The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
God blesses wise counsel. God is exalted by plans that honor Him. He offers wisdom and knowledge to all who hunger for it. His wisdom reveals to nations what is good, what is best, what will bring their peoples love, joy, and hope. God longs to see the nations turn to Him for wisdom, yet in His love and grace, when the nations refuse His gracious counsel, He protects them from their own decisions.
God determines the bounds in which nations are free to destroy families and women and children. Even though our hearts ache as we see the hunger, persecution and suffering often brought about by governments, we know that God sees and limits and intervenes, protecting humanity from the unimaginable consequences of national decisions. Nations think they control borders and freedom and access, but God alone determines the extent of their reach. And He sits in perfect judgment, preparing for the day of their reckoning.
Even God’s most intense judgment is a loving response and protection, seeking to turn governments and nations back to Himself. When He brings the counsel of the nations to nothing, He is doing exactly those things that will turn the eyes of governments and leaders toward Him. “Look!” is the underlying plea of God’s intervention. “See!” God offers protection and peace to nations who seek Him. Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. (Psalm 91:9-10) God offers to take nations from the brink of disaster and turn them toward prosperity and honor. Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will be with them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation. (Psalm 91:14-16)
We are easily frustrated with life, as we bump up against barrier after barrier that would keep us from what we believe we deserve. Even so, mankind easily puts God aside and moves forward in the blind belief that human plans will work just as well as God’s. The Lord frustrates such plans, but blesses plans that please Him, and shows us the way around or over or through the barriers. The Lord doesn’t want to frustrate our plans, but He loves us too much to allow us to suffer the full extent of our stupidity. He frustrates our plans to protect us. You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday. (Psalm 91:1-6)