“Where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
Where there is no wise and judicious, 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 commonwealth, nation, or city, fall into extinction and loss, or into designs which bring them to it; they are like a ship without a pilot, or without a steerage, or one to steer it.
Many of us remember in the Bible the story of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, and when he came into power, the people of Israel asked him if he was going to either give them tax reliefs or increase it. “If you lighten it, we’ll serve you.” Solomon’s advisers – the old men – told him to agree with the people so that they would serve him for long. They short a warning at Solomon, “but if you answer them roughly you’re going to lose them.” Well, Solomon dismissed the counsel of his father’s advisors and took the advice of the buddies that grew up with him in the palace, and he lost the kingdom. And so having Godly counsel and listening to them, there’s safety.
God inspired Solomon to write Proverbs to teach us wisdom. Here before us is an important rule of wisdom. We should not make substantial decisions without consulting wise and successful persons, who are not emotionally or personally or financially involved. They can employ their wisdom and experience to our situations without the distracting and distorting influences that may be corrupting our thoughts.
Not every counsellor will do! If you choose to check your ideas and decisions with just your friends, most of them will agree with you to keep your friendship and avoid conflict. 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 foolish 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 counsellors. If they seek to go it alone, they are taking a great risk with their office and the poor people under them. How many souls, lives, and fortunes would have been saved, if we all sought counsellors?
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 rejected. Twenty million countrymen could have been saved from Stalin’s purges by counsellors. These are disastrous decisions that caused many to fall.
Sometime back Russian President Vladimir Putin said that embattled Syrian President Bashar Al Assad would have avoided the civil war if he had followed his advice.
If we desire to grow in wisdom, we will jettison our thoughts and replace them, or reinforce them, with the wisdom of impudent advisers. This is a hard choice to make because we sinfully hate being criticized or corrected. We want to be the wise one that always makes outstanding decisions. We must learn to crush our pride and subject our ideas and plans to the analysis and examination of others. By choosing godly and successful men as our counsellors, we can instantly raise the quality and results of our decisions. Above all, let us not forget that we have an ultimate Counsellor; The Holy Spirit.