Safe in the Midst of Counsel

by Charles N. Spence, Jr.
Sentry Magazine, September 1999

The wise man said in Proverbs 11: 14, "Where there is no counsel the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." In an age in which people want to do their own thing and go their own way, society is crumbling before us. People, especially the young, are no longer willing to listen to the voice of wise men and women who preceded them. They want to follow their hearts and do what is right in their own eyes. But what does such foolishness cost? Rehoboam received the counsel of those men who had advised his father. These men were blessed with wisdom that helped to secure peace during the reign of Solomon. However, since Rehoboam rejected the counsel of the wise and followed that of fools, his kingdom was rent apart (see I Kings 12).

The necessary inference from Proverbs 11:14 is that wise counsel must be sought. Also one must infer that such counsel must be in keeping with God's will. Ahab had a multitude of counselors, but they were pagans (I Kings 22). He rejected wise counsel to follow that of fools. Ahab was destroyed as a result.

Godly wisdom will act as a safeguard of any nation. History shows that when leaders seek wise counsel that reflects the will of God He will preserve that nation. Nineveh is an example of God's staying hand when people accept his counsel (read Jonah). As long as the people of Nineveh accepted and heeded God's counsel, they were preserved. But notice the words of the prophet in Nahum 1:11, "From you comes forth one who plots evil against the Lord, a wicked counselor." Nineveh fell into a state of darkness once again; for that, God said he would expose Nineveh's shame (Nahum 3:5).

Nineveh's failure to abide in God's counsel made her susceptible to doom as a nation. This nation, once known for its ability to defend itself and for its great military might, has been reduced to a bunch of sissies (Nah. 3:13). The nation produced weak leaders and commanders. Consequently, they became internally weak and were eventually devoured by the Babylonians.

Today, we have a president that has rejected the counsel of the wise and surrounded himself with foolish advisors. Much of the counsel he is given is in violation of the will of God. The fruits of such counsel are the progression and the promotion of unrestrained wickedness. The president's previous appointee for Surgeon General has attacked religious people and made them the enemy of the government. Naturally such would be the case when religious folk stand opposed to their wicked counsel. When Nahum says that the wicked counselors plot evil against the Lord (Nahum 1:11), he is referring to the time when the Assyrians went after God's people and afflicted them. Jesus implied that to afflict His people is to afflict Him (Acts 9:4-5). When our nation's leaders enact policies that afflict God's people, you better be sure that God is taking notice, although all religious people are not Christians, one thing is for certain, when religion and morality are attacked and construed as evil in this country Christians are under assault.

For these and other reasons, Christians must be more mindful of Paul's admonition to pray for our nation's leaders, if they are ever going to maintain and promote the quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity that God wants so much for them to have (I Timothy 2:1-2). Despite the circumstances that we face, we must continue in God's good counsel, if we as God's people are going to be safe and preserved.

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