Proverbs (Part 151) - Pro 11:14


14. Pro 11:14 – "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." A. Where no counsel is, the people fall: i. Definitions a. Counsel n. – I. 1. a. Interchange of opinions on a matter of procedure; consultation, deliberation. to take counsel: to consult, deliberate. 2. a. Opinion as to what ought to be done given as the result of consultation; aid or instruction for directing the judgement; advice, direction. 3. The faculty of counselling or advising; judgement; prudence; sagacity in the devising of plans. 1611 Bible Job xii. 13 With him is wisedome & strength, he hath counsell and vnderstanding. b. Fall v. – I. To descend freely (primarily by 'weight' or gravity): opposed to 'rise'. 1. a. intr. To drop from a high or relatively high position. c. fig. esp. with reference to descent from high estate, or from moral elevation. e. fig. of calamity, disease, fear, sleep, vengeance, etc. III. To lose the erect position (primarily with suddenness): opposed to 'stand'. * To become suddenly prostrate. 19. a. intr. To be brought or come suddenly to the ground; also to fall prostrate, to the ground, etc. b. fig.; esp. in to fall to the ground: to come to nothing; to be discredited or futile. to fall flat. 22. In moral sense: To yield to temptation, to sin; esp. of a woman: To surrender her chastity. c. In other words, people who do not seek the opinions and advise of wise men when making important decisions or devising plans will fall spiritually, morally, physically, financially, socially, or emotionally. ii. Without counsel purposes are disappointed (Pro 15:22). iii. Fools always think their ideas are good and right, but wise men seek and heed counsel (Pro 12:15). iv. People who seek no counsel are stupid (Deut 32:28). v. People who make important decisions without counsel will suffer for it. a. Ahab and Ramoth-gilead (i) Ahab wanted to go to war with Ramoth-gilead (1Ki 22:1-4). (ii) Jehoshaphat foolishly agreed to assist him in battle, but first wanted to seek counsel from the LORD (1Ki 22:5). (iii) Ahab was a fool who didn't want to seek counsel because he had already made up his mind, but to placate Jehoshaphat he agreed to get advice from the prophets (1Ki 22:6). 1. He was merely looking for a rubberstamp on the plan he had already decided upon, as the rest of the story makes clear. 2. It has been my observation that most people, including Christians, follow in Ahab's footsteps, only seeking counsel when they feel compelled to do so, and then not really looking for advice, but merely for approval. (iv) When the yes-men prophets all rubberstamped Ahab's plans, Jehoshaphat was suspicious and asked if there was a prophet of the LORD that they could enquire of (1Ki 22:7). (v) Ahab reluctantly agreed to call the prophet Micaiah whom he hated because he never told him what he wanted to hear (1Ki 22:8). (vi) This is why many people will not seek counsel ― they don't want their plans to be frustrated. (vii) After mocking the king by mimicking the foolish advice of the false prophets, Micaiah told Ahab to home and not fight (1Ki 22:17). (viii) Foolish Ahab despised wise Micaiah's advice (1Ki 22:18) and put him in prison (1Ki 22:27). (ix) Ahab went ahead and did what he had already made up his mind to do at the beginning and went to war (1Ki 22:29). (x) Ahab fell in battle and died as a result of rejecting sound and wise counsel (1Ki 22:34-35). (xi) Only ever make war with wise counsel, otherwise danger awaits (Pro 24:6; Pro 20:18). 1. Unlike Ahab, when Israel asked counsel of God as to whether they should go to war with Benjamin, the Lord gave them the victory (Jdg 20:18, 23, 28, 48). 2. The outcomes for Ahab the children of Israel in Judges 20 were very different because the latter truly sought counsel from God and the former did not. b. Eve did not get counsel from her husband before making a deadly decision (1Ti 2:14). c. Israel got bamboozled by the Gibeonites because they were simple and believed their story (Pro 14:15) and asked not counsel of the LORD (Jos 9:14). vi. It has been my experience that most people do not seek counsel when they should. a. Most people will seek counsel when they know they don't know what to do in a given situation. (i) This is wise, but not all that commendable. (ii) Only a complete idiot would make a decision without counsel when he knew he did not know what to do. b. However, most people will not seek counsel when they think they know what to do or especially when they really want to do something. (i) Fools will not go to the wise (Pro 15:12). 1. In some cases they think they know it all and that they would not benefit from getting counsel. 2. In many cases, they know that the wise will give them sound reasons why they should not to do what they really want to do, and therefore they will not ask for advice because they want to do what they want to do without feeling pressured to do the right thing. 3. When it comes to decisions concerning things that will give a person pleasure (at least in the short term) such as making a major purchase, getting engaged or married, or engaging in fun, recreation, or leisure, most people will not seek counsel because their desire to make themselves happy outweighs that nagging reminder from the word of God to seek counsel. (ii) Sometimes people who have been taught the importance of seeking counsel will seek counsel only because they know they are supposed to, but not because they really want to. 1. These people are easy to identify. 2. If you listen carefully, they don't actually ask for advice, but they rather tell the counselor their plans hoping that he will agree with them and put his stamp of approval on the idea. 3. Normally, people who "seek counsel" in this way have already made up their minds, and they have already taken steps to put their plan into action by the time they "seek counsel." 