PROVERB PRACTICALS before you go, stop, look, and listen, proverbs 11:14, audio
Proverbs 11:14, Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Our world today is filled with the results of rulers not heeding this proverb.
We can vividly recall the capture by our military forces in Iraq of Saddam Hussein from the hole in the ground and in recent weeks the brutal end of Muammar Gadhafi.
These men were rulers who saw themselves as all wise and did not assemble around them men from whom wise counsel would be given and received.
Instead you can be sure that both the rulers of Iraq and Libya were surrounded by people who would not dare give advice to their proud ruler other than to approve his every whim.
What a difference both men could have made in their countries had they been humble and saw themselves in need of wise counsel.
Our own country was founded upon the idea of this proverb that in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Our national counselors in the legislative branch consist of 435 representatives and 100 senators.
Our State of Florida legislative branch consists of 120 representatives and 40 senators.
Our founding fathers expected the presence of numerous counselors to produce wise counsel that would guide our country in right directions.
They expected these counselors to advise by wise, age old principles that would result in guidance that would bring our people to live their unalienable rights, of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
If our founding fathers could see what is happening today they would see that their expectations are in jeopardy.
For our legislators are so connected to ideology and political party that we do see thinking founded upon Biblical principles but thinking conforming to pressure and special interest group thinking.
Today we are becoming a people who John Adams, our second President, warned about when he said this:
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
Presidents, please listen to your forefathers when you go about nation building in nations without moral and religious people, and I believe President Adams meant by religious people, people of the Bible.
Our Constitution was designed by such a moral and religious people for a moral and religious people and when our people are not such as these the Constitution will be forsaken.
Today in many quarters our Constitution is revered as an historical document but there is little desire to practice it and therefore is interpreted to allow what is desired to be done.
But our proverb admonishes governments and individuals to seek wise counsel before coming to a decision for without wise counsel the people will fall.
In other words the actions of the leaders are directly connected to the welfare of the people ruled.
Now you may be living an exemplary life but you will fall along with others if your leaders do not lead by godly principles.,
Matthew Henry in his commentary said this:
Where no counsel is, no consultation, but everything done rashly, only caballing for parties and divided interest, the people fall, crumble into factions, fall to pieces.
This is Biblical truth and when we see this happen we are able to predict the results that will come and this prediction will be foreboding.
That word caballing means groups whose goals are to bring about success of their own interests.
These groups have no interest in the betterment of the country with ultimate betterment of all, but only interest in the betterment of the group promoting themselves.
But God admonishes the wise to obtain a wide range of input, opinions, and facts before coming to a conclusion and making a final decision.
Our legislators are to confer among themselves, and others, they are to get legal opinions, professional opinions, previous opinions, counsel from every area under consideration.
The counselor whose opinion comes from a lobby which supports his reelection with money is a traitor to the people whom he is pledged to represent and his vow to uphold the constitution is proven meaningless.
God knows our weakness for leaning to our own ways.
All of us have a bias toward our way of life.
All of us have an ideology; all of us have a philosophy, all of us have opinions.
But today it seems we only have those who lean right and those who lean left.
We only have those who identify themselves as conservative or liberal.
In the political realm we in actuality have only two parties, Republican and Democrat.
Our TV news claims to be fair and balanced but in being fair and balanced it seems only people who lean to the right or to the left are presented and the loudest voice usually wins the argument.
Where are those who lean not to the right nor to the left but those who judge righteous judgment as Jesus told us in:
John 7:24, Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
God is careful to tell us in His word over and over about being in the camp of ideologues.
I believe God tells me that I am not to identify myself with the conservatives, the liberals, the progressives, the socialists, nor the libertarians.
God tells me to be in his camp which is without the camp of this world.
He tells me to lean not to my own understanding but in all my ways I am to acknowledge him and He shall direct my paths.
He tells me in Proverbs 4:25-27, Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
God told his people this in no uncertain terms in:
Deuteronomy. 5:32, Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.
By this instruction I learn not to have my mind made up by following an ideology or a set of preconceived ideas of man but I am to know God and his word and from this know how to evaluate good counsel.
