pursuing what God has clearly blocked. Go in the direction that the Righteous God has opened the doors. In all of our lives there are areas, jobs, and people that we would love to pursue but God has blocked those pursuits. We have tried a few times and it will just not happen. Invest your time, energy, and resources where God has given you an open door and where you can make a difference.
God has a plan and a direction to the flow of your life. Go with that... be the best you can be... trust Him and stretch with Him. But stop trying to move in an unrighteous direction or in a direction that God has truly blocked. No matter how sophisticated your planning or technology or counsel, it will not work if God is not going to allow it.