4. They do this for two reasons. a. Firstly, having already started to implement the plan (or possibly having already completed it), they figure it will be nearly impossible for them to be talked out of it. b. Secondly, it will make it more likely that the counselor will not express his disapproval of the plan because he would feel bad doing so since it is already in progress, or he will not bother because it would be a waste of his breath since the person's mind is already made up. (iii) People who truly seek counsel do so before they have made up their mind and before they have begun to implement their idea. 1. They are also easy to identify. 2. They briefly tell the counselor their idea and why are considering it, and then they ask the counselor if he thinks it's a good idea and if he thinks they should pursue it, and if not, why not. 3. This happens about as often as the cicadas come out. c. The fact that most church members do not truly seek counsel before making important decisions (either by not seeking advice at all, or by merely looking for a rubberstamp on their already decided upon ideas) used to really bother me. (i) Firstly, it bothered me because I hate to see people make foolish, short-sighted decisions which satisfy their lusts and happiness in the immediate, but are likely not to turn out well in the long run. (ii) Secondly, it was frustrating that I not only preached a lot about seeking counsel, but have done so myself continually throughout my converted life, especially while in the ministry, but my preaching and example was often not followed. (iii) But I can say that now (and for a while now) it no longer bothers me, or it at least it does not bother me greatly. (iv) The reasons for this are the following: 1. Firstly, it dawned on me that people may not seek pastoral counsel because they think that I have no good advice to offer; and if that's the case, then I certainly can't blame someone for not going to a simpleton for advice. 2. Secondly, on the other hand, if people don't come to me for advice because they know that I am going to give them sound reasons why they should not do what they want to, then they will suffer the consequences for it (Pro 9:12). 3. I have warned the church many times about making decisions without counsel, so if they do it, their blood is on their own heads, but I have delivered my soul (Eze 33:9). 4. Thirdly, it makes my job much easier when people don't come to me with difficult problems to help them solve (although I am certainly more than happy to try to help those who do come to me). B. but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. i. Definitions a. Multitude n. – 1. The character, quality, or condition of being many; numerousness; great number. b. Counselor n. – 1. a. One who counsels or advises; an adviser. c. Counsel v. – 1. to counsel a person: to give or offer (him) counsel or advice; to advise. d. Adviser n. – 1. a. One who advises or counsels. Also with qualifying word, as legal adviser, tax adviser, etc. e. Advise v. – 1. trans. To look at, view, observe, consider, watch; also, to watch for. 3. To look at mentally; to consider, think of, think over, ponder. 6. intr. To take thought, consider, reflect, ponder, deliberate. 8. absol. To offer counsel, as one of a consulting body; to give advice. 9. trans. To give counsel to, to counsel, caution, warn. f. Safety n. – 1. a. The state of being safe; exemption from hurt or injury; freedom from danger. g. In other words, those who seek the counsel and advise of a number of wise people when making important decisions will be safe, exempt from hurt, and free from danger. ii. It is wise to not only seek counsel from one person, but from many. a. A wise man will attain unto wise counsels (Pro 1:5). b. Different people have different perspectives and experiences which can be helpful in different situations. c. When seeking counsel, don't only go to people you think will agree with you, but also to people you suspect will disagree with you. d. Don't be like Ahab. e. Not all counsel is good (Num 31:16; 1Ki 12:28; 2Ch 22:3-4), so you must be discerning as you evaluate it. iii. One must get counsel to be wise, and this is true for older people as well as younger people (Pro 19:20). iv. The first counselor a Christian should seek is the word of God which is from God Himself (Psa 119:24; Psa 33:11; Psa 16:7; Psa 73:24; Psa 107:11; Job 12:13; Isa 9:6; Isa 11:2; Isa 28:29; Act 20:27). a. If you do not get an immediate answer from the word of God, then hold off on making a decision until you do. b. Never resort to psychics, palm readers, etc. or even to worldly psychologists to make a decision if you feel that God is not giving you an answer (1Sa 28:6-7; Isa 30:1). c. Any counsel that is contrary to the word of God is false and foolish (Pro 21:30). v. When getting counsel or advice, be sure to seek out a wise counselor like (or as close as you can find to) Ahithophel (2Sa 16:23; 1Ch 27:32), not fools who are going to tell you what you want to hear (1Ki 12:8). vi. Only get counsel from friends if they are truly wise and can give you hearty counsel (Pro 27:9). vii. Once you find a wise man to give you counsel, you will have to draw his wisdom out of him by asking him questions (Pro 20:5 c/w Pro 18:4). viii. When you go to a man for counsel, if you're wise you will do much more listening than talking (Job 29:21-22). ix. Purposes are established by counsel (Pro 20:18). x. Those who hearken to instruction from a man of God will do what is right in the sight of the LORD (2Ki 12:2).
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