I am to ponder the issues of life, I am to examine all sides and reach wise conclusions whether they agree with those on the left or those on the right.
I am not to ask those of a certain ideology what is the accepted position before I reach an opinion.
But that is what is happening today as men and women who are elected to represent the people march in rhythm with the group with whom they align themselves.
It is absolutely disgusting the way our representatives have quit thinking for themselves but simply think according to some prescribed way.
But Satanís goal is to have his people march in lockstep that his program be advanced.
It is inevitable that calamity will come to our country under the present setup whereby we have not counselors who think things through and come to wise decisions without pressure from some group or faction.
The scripture in II Timothy which talks about enduring sound doctrine can apply to more than Biblical doctrine for we can see that it applies in the political realm also.
II Timothy 4:3, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Counselors who turn to a ideology for answers are turning from the truth and paying attention to voices that bring relief to itching ears and in many cases itching bank accounts.
They refuse to listen to good counsel themselves but go about listening to those who will advance their cause, to those who will scratch their ears.
He was the son of Solomon and was heir to the throne.
After Solomonís death Jeroboam and the congregation of Israel came to him to advise him.
They were indeed a multitude of counselors and came to ask Rehoboam to govern them in a way apart from the governance of Solomon for they said:
Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.
Rehoboam asked for a three day period in which to make his decision.
In that period of time he consulted with the old men who agreed with the multitude of Israel and said: If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.
But Rehoboam was not satisfied with this advice and he took counsel from the young men, men with whom he had grown up.
Their advice met with his approval for he had already made up his mind and simply sought support from a group he was sure would give support for you can always get approval from your fair weather friends.
But if he had sought advice from both groups, the old men and the young men with a heart that was given to God, a heart that did not lean to his own understanding God would make known His heart about the matter.
For God definitely had a direction to give him if he had not already chosen to listen to his own heart.
This is made clear in:
I Kings 12:15, Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
Now Rehoboam appeared to seek counsel from a multitude of counselors but he only went through the motions using his peers to get what he wanted in the first place.
He had no intention of listening to good counsel for he had a set of preconceived ideas going into his counsel seeking, in other words he had a man centered ideology.
So the result of that ideology was division which strict adherence to ideology always brings for as we know the kingdom was rent in two.
Yes, there is safety in the multitude of counselors but the seeking of counsel must be from a humble heart which desires to arrive at truth based upon principles of Godís word.
A multitude of counsel will bring to the mind the many sides of every issue.
It will reveal the nuances and subtleties of the problem and show unintended consequences that may come about thus enabling the mind to ponder its path more safely.
Seeking counsel necessitates listening skills.
It remembers the admonition of James to be slow to speak, quick to hear.
It accepts the possibility that others may know better than you know even if they are from a different perspective.
Seeking counsel from a multitude of counselors accepts the fact that a sharp mind may even receive instruction from a dull mind as Proverbs 27:17 infers:
For Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Rub the sharp knife against another piece of iron, not sharp in itself and the knife receives sharpness.
God provides counsel from every direction.
Even the ant can instruct for he tells us in Proverbs 6:6, Go to the ant thou sluggard consider her ways and be wise.
But it takes humbling to go to the ant.
Sometimes you have to lay down prone in the grass, getting as close to the ants as you can and just observe their ways.
No talking required, just observing Godís little creatures and you will receive a multitude of counsel.
They seem to have no guide, no overseer, no ruler.
But they are faithful to their creatorís will for them.
They operate according to the principles that God has laid down for them and they accomplish great things.
But there is a dearth of humbling in our land today, for it conflicts with self esteem which bumps into the need to listen and to learn but instead to talk and babble and follow the ideology of the group.
Where no counsel is the people fall.
Iím afraid that is what is taking place today in high places.
Is God taking away good counsel because of unbelief?
This of course is predestinated.
When Godís Word is discarded the greatest counsel is discarded.
We seem to be as it was in the times of the Judges when it was the norm of the people to do that which was right in their own eyes.
Godís law was forgotten in favor of doing their own thing.
That ought not to be with this local body of Christ called Grace Bible Church.
God help us to always seek His counsel that we may be able to counsel others with right counsel
Proverbs 11:14, Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.