“Where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counsellors, there is safety.”Proverbs 11:14.
Where there is no discreet and prudent, sound and good counsel, as the word implies; where that is not, there had as good be none, or better; a people, a kingdom, a community, nation, or city, fall into waste and decay, or into plots which bring them to it; they are like a ship without a captain, or without a rudder, or one to drive it.
Many of us remember in the Bible the story of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. When he came into power, the people of Israel said to him, ‘are you going to lighten our tax burden or are you going to make it harder? If you lighten it, we’ll serve you.’ Well, Solomon’s counsellors – the old men – advised him to cooperate with the people and they would serve him forever, and they warned, ‘but if you answer them roughly you’re going to lose them.’ Solomon rejected the counsel of his father’s advisors and he took the counsel of his buddies that grew up with him in the palace, and he lost the kingdom. And so having Godly counsels and listening to them, there’s a refuge.
God inspired Solomon to write Proverbs to teach budding people to be wise. This is a crucial course of wisdom. Do not make big decisions without consulting God. God can use a variety of wise and victorious men and women too; people who are established and abundant in God’s wisdom. They can apply their wisdom and experience to your situation without the distracting and distorting influences that may be corrupting your thoughts.
Not every counsellor will do! If you choose to check your ideas and decisions with just your buddies, most of them will agree with you to keep your bond and avoid dispute. This very thing happened to Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. After the death of his father, he listened to his young friends rather than his father’s aged and wised counsellors. Because of this silly choice, he lost 10 of his nation’s 12 tribes to a rival.
It has been said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” To counter this perverting effect of authority, those in positions of leadership must rely even more heavily on God and the people He uses to speak to them. If they seek to go it alone, they are taking a great gamble with their position and the ordinary people under them.
How many souls, lives, and fortunes would have been saved, if all of us used honest counsellors?
Counsel in contemporary world
Consider World War II. Counsellors could have saved Chamberlain from Hitler’s lies. If Hitler had trusted military advisors, he would have defeated the Soviets. Counsellors tried to save Japan from war with the U.S. but were rebuffed. 20 million countrymen could have been saved from Stalin’s purges by counsellors. If the U.S. had used counsellors, they would not have given Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union. These are unfortunate decisions that caused many to fall, and these are only a few linked to that war!
The other day Russian President Vladimir Putin said that embattled Syrian President Bashar Al Assad would have avoided the war within if he had followed their advice.
If we desire to grow in wisdom, we will jettison our thoughts and supplant them with the counsel of God and His wise people – the people He sends our way to help us when in the valley of decision.
This is a tough choice to make because we sinfully hate being criticised or corrected. We want to be the wise ones that always makes outstanding decisions. We must learn to pulverise our pride and subject our ideas and plans for the analysis and examination of others. By choosing godly and godly men and women as our counsellors, we can instantly raise the quality and results of our decisions.