Proverbs 20:18, Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
Note that the word "every" is in italics and is a supplied word.
This proverb can therefore read, "Purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war."
First of all wisdom lies in forming a right purpose.
Wisdom lies in making and executing proper plans to bring the purpose to pass.
We ought to have purpose and this proverb tells us that purpose is established not by an individual acting alone but by the individual acting with the advice and counsel of others.
If purpose is not established by counsel then the purpose is not established and the purpose is shakey!
That is what we are told in: Proverbs 15:22, Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
We are to guard against obstinately sticking to our own opinion.
Wisdom lies in self-distrust, at least leaning to the possibility that we may be wrong, that we are not complete in our knowledge.
Wisdom lies in knowing that our heart will tell us what we want to hear.
Seeking advice and counsel is not a sign of weakness but a sign of wisdom and strength.
Seeking counsel admits to our own tendency toward fallacy.
Seeking counsel is humbling our self instead of exalting our self.
So God tells us we are to seek the counsel of others when we wish to establish a purpose.
Establish means to bring something into being on a firm or permanent basis. It means to be fixed!
It means to lay a strong foundation which will hold up a superstructure permanently.
If a man's purpose is to build a ten story building and that man does not know structural engineering his purpose will not be established unless he counsels with a structural engineer.
He may be an obstinate know-it-all who has high self esteem, no sense of self-distrust, full of pride, thinking more highly of himself than he ought and wise in his own conceit.
If so, he tries to establish his purpose without counsel and his purpose will fail.
He will be disappointed. The ten story building will not stand. It will not be established.
This proverb tells us that all purposes are established by counsel.
This means that leaders must seek counsel. This means that Pastors and elders must seek counsel.
This means that teachers must seek counsel. This means that parents must seek counsel.
This means that followers must seek counsel if they desire a firm foundation for that which they purpose to do.
We are told that even God uses the counsel of his own will to work his purpose in Ephesians 1:11, In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: God checks with his will!
Jesus Christ had a purpose as we are told in 1 John 3:8b, For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
The purpose of our Lord Jesus Christ was to destroy the works of the devil.
But Jesus Christ did not establish this purpose as a lone ranger.
He told us over and over again in his word that he spoke according to the will of the Father.
John 12:49, For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Jesus Christ's purpose was established by counsel from the Father and by obeying that counsel:
His purpose was realized, his purpose was established, it was fixed, because it was based upon counsel from the Father.
This proverb emphasizes this by telling us not to make war without good advice;
It says: and with good advice make war.
Jesus Christ endorses this by saying in Luke 14:31, What king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
War is not to be entered into casually. Multitudes of advice must be considered.
The Lord counseled Moses in the rules of war in Deuteronomy 20 when he told him to be not afraid when you see a people larger than you, for the LORD thy God is with thee.
Include in your thinking all your forces, including God Almighty.
He told him to let not your heart faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;
For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
He told him to let those who have built a new house or planted a vineyard not to engage in battle.
He told him to send home those that have betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her?
He told him to send home those who are fearful and fainthearted.
In 2 Samuel 5:19,..... David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.
Why did David seek counsel?
He sought counsel so that the purpose of war would be established, so that the war would be won!
He did not engage himself in war without the counsel of the Lord.
He sought counsel so that the purpose would be fulfilled.
We may never be called upon to fight a war but we are called upon to fight the good fight of faith.
How do we know how to fight the good fight of faith?
By being a lone ranger in our walk? By being a lone ranger in our study?
By isolating our self from others who can counsel?
No, he has given pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: in other words for the establishing of our purpose for living.
And God has also given us the ultimate Counselor, the ultimate adviser, Jesus Christ, the Word of God whose name is Counselor,
By his word He gives us good advice to make war.
Are those who are saved not to be warriors for God? Are we not engaged in war?
Doesn't God's counsel tell us that "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
We are counseled to: Fight the good fight of faith!,
You are counseled to put on the whole amour of God, girding your loins with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness; feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, under girded by prayer seeking continual counsel from the Counselor of all counselors.
Jesus Christ is the foundation stone which establishes our purpose. His word is all sufficient counsel for the spirit.