Psalm 97, 99; II Samuel 14: 1-20; Acts 21:1-14; Mark 10:1-16
David takes a lot of advice from Joab, because Joab is very, very effective. He’s an astonishing military leader. He’s a great motivator of men. He’s totally loyal. He’s also absolutely amoral and ruthless, and perhaps on that account not such a good source for advice.
Joab has already murdered a political opponent, and will do so again. And here he is, giving his king advice to bring back a murderer, the self-exiled crown prince Absalom. But Absalom is even more of a snake in the grass than Joab–he’ll take advantage of the invitation to return to launch a rebellion and rape his father’s wives in public. Because, friends, good advice from bad people is rarely good advice. It may be canny. It may be convenient. It may even feel really ‘right.’ But in the long run, character counts, and the character of the person giving you advice and help is likely to give you a clue as to the final outcome.
Just because someone is successful doesn’t make them wise, or good, or well-intentioned. And do you really need the advice and assistance of people who aren’t those last three items?