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Elrond: Giver of Wise Counsel

     "The face of Elrond was ageless, neither old nor young, though in it was written the memory of many things both glad and sorrowful. His hair was dark as the shadows of twilight, and upon it was set a circlet of silver; his eyes were grey as a clear evening, and in them was a light like the light of the stars. Venerable he seemed as a king crowned with many winters, and yet hale as a tried warrior in the fullness of his strength. He was the Lord of Rivendell and mighty among both Elves and Men." (The Lord of the Rings)

Elrond: Giver of Wise Counsel

In the hapless age, the end of the third age of Middle-Earth, it fell upon Elrond, Lord of Rivendell, to provide counsel for Frodo and those who would accompany him to see to the unmaking of the Ring of Power. He showed hospitality, even to dwarves, which was uncommon in those days, seeing elves and dwarves were at enmity with each other. Not only did Elrond show hospitality, but he provided a place of healing. Bilbo is found, finally aging without the Ring, but at peace with himself in Elrond's halls. Frodo also was healed of the deadly Morgul-knife wound by the healing arts of Elrond. That isn't to say he was a magician or sorcerer. Think of Elrond as having an advanced knowledge of medicine and you will see that Elrond was a practitioner of medicine. He was Lord of Rivendell, most glorious of all Elven houses, and yet, Elrond was not really known for any of these so much as he was for his wise counsel.

It is interesting to note that while many so-called wise people may have given their counsel outright, Elrond called upon representatives of all races affected by the destiny of the Ring. He listened to each of their tales, their opinions and their suggestions. He didn't use his place as a "bully-pulpit" to force others to do what needed to be done. Instead he listened. All too often we forget that the greatest part of wisdom is not in the dispensing of ideas, but in the listening to the problems. Consider the words of Solomon who wrote; "The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools." (Ecclesiastes 9:17) Being quiet didn't diminish his wisdom, but proclaimed it.

After listening to all the advice, problems and suggestions of the others then Elrond, hesitantly, gave his advice. I say "hesitantly", because he knew the burden of the words he was about to speak. The Ring must be unmade. To do that someone must carry the Ring of Power to Mt. Doom in Mordor. Elrond further knew that this task would fall upon Frodo, the poor, weak hobbit, whose life he had just saved. Elrond thanked Frodo, but said that he should not go alone. Later he called certain people unto him, Frodo being the greatest of these, and said, "The Company of the Ring shall be Nine; and the Nine Walkers shall be set against the Nine Riders that are evil. With you and your faithful servant, Gandalf will go; for this shall be his great task, and maybe the end of his labours."

To Frodo this was hope, as it must have seemed to most of the others, but there were a few who understood that Elrond was also saying this might well be the end of Gandalf's life. Those who could held onto the hope of this much welcomed companion. Others bore their own burdens of what was to become of their friend.

Do not be deceived my friends. The Word of God is a two-edged sword. It heals one and slays another. What is hope to one is despair to another. What is mercy to one is judgment to another. Like Elrond we are to realize this and use our tongues judiciously, meaning very carefully. My father says that "Christians should have teeth marks in their tongues", but I look at my life and see no such markings. I see others and see no such restraint. I wonder where are the wise among us who will be quiet before God and His servants, even as Elrond was quiet before his guests. The House of God is over-run with fools spouting off one thing or another, and I have added to that. It is time to seek the Lord, that we may have His breath in our mouth, that His Words may come forth. To do this we must quiet ourselves before our God, listen to our brothers and sisters in Christ, yes even listen to the advice of the unsaved. Let God speak through whomever He wishes to speak, and may we be willing to listen and to abide by His counsel.

I like Elrond, and yet he seems a bit loft for me. Perhaps that is because I feel uncomfortable in the presence of someone so wise. Now Elrond is no god, no type of divinity, but rather a type of Christian character which we should attain to. And, perhaps that too is what bothers me. I'm afraid I will not attain that stature. The problem is that as long as I try I will fail, but when I go to God and let Him work through me, then shall I succeed. I'm afraid, not because I'm not sure that God can do what He says He can, but BECAUSE I know He can do exactly that. I fear because a part of me doesn't wish to give up the evil that has lived so comfortably within me. I too, need to go to the Cross and see that Jesus has unmade my sins with His blood. I need to be quiet before Him that I may learn His counsel.

     "For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors there is safety." (Proverbs 24:6)